Finding Budget to Scale Content Is a Key Challenge for Marketing Leaders

April 20, 2020

CMOCouncil Top Challenges Development Effective Content Apr2020Close to half (47%) of marketing leaders say that when it comes to developing impactful and effective content, having the budget to develop high-quality content at scale is among their top-3 challenges, making this the most widely cited obstacle, per a recent report [download page] from the CMO Council and Rock Content.

Furthermore, when asked to narrow down the list to just one challenge they would choose to resolve, the budget issue came second on the list, as cited by 20% of respondents. Content marketing budgets have been increasing, but clearly it’s expensive to create quality content at scale.

Below are some other highlights from the study.

Audience Understanding Lags For Some

Another key challenge from the research was knowing if the content being created is actually influencing and engaging to audiences. Some 43% listed this in their top-3 challenges, while a leading 21% chose this as their top challenge overall. Understanding audience interaction with content is a theme seen in previous studies. For example, a study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 6 in 10 (61%) strategic content marketers struggle to understand what is most important to their audience.

Other data from the report suggests that a substantial proportion of marketing leaders might be struggling to gain and use insights for content and the overall customer experience, even if it is important. While just more than half (53%) stated that it was critical to apply customer intelligence to their overarching customer experience, some 43% claimed to need help in making their content intelligent, while a fractional 2% went so far as to describe their capabilities as hopeless.

Creative Processes Cause Concern

The creative process is another area where marketers could be improving. Some 4 in 10 (38%) listed taking ideas and translating thoughts and concepts into reality as being among their most pressing content challenges, with around 1 in 8 (13%) choosing this as their top challenge.

Related to this are issues of accessing creative talent that can develop interactive formats (26% top 3, 7% top overall) and collaborating on content development and creation, especially with teams outside of marketing (21% top 3, 8% top challenge).

Marketers Vary in Ability to Scale Content

Given events at the time of publication – namely, the impact of coronavirus on marketing – it’s even more of a benefit if businesses can scale their content efforts.

When asked how quickly their organization can scale up or down content operations, half (50%) gave a middling score of ‘depends’. Meanwhile, 3 in 10 responded favorably, claiming their ability to scale up or down was either immediate (8%) or quick (22%). But 1 in 5 stated that changing the pace was either slow (19%) or impossible (1%).

One mitigating factor against changing circumstances is whether content has a long shelf life. In this regard, a similar percentage also said this depends (52%), while 16% said their content was evergreen and 31% reported that their content does get old.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 195 marketing professionals from B2B (56%), B2C (16%) and hybrid (28%) organizations.

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