Content Failure: Are You About to Implode?

“Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” – Katharine Hepburn

Ok, we’re not talking literal life and death here. But done wrong, your content strategy could be the beginning of the end of your company. Find out how you can tackle your content conundrum — without imploding.

Recently, Tom Scherer and I attended our independent agency network’s North America meeting in Chicago. Any time you get 100-plus very smart advertising agency owners together in a room, the conversation gets interesting. We face similar challenges.

One of the hottest topics this year? Content. It’s rapidly becoming one of the most important aspects of a brand’s communications plan. And often, the most likely to implode. But some folks, like Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media, are blazing the content trail for the rest of us to follow. He started off the content conversation on day one of our conference. Bruce was challenged with what most would have seen as an opportunity to run screaming away: organizing all of the content within the Forbes brand. His pain resulted in a gain for agencies and clients everywhere in his recently published report: Publish or Perish: A CMO Roadmap for Managing, Systematizing, and Optimizing the Marketing Content Supply Chain. (Read about it on The process is not for the faint of heart, especially in a large enterprise organization. But sooner or later, as Bruce points out, you’ll have to make a choice:

  1. Successfully manage a hard-earned, well-oiled content management machine
  2. Implode

I don’t know about you, but I choose success. I’m pretty sure our clients do, too.

After Bruce’s talk, Tom and I talked about the potential to scale an idea like this for a client who currently has a more “unstructured” approach to creating and distributing content. For example, rather than trying to track down, organize and optimize every bit of content that exists in a company, start with one service line or product group. Within that group, the task of tracking down and organizing becomes a bit less daunting. Cataloging content, creating an optimization plan, and searching for “gaps” that need to be filled is much more doable with one small initial group. Then, the success of that group’s effort can be used as a north star to guide a similar effort across other groups within an organization.

The role of content has never been more important. Over 54 million blog posts are published on WordPress each month. And that doesn’t even begin to take into account the corporate world’s contribution of videos, white papers, social media posts and more.

Our job — and the job of our peer advertising agencies — is to help ensure that the content is meaningful, valuable, accessible and relevant.

No implosion required.