Gartner analyst Jennifer Beck and I recently threw down the gauntlet in a public declaration of friendly disagreement over the fate of campaigns as the basic organizing principle for marketing.
If you recall, what began as a vaguely polemic debate converged on a compromise: campaigns will indeed live on, but they’ll represent just one of the two speeds of the modern marketing cadence.
The second speed, we suggested, looks more like continuous storytelling. This always-on variant is scrappier, often more human in tone, tenor and scale. It’s what we think of when we talk about modern content marketing.
This distinction brings me to a point that I believe many traditional marketers—and many traditional web content management vendors—often miss. Content publishing is now faster, more frequent, involves a broader set of non-expert contributors and often curation of third-party content. These new realities upend traditional content authoring and publishing workflows.
In the face of this new pace and rhythm, executed by a broader set of “casual” authors, traditional WCM-style workflow often looks downright rigid, wonky and poky.
That’s why content marketers are rising up, demanding lighter-weight, more extensible and flexible tools that deal with the new realities of expanded content types and sources, diverse publishing endpoints and a broader community of non-technical content contributors.
Niche content marketing vendors are emerging to fill this gap, but it raises the question of whether we’re only papering over a broader issue. After all, while the cadence of marketing may be two speeds, the function itself should be unified. Both speeds must be factored into the design of a digital marketing hub, particularly as it relates to creative and collaborative workflows that fuel the hub with engaging content.
Oracle’s acquisition of Compendium last year was a bet on the necessity of modern content marketing workflow to feed the beast of multichannel engagement. It’s a pattern that reflects the unification of old and new, the alignment of the two speeds of modern marketing, and an acknowledgement that content authoring and publishing done the old way is a stubborn chokepoint on the path to always-on marketing.
Patterns, by definition, tend to repeat. This one, in my opinion, is unlikely to be an exception.