I noticed a stat not way back that mentioned entrepreneurs spend 30% of their work week studying, implementing, or trying to find new expertise to make content material creation and administration simpler and quicker. I can’t discover it now, so perhaps I imagined it.
However even when that isn’t true, it feels true.
My expertise with two content material groups over the past month exhibits why this occurs.
One staff makes use of a classy tech stack with a contemporary content material administration system, a digital asset administration system, and even AI-driven writing assistants. The opposite depends on a patchwork of shared cloud storage, HTML snippets in Excel spreadsheets, and historic collaboration techniques.
The groups produce the identical quantity of content material – they’re getting the job executed. However neither staff feels just like the expertise they’ve serves them effectively.
Because of this, they’re each weak to the dream of a tech resolution.
Many content material entrepreneurs envision how significantly better their work might be if solely that they had the correct expertise. They see themselves fortunately utilizing instruments that automate processes, create insightful dashboards, or magically ship the correct content material to the correct individuals, on the proper time, on the correct channels and units.
They spend a lot time serious about the right way to get the shiniest new expertise they neglect to think about the right way to use expertise to get probably the most from their work and their staff.
Too many entrepreneurs take into consideration the right way to get probably the most thrilling tech, not how tech might help get probably the most from their staff, says @Robert_Rose by way of @CMIContent @Canto. Click on To Tweet
The issue arises when individuals purchase into the guarantees of latest tech with out first asking crucial questions: Do we’d like this? Why?
For instance, I lately realized a few new expertise that helps automate responses to data-access requests from shoppers who suppose a model isn’t utilizing their private knowledge appropriately. On its floor, the answer sounds neat.
However earlier than shopping for tech like this, a sensible advertising chief ought to ask: “Why is our technique resulting in so many disgruntled client requests? Is automated response tech your best option to deal with their frustration?”
In different phrases, “Why do we’d like this expertise?” The reply may (or may not) have something to do with tech.
Cathy McKnight, who works with me at The Content material Advisory, suggests a multistep course of when choosing new expertise. (Does it shock you to study that writing the request for proposal doesn’t occur till step seven?)
The primary steps she suggests are important, but they’re not often executed. I’ll stroll you thru this essential a part of her really useful course of.
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Validate the necessity for expertise
Validating your want for brand new expertise looks as if an apparent start line, however it’s not.
Worry of lacking out is powerful, and it leads entrepreneurs to search new tech as a result of they’ve seen new tech. The tech they depend on as we speak appears to be like like a run-down neighborhood bar, whereas the most recent tech resolution appears to be like like the most well liked nightclub on the town.
Don’t fall prey to FOMO. Earlier than making any selections, have a look at your present technique, your plans, and your means to get the job executed as we speak. Ask these questions first:
Do you’ve got a expertise downside?
Or is there one more reason you’re not working in the easiest way?
One shopper I labored with thought of a expertise resolution that will allow them to restrict who might push the massive purple publish button. However they requested this query – and determined they didn’t want a tech resolution. As a substitute, they began telling individuals who might (and couldn’t) push the massive purple publish button.
Are you able to remedy the issue by adjusting the method?
This query reveals when you’ve got course of issues (or when you’ve got any processes in any respect).
Let’s say you’re on the lookout for methods to assist a staff member determine which web site pages want updating extra effectively. First, ask how they do it as we speak. In the event that they have a look at a spreadsheet delivered to them via e-mail, obtain all that info to their laptop computer, and prioritize the modifications based mostly on their expertise, you don’t actually have a course of.
And meaning expertise shouldn’t be the primary reply to that downside.
Might (or ought to) you replace present expertise, or do you want new expertise?
I can’t let you know the variety of instances I’ve seen advertising groups change their CMS as a result of they conflate it with their web site’s design. When advertising management needs to revamp the web site, they use it as a possibility to interchange the poorly carried out CMS.
Shouldn’t you not less than see if an improve or reimplementation would suffice?
Create the enterprise necessities
Should you reply these questions and land on “Sure, we’d like new expertise,” you’re able to checklist your corporation necessities.
I gained’t cowl that course of intimately because it’s well-known: Audit and interview stakeholder teams to uncover the necessities in every of the related processes.
Ask whether or not the present processes are the easiest way. It’s possible you’ll discover altering a course of to higher match how expertise suppliers deal with that course of is less complicated than forcing tech to accommodate a non-optimal course of.
Determine your focal wants
This third step is presumably crucial a part of assessing your new expertise wants.
You may suppose you’ve got wants that no different enterprise does. (And also you’re not alone – almost each advertising staff believes it’s a particular rainbow-colored unicorn.)
Spoiler alert: 90 to 95% of your corporation necessities are widespread. And this can be a good factor.
Nonetheless, you doubtless can have a number of processes distinctive to your corporation. They usually could also be too vital to lose in a brand new expertise implementation. These are your focal wants – the necessities that differentiate the applied sciences into account.
Tech options might (or might not) be the reply to your issues
It’s straightforward to be blinded by shiny new applied sciences and approaches. However keep in mind this: Your content material expertise stack gained’t differentiate your technique or content material. It could make issues simpler – or it could make issues tougher.
However focusing squarely in your technique and associated wants all the time works as a pleasant pair of shades – you’ll see previous the glitter and finally discover the gold.
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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute