Content Success Isn’t a Destination

September 1, 2015
by Robert Rose

Many organizations want to know how to get good at content.

I’ve recently done a little work for one such organization, a high-tech consumer-focused company. I was one of a long line of advisors – including at least two analyst firms, a consulting firm, and a digital agency – to suggest that this company merge its technical-content and marketing-content teams.

  • The analyst firms said that the company needed to create a change-management program that enabled many contributors to participate in the content process. Then they would be successful.
  • The consulting firm said that the company needed to implement new web-content-management infrastructure. The content teams all needed to use the same technology. Then they would be successful.
  • The digital agency said that the company needed a content hub. The merged content teams could then manage and measure their content from that hub. Then they would be successful.

Let me be clear. I don’t think any of their advice is necessarily bad on its own. The issue is that this kind of advice gives the impression that after you do X, you’ll be successful.

Then you drop the mic’ and walk off the stage.

This couldn’t be more wrong.

Think about the top 20 content initiatives that are always named in presentations around the world. You know the ones I’m talking about. I will tell you first hand – having visited with a good number of the people responsible for those initiatives – they worry, just like you. They have to continually build business cases, just like you. They have big bugs in their site and software, just like you. When their company gets bought, they worry about their job security, just like you. They struggle with silos and politics, just like you.

Success with content isn’t here (points finger at ground). It’s always out in front of you. It’s always evolving.

Whatever project you’re launching or working on – a content marketing blog, a customer help system, a CMS, a taxonomy – is a step. There is no last step.

Even if your company’s example popped up on the first slide in some influencer’s presentation about the awesomest content strategies in the world, you would wink at the person next to you and say, “If people only knew.

In fact, that’s what keeps us going. As J. J. Watt said, “Success isn’t owned; it’s leased. And you pay rent every day.

The rent is due.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

About Robert Wendt


Robert Wendt is the President of Cultivate Communications.  Robert’s entrepreneurial spirit began at age 12 with a successful paper route. Who could have guessed that 25 years after hand-delivering individual copies of the Milwaukee Journal, he’d own and operate a tech-based business that uses the latest in digital marketing applications to reach multiple client lists – in an instant?