B2C Marketers Treat Content Marketing as a Project; That’s a Mistake [New Research]

In The End of Competitive Advantage, Rita Gunther McGrath illustrates all aggressive benefits are transient. She contends everyone understands that. So why hasn’t fundamental technique observe modified?

As Rita writes:

Most executives, even after they understand that aggressive benefits are going to be ephemeral, are nonetheless utilizing technique frameworks and instruments designed for attaining a sustainable aggressive benefit, not for rapidly exploiting and transferring out and in of benefits.

That final half resonates after working with tons of of enterprise manufacturers over the past 10 years. Most companies take into consideration how they will change content material to suit advertising’s goal, not how they may change advertising to suit content material’s goal.

Guess what? Your content material won’t ever be a sustainable aggressive benefit or differentiator – all content material property are simply replicable and, at greatest, solely transient in differentiated worth.

In the newly launched Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs B2C Content Marketing Benchmark, Budgets, and Trends – Insights for 2023, I see it’s time to feed the content material big that woke up final 12 months. But watch out to not get so distracted by the meals you fail to cook dinner persistently over time. All too usually, content material entrepreneurs get wrapped up in content material creation relatively than within the capability to guide the capabilities to create persistently.

Content must be a strategic exercise

Look at content material operations as the catalyst that may change all the things to your content material advertising challenges. You ought to acknowledge the actions you carry out are a aggressive benefit. Success hinges on the flexibility of a staff (of 1 or 100) to be dynamic and fluid – transferring out and in of “arenas” (as Rita calls them in her guide) of content material and creating non permanent benefits.

Here’s the true takeaway: Ask everybody in your online business – together with your CEO – in the event that they consider compelling, participating, helpful, and dynamic content-driven experiences will transfer the enterprise ahead.

If the reply is sure, then the strategic worth lies in your capability to evolve and coordinate all of the actions to create these content-driven experiences repeatedly. It doesn’t lie within the content material or the distribution plans. Your staff’s job is to not be good at content material; your job is to allow the enterprise to be good at content material.

#ContentMarketing’s strategic value lies in the ability to repeatedly deliver content-driven experiences, not the content itself, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Consider some highlights from this 12 months’s analysis.

Struggle is actual for content material advertising technique

Content advertising stays essential.

Seventy p.c of B2C entrepreneurs instructed us that content material advertising has turn into extra essential to their group over the past 12 months. (Only 4% say it’s much less essential.)

Importance of B2C Content Marketing in the Last Year

With a rise in significance comes a want for extra sources. When requested what they might change about content material advertising of their group, they are saying they need extra employees, extra finances, and higher entry to material specialists.

70% of #B2C marketers say #ContentMarketing is more important in their organization than last year according to @CMIContent #research via @Robert_Rose. Click To Tweet

Yes, content material advertising is extra essential, however content material entrepreneurs wrestle to maintain up with the demand.


Because so many companies deal with content material advertising as a campaign-, project-focused effort that requires completely different “assets.” Content entrepreneurs are so busy churning out initiatives of content material that they haven’t discovered the way to make it a repeatable, constant, and scalable course of.

As far as their greatest challenges in content material advertising, 57% of B2C entrepreneurs say creating content material that appeals to completely different goal audiences. Rounding out the highest three: growing consistency with measurement (44%) and differentiating our merchandise/companies from the competitors (40%).

B2C Organizations' Current Content Marketing Challenges

57% of #B2C marketers say they are challenged to create #content that appeals to different target audiences according to @CMIContent #research via @Robert_Rose. Click To Tweet

Solving all three of those challenges facilities round strategic content material operations – setting a constant long-term technique to differentiate, growing a measurement plan that stands the take a look at of time, and scaling to satisfy the wants of various audiences. But most entrepreneurs aren’t planning to amass the assistance to deal with these challenges. Among the sources they plan to rent or contract within the coming 12 months, nearly half (45%) say they’ll look to develop writers, designers, photographers, and videographers.

It’s like making an attempt to design a larger home by merely including extra bricks.

45% of #B2C marketers plan to hire content creators in the coming year. @Robert_Rose says that’s like designing a bigger house by adding more bricks via @CMIContent #research. Click To Tweet

But B2C content material advertising is working

Despite their challenges, proficient practitioners discover success. Overall, 81% of B2C entrepreneurs fee their success as both reasonably, very, or extraordinarily profitable. Only 2% say they had been “not at all” profitable.

How B2C Marketers Rate Their Organization's Overall Level of Content Marketing Success in Last 12 Months

And 86% say content material advertising supplies a “meaningful/purposeful career path.”

These outcomes align with the analysis found in CMI’s Content Marketing Career & Salary 2023 Outlook (registration required). We discovered although content material entrepreneurs are typically joyful of their present roles, they might be happier if their organizations prioritized content material advertising, backed it with methods and sources, and invested in applied sciences to assist them do their jobs sooner and extra effectively.

The closing bit of excellent information? Almost three-quarters (73%) of content material entrepreneurs anticipate their group’s funding within the observe will enhance or stay the identical this 12 months. Only 3% consider it’s going to lower.

Different actions, no more environment friendly ones

The B2C analysis presents some fascinating insights into the priorities for 2023:

  • Businesses should more and more cease organizing and scaling new advertising groups based mostly on platforms, applied sciences, or inside-looking-out views of the shopper journey. The format and placement of these experiences on a number of channels will all the time be temporal. Success occurs when the enterprise turns into expert and built-in at working and managing all manners of content-driven experiences.
  • Businesses should cease taking a look at content material from a container-first perspective – designed solely to assist advertising ways or initiatives. Success occurs when the enterprise acknowledges content material operations as a operate, supporting the fluid use of content material to gas higher buyer experiences.
  • Businesses should not say, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” when one expertise now not works. Success occurs when the enterprise can healthily disengage and dismantle experiences that aren’t working. They can always reconfigure their actions and handle portfolios of content-driven experiences.

Starting with the incorrect premise

Often the primary signal of bother in any content material advertising method is whenever you hear, “How do we get more efficient at content?”

Efficiency entails modifications to a course of to take away friction. The query usually assumes a working, commonplace operation offering worth already exists. But if there isn’t any repeatable commonplace operation, effectivity finally ends up which means producing the identical or extra content material with the identical sources.

That not often works out to be higher for the enterprise.

The harder activity for content material entrepreneurs is to find out the completely different actions essential to create or increase the processes and determine the actions to undertake in a different way.

The content material you create supplies no sustainable aggressive enterprise benefit. But a strategic content material operation simply may.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute