HomeBlog Content Consistency Culprits and Their Content Capers

Content Consistency Culprits and Their Content Capers

January 05, 2018 | By Phyllis Davidson

  • With an ever-increasing need for more content for a growing number of audiences, maintaining brand consistency and solution details is no easy task
  • Consistency sins abound in b-to-b organizations – from the use of outdated product names to mix-ups in logos
  • By addressing content consistency with a cross-functional process from the context of the content lifecycle, redemption is possible 

When asked about how consistent the content is across our b-to-b enterprises, most of us would probably say, “Well, I’m not so sure” – which, let’s face it, is about the same as admitting “not very.” Content Consistency Culprits

The fact is, content from marketing and other functions is being produced, published, updated and reused at breakneck speed. It’s no wonder that organizations struggle to maintain the integrity of details – be it brand, product names and descriptions, or version control. To understand the impact of content consistency sins in your organization, it’s useful to define the following categories of “sinners” you might find:

  • The sly solo operator. This transgressor creates content on his or her own with little regard for process or messaging. You know the type – he’s the subject matter expert for a webcast and promised content for a landing page weeks ago. Now there are only a few days before it needs to go live. He knows he should research some of the solution benefits he’s going to cite, especially because the solution was recently revamped. However, time is ticking, so he rushes off some text and shoots it over to the demand services team to quickly turn into a landing page. Crisis averted – until a product management VP happens upon the landing page and she notes a reference to a benefit that isn’t available in the latest version. Whoops!
  • The lack-of-change agent. He or she makes changes to source content that others rely on, and doesn’t bother to notify those affected so related changes can be cascaded. For example, the content strategy and operations team has just put the finishing touches on a detailed e-book that includes customer case studies. One customer has stopped using a product that was included in their case study, and has requested that all related references be removed in any promotional materials. A customer reference manager makes the change to the source case study, but doesn’t check to see where else the story is being used. When it’s complete, the e-book is promoted to prospects and customers in the database, so guess who sees it? You guessed it – the result is a customer reference that bites the content consistency dust.
  • The brand barbarian. This person is afraid to uncover the amount of actual work required to update all event materials with the latest version of the company logo. For example, the field marketing director chooses to update only main event hall signage with the new logo and leave everything else as is – otherwise known as “wrong.” She didn’t consider that the CMO would be at the event, in the main hall, and everywhere else on the show floor – and now there is one more field marketing director who is back on the market.
  •  The technology tenderfoot. This is the content operations manager who refuses to learn about features in his organization’s content digital asset management system that ensure version control. “No time for that!” he thinks, and returns his focus to meeting a deadline to push assets for a product launch. Well, deadlines are important, for sure, but so is content consistency. When the marketing executive team sees new content on the company Web site that contradicts existing solution details, the kudos the content manager received for on-time delivery won’t mean much. Once again, whoops!

To handle content transgressions like these and more, SiriusDecisions has developed a four-step cross-functional approach to address the consistency challenge across the content lifecycle. To learn about these steps and how to use them, please listen to this on-demand webcast and tweet me with your favorite content consistency story –  good or bad!

Phyllis Davidson

Phyllis Davidson is Research Director, Content Strategy and Operations, at SiriusDecisions. Based in the Silicon Valley, she has 20-plus years of marketing and communications leadership experience, including roles in public relations, executive and M&A communications, global campaigns and content strategy, and demand generation. Follow Phyllis on Twitter @PhyllisMusings