“If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change the culture, change the stories.” -- Michael Margolis
Culture and content are, and always have been, inextricably linked. Just as our understanding of cultures past and present are contingent on the tangible outputs and expressions of those cultures, so too are companies defined by the stories they tell.
As the demand for content (i.e. across business functions; paid, owned, earned media; proliferating channels and platforms) grows, so too does the organization’s imperative to support it; with formalized strategy, adequate resources, and perhaps most importantly, with a culture of content. This imperative forces assessment of the ‘stories’ both within, and coming out of the organization itself.
In our latest research report, A Culture of Content, my colleague and co-author Rebecca Lieb and I present a framework for how organizations of any size can establish, evangelize, and foster a culture of content.
A culture in any context is a “common reference points of whole peoples” [Wikipedia], connecting common aspirations, beliefs, ideals, and ways of doing things. In our report, we define the the Culture of Content:
A culture of content exists when the importance of content is evangelized enterprise-wide, content is shared and made accessible, creation and creativity are encouraged, and content flows up and downstream, as well as across various divisions. A formalized yet not immutable content strategy is the framework upon which to base culture.
Creating a Culture of Content means infusing across the organization a mindset and evangelism of the value of content, beyond just content production. When content becomes an ingrained element of an enterprise’s culture, the culture functions like a well-oiled engine, producing, circulating, and begetting content, creating numerous efficiencies in the process.
Content is bigger than any one department. A content engine empowers teams and infuses content across marketing and other critical functions like social selling, employee advocacy, customer service, audience engagement and hiring. All cultures are built on certain tangible and intangible elements. In a culture of content, there are four primary elements, or ‘cogs’ that run the engine:
In this report, we assess each element and its respective components in great depth. Based on our interviews of major B2B and B2C brands, Altimeter paints a detailed picture of how these elements come together in various types of organizations, as well as the best practices gleaned from those companies touting a strong culture of content. Readers of this report will walk away with a clear understanding of the elements that comprise a culture of content as well as pragmatic next steps for facilitating a culture to ensure enterprise-wide adoption and sustainability.
Ultimately, a culture of content doesn’t just help brands organize around content, it helps crystallize the very brand message; a culmination of stories that convey brand identity. Aligning internal processes, behaviors, and needs to a single brand manifestation will only grow in importance as brands embrace new ways of connecting with customers. In fact, as products become more connected, as online and offline experiences, and media itself, continue to converge, content will increasingly serve as the united face of the brand — across every single interaction customers have with the brand.
As with all Altimeter Group research, The Culture of Content is available at no cost under Creative Commons. Please feel free to read and share it, and please let us know your reactions, as well as how these lessons apply to your own organization.
In our latest research report, “A Culture of Content,” my colleague and co-author Rebecca Lieb and I present a framework for how organizations of any size can establish, evangelize, and foster a culture of content.
As part of our open research process, I would like to extend an invite for your input, feedback, case examples, or any other insights you’d like to contribute to our upcoming research around the Internet of Things.
Our research found that the content marketing space is rife with challenges, both internal to the organization and externally across the ecosystem. The following infographic helps visualize this struggle.
Your refrigerator has a message for you — and no, it’s not that you need more orange juice– it’s an ad for belly fat pills. Thanks, Refrigerator. This post was originally posted on Wearable World News. The original can be found here.
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Digital, Social, Content Strategists: We want to hear from you! Would you be willing to participate in our latest survey? Click here to get started: http://bit.ly/1bK8TRE Wondering how other organizations are mapping their customer journeys?
It’s been a week since SXSW 2013 and here at Altimeter Group, we’ve had a chance to reflect on what we saw. Check out our coverage from analysts, consultants, researchers, and even media. We’ll be updating as more coverage comes in.