Driving top line growth is the number one CEO mandate to the CMO according to Forbes Insights Research. Yet most marketing executives struggle to achieve that objective. According to D&B’s CMO Rishi Dave, only 30% of all companies achieved growth of any kind over the past year.

Despite a growing economy and lengthening CMO tenure according to Spencer Stuart, marketing remains a challenging discipline.  Why?

Ever-evolving digital channels, social media and mobile devices have fractured the impression-based, media-model of marketing.  In turn, customers are more informed about your company or its products and services than ever, creating a more complex buyer journey. What’s a marketer to do?

Content that travels across digital and mobile channels, is easily discoverable and informs, delights, educates, entertains and provides a point of differentiation is the order of the day.  Content truly is king today.

Selling content is a big and growing component of the growth investment mix (41% of marketing budgets according to HubSpot). 80% of CMOS report they are increasing their investment in content creation and delivery.This includes things like guided selling, next-best-action guides, playbooks, recommendation engines, real time scripting, and automated chatbots. Unfortunately, these do not scale in a modern selling model, making them very expensive. For example, localizing, targeting and personalizing a branded content asset in five market segments is more than twenty times the cost of the original content asset according to the Forbes Publish or Perish study. Add new digital channels and one-to-one segmentation at scale, and the cost curve accelerates dramatically.

Transitioning from an advertising to a publishing model is already underway.  Simultaneously, so is the process of better connecting marketing content to sales as the distinctions between sales and marketing continue to narrow.

Companies are spending billions transforming their marketing and sales performance by executing value selling, sales enablement and targeting analytics strategies.  Spending on skills, content and technologies that help sales people consistently sell value over price, navigate an increasingly complex buying process, and communicate customer value messages is on the rise.  For example, business investment in sales training and CRM each exceeded $20 billion.

Content marketing and sales enablement now collide in a bewildering array of technologies and opportunities creating huge opportunities for some and uncertainty for most.

The paradigm shift to publishing is not yet well understood. Our ongoing research in this arena suggests that CMOs are not yet very good at managing, distributing, and “optimizing” the content they create–a process now critical to growing the top line.

The challenge of managing, distributing, and tracking the performance of marketing content has emerged as a hidden pain point for most CMOs because it  is not yet a mature discipline with a clear enterprise strategy, business case or ownership and governance.

To help sales and marketing leaders get the most impact from their investment in marketing and sales content, the Forbes CMO Practice undertook a best practices research initiative to define a scalable process and approach to source, target, deliver, personalize and measure the performance of their growing content investments.  They identified ten core competencies that make up a Brand Publishing model.


If you are a CMO and want to learn more about our best practices research in this area, or participate in the study, read the Forbes Publish or Perish Report.

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