Technical marketing mistake #4: Not following a formalized collateral creation methodology

January 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

In this episode of the continuing series of common technical marketing mistakes, I point out why it’s so important to create marketing content using a well-designed methodology.

In our experiences at Think88, we’ve observed that the majority of organizations – big and small – don’t have a comprehensive marketing content delivery methodology.

This isn’t a surprise: it can be difficult to reconcile the creative aspects of content creation with the often-rigid demands imposed by a methodology. And process is the first thing to go out the window when time and/or money gets tight. But in the absence of a methodology, the end result usually ends up disappointing everyone involved, including marketing, sales, development, and most importantly: prospective customers. Plus, ad-hoc procedures usually means vital marketing content takes longer to get delivered.

Consequently, it’s a really good idea to invest some time and design a methodology that meets your needs, and then follow it! It can (and should) be updated from time to time, and it doesn’t have to be fancy or very time consuming. However, it should be logical and tailored to the business.

At a minimum, a marketing content methodology should include these steps:

  • Advance consultation with sales. Remember that this means more than just field sales reps: don’t forget telesales and sales engineering.
  • Estimated results and ROI. How else will you know if your efforts were worth it?
  • Outline or storyboard. This should include enough time for a thorough review. After all, it’s always easier to fix an outline or storyboard than the finished product.
  • Comprehensive materials review. This should cover accuracy and clarity.
  • Customer feedback. You want to know if you got your point across correctly, and if it matched their experience with your product or service.
  • Integration with your marketing content roadmap. You do have a roadmap, don’t you?

In future posts, I’ll provide some examples of the building blocks that make up a well-designed methodology.

A final cautionary note: be careful of the ‘paralysis by analysis’ trap that can be engendered by a cumbersome methodology: the goal should be to create effective, high-quality marketing content that increases sales, not get caught up in an endless development cycle.

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