More than half of the senior marketing leaders surveyed in Singapore (54 percent) stated that they spend more time on operational details—for example, requirements documentation, securing legal and leadership approval, and content tagging definition—than on core marketing and branding activities.
In Australia only 32 percent of respondents spent more time on operational details. The statistic reached 60 percent in China and 74 percent in South Korea.
This reflects a rapidly accelerating trend as nine in 10 (more than the 80 percent globally) predict that they will spend even more time on operational details two years from now than they do today.
The findings were part of the inaugural Accenture Interactive State of Content report, titled “Content: The H2O of Marketing,” which represents the views of 1,078 senior marketing leaders in 17 countries.
Donna Tuths, global managing director, content services at Accenture Interactive, said content now fuels virtually everything a marketer touches. It is the currency of communication powering engagement and driving sales.
“Ironically, the exponential digital content growth now has the potential to become marketing’s greatest obstacle to drive value from it,” she added.
The focus on the operational side of digital content management is also reflected in how companies measure content effectiveness. Only 16 percent analyse how it contributes to customer lifetime value. Instead, operational statistics, such as operational costs, cycle time, and time-to-market, all rank higher.
“With no singular fix to mastering content, companies need to develop an effective content strategy that balances consistency and a high degree of differentiation from their competitors,” said Thomas Mouritzen, managing director, Accenture Interactive, ASEAN. “This will be vital to capturing customer loyalty by taking the customer experience to the next level.”
Huge investments in scaling content
Marketing organisations are investing heavily to get a grip on the flood of content, which is driven by the proliferation of digital channels.
The majority of the survey respondents (78 percent in Singapore, 67 percent in Australia, 61 percent in China and 92 percent in South Korea) said their organisations spend more than US$50 million annually on content management alone.
However when it comes to being confident about digital content investments achieving business objectives, only 47 percent in Singapore, 54 percent in Australia, 48 percent in China and 8 percent in South Korea said they were.
Respondents cited three top reasons why they are challenged with managing digital content: lack of skilled talent, deficiency in technology and overall process issues.
For example, seven out of 10 respondents both globally and in Singapore feel the need for better alignment with IT, as marketing today relies more on technology than ever before.
In Australia, 90 percent of respondents felt the same, while 92 percent in China and 84 percent in South Korea agreed.
Tuths said the problems marketers are pointing out are symptoms of a broader issue, as there is a finite amount of content you can create and manage using current approaches.
“Organisations need to recognise content as an enterprise issue that does not belong purely to marketing, IT, or any other stakeholder,” she said. “Now is the time to step back and look at your content needs on a holistic basis.”
This includes having a content strategy in place that addresses current and future needs—which less than half in Singapore actually do. Australia (52 percent), China (76 percent) and South Korea (50 percent) fared better.
According to Accenture, organisations can also benefit from developing and managing content under a centralised model. This would allow marketers to spend almost three times as much of their time on branding and marketing activities.
However, fewer than 10 percent of organisations in Singapore today work in a completely centralised way when it comes to content, while none do in South Korea.
Only 12 percent of South Korean respondents anticipate that their organisations will be completely centralised in two years, while in Australia, 42 percent do and in Singapore, only three in 10 respondents do.
Tuths said it is critical to bridge the gap that currently exists in organisations between business units, geographies, and brands and enable an effective governance and content operating model.
“Look at how sustainability has become a driving factor in determining how natural resources are produced and distributed globally,” she said. “Successful brands will take a similar approach when developing models for creating and managing digital content.”