Today, Skyword, heretofore known as a Content Marketing player focused on bringing together the writing talent and workflow tools to scale content marketing programs, launched a Digital Asset Management solution to help marketers find and globally manage all their content assets.
This particular launch sparked my interest less because of the product itself, though I am keen to learn more, and more because it signals a continued blurring of the lines between categories that have been moving steadily towards each other as the practice of content marketing has gained steam.
What Tools Are Content Marketers Using Today?
Marketers who have started to do content marketing typically find themselves doing topic research via myriad analytics tools, managing editorial calendars in excel, handling workflow with writers and creative via email, publishing content via separate blogs and websites and promoting it with existing, but usually disconnected marketing automation and social media tools (that’s if they aren’t doing any paid promotion). At scale, this breaks down.
Enter the Content Marketing Platform (CMP) where players like Newscred, Skyword, Kapost, Curata, Percolate (whose ambitions seem to reach beyond content marketing) and more have built tools to help marketers get a handle on the creation process. But most have stayed away from competing with either the Web Content Management (WCM) or the DAM players which are made up of a group of established names. The most common content marketing tech stacks observed in enterprise clients (clients see Content Marketing Point Solutions Bring Agility to Web Content Management Workflows) is a combination of either:
- CMP + WCM + Marketing Hub/Marketing Automation + Content Marketing Point Tools
- CMP + WordPress (in addition to branded website) + Marketing Hub/Marketing Automation + Content Marketing Point Tools
In both scenarios, big brands pursuing content marketing at scale rarely employ a DAM. But as these brands get truly good at what they are doing, they produce more and more content, driving the need for organization, shareability and re-use among the valuable content assets they have built (which start to outgrow the small ‘native’ asset management capabilities resident in either their WCM or CMP tools). Unfortunately, in many cases clients have expressed concern that current, legacy DAM solutions were not built with content marketing in mind – they lack the ease of use and agility needed by a modern marketing team. These are the same concerns that lead many marketers to the second, WordPress enabled, content marketing configuration.
What Does This Mean for WCM, DAM & CMPs?
For quite some time, I’ve been looking forward to the evolution of each of these players – each adopting more of the features and capabilities of the other.
- WCM Vendors – with the demands for agility, flexibility and workflow, WCM vendors are starting to respond, but still have strides to make before they approach the feature richness or editorial minded nature of a CMP. Aside from Oracle’s 2013 purchase of Compendium, it’s been surprising that no vendors have made additional investments in content marketing tools. Given the volume of client calls and interest in the market, perhaps this will change.
- DAM Vendors – innovation has been lacking in the DAM market over the last few years with many brands using any DAM they have as the repository of archived material and not the living, breathing resource center that they need to create a vibrant, content-driven experience. This is an area ripe for disruption – both CMP and WCM players have opportunities to subsume the functionality and/or deliver it better.
- CMP Vendors – increasingly, content marketing vendors are finding ways to expand value for their clients. The decreases in storage costs has some of them providing de facto DAM capability without actively marketing it as a benefit. As this young category matures it will be interesting to observe which players adopt more DAM and WCM features, which get acquired and which stick to a core editorial knitting. In all cases, we see CMP vendors continually growing their footprint.
This growing friction and confusion among platforms is not limited to the content marketing space. Rather, it permeates nearly every marketing tech stack conversation I have with enterprise marketers. It’s a vulnerable time for many vendors and this complexity contributes to the challenges marketers have making sense of it all.
What is your content marketing stack made of? Which content marketing point tools are you using? (Check out our Cool Vendors in Content Marketing report to learn about a few tools specific to scaling content production.)