Let’s say the top content marketing firm in the world is taking on your organization as a client – and they are doing all of your content marketing pro bono. Silly, but hang with me a little. And don’t worry, no one in your organization will lose their job due to redundancy.
So the firm gets kickin. They evaluate your team members, processes, technologies and strategy. They execute audience research, resulting in the niftiest buyer personas you’ve ever seen, create a plan and are masterfully rolling it out. And they are successful; they have increased your annual meeting registrations by 12% above the expected trend-line. And they can show which content directly influenced an uptick in retention.
Now let’s go to your annual meeting. What needs to happen is that your team must walk and talk in step with the cadence of the useful, helpful content your organization has been pumping out. But instead, your internal silos have widened gaps in how certain teams and individuals talk about your programming or comment on the trends in your niche. They are not in synch. There is a disconnect between your well-received content and the messaging that your people are sharing.
By now, you offer a website experience that is impeccable – because that content marketing firm has resources galore – but when members call or email with a need that experience doesn’t exist off line. Where is the training? What’s the process?
The C-suite is not especially concerned with what your content or editorial team is doing, or can do. As long as the magazine gets out on time they don’t take much notice of your work. You are resource anemic and, far worse, you are not held accountable for identifying and achieving goals with your content creation and delivery. So your team’s skills go stale and you cease to be hungry for the knowledge that is demanded in this ever-changing discipline of marketing.
So, yes, I’ve created an absurd scenario so that I can posit that your organization is now an instant, measurably effective content marketing machine but internal culture issues are holding it back. I have some ideas, but mostly just the observation that I think culture is a critical part of the mix when it comes to marketing success. It doesn’t matter how good the content, content/inbound marketing are, if your culture is broken you can’t close the loop of marketing and business goals.
A leader who is out of touch with their staffers on the ground or who writes brilliantly but can’t ace an interview.
Teams who are not in synch or who are woefully out of date with contemporary processes.
Individuals who have stopped learning because they have effectively been trained by the organization to believe that they are good enough with yesterday’s skillset.
Team leaders who don’t adopt technologies that can propel their results and no one notices or inquires.
These kinds of culture fails can’t be undone by superb marketing, but superb marketing can be undone by culture fails. Culture Fail Will Kill the Content Marketing Star.
Culture fail +Marketing fail = Deadly combination.
By Monica Bussolati