I noticed a stat not way back that mentioned entrepreneurs spend 30% of their work week studying, implementing, or looking for new expertise to make content material creation and administration simpler and quicker. I can’t discover it now, so possibly I imagined it.
However even when that isn’t true, it feels true.
My expertise with two content material groups during the last month reveals why this occurs.
One crew 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 methods.
The groups produce the identical quantity of content material – they’re getting the job accomplished. However neither crew feels just like the expertise they’ve serves them effectively.
Because of this, they’re each weak to the dream of a tech answer.
Many content material entrepreneurs envision how significantly better their work may very well be if solely that they had the fitting expertise. They see themselves fortunately utilizing instruments that automate processes, create insightful dashboards, or magically ship the fitting content material to the fitting individuals, on the proper time, on the fitting channels and gadgets.
They spend a lot time serious about tips on how to get the shiniest new expertise they overlook to think about tips on how to use expertise to get probably the most from their work and their crew.
Too many entrepreneurs take into consideration tips on how to get probably the most thrilling tech, not how tech might help get probably the most from their crew, says @Robert_Rose through @CMIContent @Canto. Click on To Tweet
The issue arises when individuals purchase into the guarantees of latest tech with out first asking an important questions: Do we want this? Why?
For instance, I lately realized a couple of new expertise that helps automate responses to data-access requests from shoppers who suppose a model isn’t utilizing their private information 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 shopper requests? Is automated response tech your best option to handle their frustration?”
In different phrases, “Why do we want this expertise?” The reply would possibly (or won’t) have something to do with tech.
Cathy McKnight, who works with me at The Content material Advisory, suggests a multistep course of when deciding on 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 hardly ever accomplished. I’ll stroll you thru this essential a part of her beneficial course of.
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Validate the necessity for expertise
Validating your want for brand spanking new expertise looks like an apparent place to begin, but it surely’s not.
Concern 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 right now appears to be like like a run-down neighborhood bar, whereas the newest tech answer appears to be like like the most popular 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 skill to get the job accomplished right now. Ask these questions first:
Do you have got a expertise drawback?
Or is there another excuse you’re not working in one of the best ways?
One consumer I labored with thought of a expertise answer that will allow them to restrict who might push the massive crimson publish button. However they requested this query – and determined they didn’t want a tech answer. As a substitute, they began telling individuals who might (and couldn’t) push the massive crimson publish button.
Are you able to remedy the issue by adjusting the method?
This query reveals you probably have course of issues (or you probably have any processes in any respect).
Let’s say you’re searching for methods to assist a crew member determine which web site pages want updating extra effectively. First, ask how they do it right now. In the event that they have a look at a spreadsheet delivered to them by way of e-mail, obtain all that data to their laptop computer, and prioritize the adjustments based mostly on their expertise, you don’t actually have a course of.
And which means expertise shouldn’t be the primary reply to that drawback.
May (or ought to) you replace current expertise, or do you want new expertise?
I can’t let you know the variety of occasions I’ve seen advertising groups substitute their CMS as a result of they conflate it with their web site’s design. When advertising management desires to revamp the web site, they use it as a possibility to interchange the poorly carried out CMS.
Shouldn’t you at the least see if an improve or reimplementation would suffice?
Create the enterprise necessities
In the event you reply these questions and land on “Sure, we want new expertise,” you’re able to record your online business necessities.
I received’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 prevailing processes are one of the best ways. You might discover altering a course of to raised match how expertise suppliers deal with that course of is simpler than forcing tech to accommodate a non-optimal course of.
Determine your focal wants
This third step is presumably an important a part of assessing your new expertise wants.
You would possibly suppose you have got wants that no different enterprise does. (And also you’re not alone – almost each advertising crew believes it’s a particular rainbow-colored unicorn.)
Spoiler alert: 90 to 95% of your online business necessities are frequent. And it is a good factor.
Nonetheless, you possible could have just a few processes distinctive to your online business. They usually could also be too necessary 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 received’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 and marketing Institute