Marketing channels commonly categorised under the digital marketing umbrella include email, websites, mobile, social media, targeted micro sites, web-based advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), video and electronic literature.

The pace of adoption for these channels has been staggering and game-changing for marketers. And we can be assured that new technologies around the corner will only add to the hectic velocity that signals marketing today.

The consumer/buyer in control.

Digital marketing represents more than a shift in technology and delivery systems. It’s also a realignment in how your message reaches your customer. Yesterday’s passive target audience is now active, engaged and in control of what – if any – marketing impressions reach them. Emails can go unread, banner ads unclicked and irrelevant blog posts ignored by a new generation of prospects who want conversations instead of monologues from marketers.

Measurement matters. Consistency is key.

The economic outlook, along with board rooms increasingly focused on the bottom line, have mandated that marketers sharpen their pencils and prove their worth, even as digital has splintered the channels that have to be measured for effectiveness. Even with multiple platforms, marketers can’t lose sight of their singular goal: making clear, consistent messaging essential across all marketing venues, whether traditional, digital or whatever comes next.

The challenges of digital content.

Successful digital marketing isn’t just about duplicating content across various platforms. It’s about repurposing a brand message to match the specific strengths of the digital medium and the specific behaviours of your intended audience. It’s a scenario that has only deepened the challenges facing every marketing organisation.

The drawbacks of digital can include:

  • Stretched resources. As digital marketing channels have multiplied, marketing organisations have not always added sufficient staff to support the increased volume of content that must be generated to reach the target audience. The result is stretched operating teams and in many cases, an overall weakened marketing effort.
  • Missed opportunities. As marketing teams try to cover more content bases than ever before, some channels receive reduced attention. Delays in delivering content when needed can lead to missed channel opportunities – opportunities on which a competitor may have already capitalised.
  • Late charges. Delays in creating and approving digital content can add up to last-minute deadlines and significant late charges, all of which lead to increased costs and impacted marketing budgets down the road.
  • “One-off” content. Traditional and digital marketing teams may not be sharing resources when developing campaigns and messaging. The result can be channel-specific materials created in a vacuum, with the content not reused or repurposed for other media.
  • Production gridlock. A coordinated marketing campaign can be delayed or frozen in its tracks as visibility into the status of various projects takes precious hours away from a team already pushing the limits to meet critical deadlines.
  • Command and control limitations. Many organisations rely solely on email as their communication channel for content routing, review and approval. That can lead to reduced visibility to the team as a whole when the status of each project needs to be reviewed.
  • Lack of a big picture. The more a marketing organisation divides into content-driven silos, the more management lacks visibility to the content being produced across channels. Ideally, all constituents would have access to a shared view of how the messages knit together to serve the company’s overall mission.

The solution: get integrated. Get automated.

Marketing teams in world-class companies have already begun to successfully address the challenges involved in creating, approving and disseminating digital marketing content. Technology has created these challenges. Not surprisingly, technology is the solution.

By automating the marketing process, today’s most successful digital marketers have implemented processes that deliver on the following outcomes:

  • Centralised assets. When all team members have access to a central library of both traditional and digital assets, materials can be easily shared and repurposed to meet common marketing goals.
  • Centralised tasks. Gaining visibility to marketing’s entire job list can give team members and management a global view of the specifics of each initiative and the magnitude of the total effort. Better understanding leads to shared ownership and more coherent and unified marketing.
  • Centralised review process. Approvals can be a common bottleneck in the production cycle. With centralised reviews, every constituent has access to where projects are in the approval process and they can view comments that might impact concurrent or upcoming content.
  • Visibility of resources. Knowledge is power. The more understanding your marketing team members and your management have of the necessary resources needed to complete what could be a flood of marketing content, the better your chances of gaining additional resources, or even additional time, when projects are behind schedule.
  • Clearly understood calendar and timelines. With the entire organisation on the same page in terms of key calendar delivery dates for marketing content for a variety of channels, you can achieve better alignment of resources, approvals and overall launch objectives.

Digital marketing has transformed how marketing content is produced and approved. By integrating and automating the marketing process, you can overcome the new challenges involved in creating content for these additional channels and benefit from improved visibility of all marketing content, at all stages of the process, consistent messaging across all content, regardless of the marketing channel or medium and enhanced marketing utilisation capabilities, allowing you deliver more with existing resources than ever before.