Editor’s note: This is the third post in a series about why CMOs need to become publishers. We’ve written it to highlight some of the key findings cited in a new report from Forbes entitled “Publish or Perish: A CMO Roadmap for Managing, Systematizing and Optimizing the Marketing Content Supply Chain.” The previous post in this series was about why managing the growing cost and complexity of content operations is a critical business issue.

To produce, manage, and distribute content successfully at scale, marketers need to rethink their content operations and start acting like publishers themselves. This, according to a new report from Forbes, is the only way that they can begin to reduce costs while also enhancing the performance of their publishing efforts. Key to doing so, the report finds, is simplifying, streamlining, and automating their publishing processes as much as possible.

The good news is that many of the marketing executives consulted for the report are already actively trying to adopt or import business practices from the publishing and media industries. They’re even setting up editorial management systems. In fact, over 80 percent of the marketers surveyed report that they are working with their peers in sales, IT, HR, and finance to “establish editorial organizations and systems to support the planning, governance and distribution of content.” Many marketers are also looking to other industries to find new ways to manage content operations.

Despite this progress, the report found that most marketing executives aren’t taking enough steps to simplify and streamline their marketing operations. For example, the majority of survey respondents report that they do not yet have the basic publishing systems, processes, skills, and structures in place to support the optimization of content at scale, including:

  • An executive who owns the content process and is responsible for the business outcomes.
  • A universal taxonomy to effectively target and provide personalized experiences.
  • Systems and structures to ensure that customer conversations reinforce value messages.
  • A central content repository to manage and control content quality, compliance, and relevance.
  • A roadmap to ensure that the sales and marketing technology supports the end-to-end publishing process.

As a result of gaps like these, publishing remains a time- and resource-consuming challenge at many organizations.

Our Perspective

To publish successfully at scale, you’ve got to be well organized and have great processes, systems, and tools in place for every step along the way. That starts with having the right platform to help you create great content, but also extends to other areas as well, such as content distribution and measurement.

Just to be clear, if you’re a small company with a finite number of content creators producing a small amount of content, you can probably get to better outcomes by simply developing and adhering to more efficient processes. You can also create your own tools, such as company style guidelines, and rely on free ones like Buffer and Google Analytics to help you distribute and measure your content. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But, when you get to be a large organization — one with dozens or even hundreds of content creators working across a variety of geographies and languages — your challenges become exponentially more difficult, which is why you’ll need more sophisticated tools to support your efforts. Yes, those tools are often expensive, but if you choose ones that truly provide value and that can help you become more streamlined and efficient, the return you’ll get on your investment will far exceed the costs.