Earlier we took a look at digital Content Management lessons learned from the industry players that does content management the best - and yes, I’m talking about Netflix.
Today we look at the most popular ways that you can manage your digital content and the implications of using these methods.
Before you read on, note that we are looking at the most popular, but not necessarily the best, ways of organizing digital content.
If you want to read about the best ways of organizing your content as pioneered by Netflix and other content management juggernauts CLICK HERE to read our last article.
The Most Popular Ways of Doing Something Aren’t Necessarily the Best.
In 2015 we sponsored a survey by Demand Metric to examine the digital sales and marketing environment, and adoption of sales enablement software.
What we learned was striking considering the awareness of sales enablement across leading industries, and the common challenges addressed by sales enablement which include not only content management, but sales and marketing communication, decision journey awareness, and multi-channel reach.
In order of most to least popular:
- 22% - A cloud storage system (Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc.);
- 22% - email attachments;
- 18% - CRM or Sales Force Automation;
- 17% - An Intranet;
- 9% - A dedicated content management system; and,
- 9% - Personal hard drive.
The remaining 3% indicated other, and comments included the use of a shared Google Drive, but for the purpose of this article we will leave the 3%.
The Implications of Each Option as a CMS
Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, and etc. are all examples of cloud storage.
- Shared folders between several users;
- Automated file updates and desktop applications that download/upload your content while online, for use offline;
- Global access to content, and controlled access to folders for each user;
- Some offer notes and comments as well as a history of changes and users; and,
- Cost savings by limiting emails and physical storage needs.
For the sales process, drawbacks of cloud include:
- Use of content types are limited to the device’s capabilities that are accessing the cloud;
- Risk of accidentally altering or deleting content which may influence the entire user group;
- Search functionality includes only specific folders and file names, not entire library meta data;
- A high degree of manual intervention is needed to make changes, and this must be done one at a time which is a poor choice for larger content libraries, or content that must be updated often;
- Content duplication is a major risk, especially if folders are used for personas or playbooks. Each copy of a file must be fund and updated individually;
- No data analytics into content use by leads, and no closed loop marketing insights of sales rep use of digital content in the field; and,
- Limited multichannel reach for sharing and interacting for digital sales.
Given that cloud is the most popular, it is likely that many of these users are failing to capitalize on the four key elements to earning customer commitment with digital content.
Equally popular to cloud storage, but with fewer benefits.
- Instant notifications for new content;
- Organized inbox by user preferences;
- Comfortable and familiar interface; and,
- Access to other sales reps when you need help finding content.
For the sales process, drawbacks of email include all the same elements of cloud, as well as:
- No offline access with poor search and find functionality; and,
- Very high risk of using outdated and obsolete content.
Email likely earns its popularity through ease and simplicity. Sales reps are on their email several times a day, and sellers either jump to an old email, or send an email to their local network soliciting the content they need. This system hampers efficiency and risks slowing down the entire sales force.
[RELATED CONTENT] Resorting to inadequate content management strategies is a symptom of broader sales and marketing trends that we detail in Chapter 1 of our ‘Sales Enablement Success’ Series. Click the link below for a FREE download.
CRM of Sales Force Automation
Many CRM and SFA systems allow users to access content libraries for email cadences and prospecting. CRM has many similar limitations to the above options.
- An up to date library of many content assets and limited or no duplication;
- Prompt attach & send via email for the content library; and,
- May include integrated data analytics for email interactions;
The limitations of CRM or SFA as a digital content management platform include many of the above noted limitations, including:
- No mobile access to the content library;
- No or very limited in-person presentation functionality; and,
- No content consumption insights outside of the email cadence.
We’re all too familiar with CRM vendors assuring their clients that the system has all the content management they will ever need. Content management platforms are built to integrate with CRM and SFA in order to leverage predictive sales enablement and a strong closed loop marketing system. Anyone without it is missing crucial data-driven insights.
Using an intranet is similar to using a cloud, except the content could be spread across several different menus and pages. A large minority prefer to use their intranet.
An intranet enables:
- Initial cost savings on distribution, especially if the intranet is already up and running; and,
- An up to date library of the content pieces.
Intranets are perhaps the worst option as the content can be sorted by any method, there can be duplicates, there is no offline access, and perhaps no off-location access, and every other limitation from the previous options.
Intranets offer no sales and marketing alignment benefits, and likely add the greatest friction to content accessibility.
Personal Hard Drive
We’ll leave content management systems for the end and jump to personal hard drives. 9% sort their own content, and if you’ve ever tried use folders within folders for sorting, you realize very fast that it’s impossible to create effective quick-access structures for real-time sales presentation success.
With the exception of having the content on hand, storing your own content is quite similar to using a cloud storage except with none of the other benefits, and every drawback on that list.
Folders in a computer are great if you’re a computer program with an algorithm to navigate and locate needed content, but terrible for a sales person who needs to add value to a buyer.
An interesting research point I found suggested that on average 7% of the files stored on any traditional file-based system gets lost per annum, either by accident or on purpose while manipulating other files. (Source: Revzonesolutions.com)
Dedicated Content Management Platform
This is where sales enablement software comes into play. If you’re completely new to sales enablement I suggest reading our Sales Enablement Definition for 2015.
Only a minority use a dedicated content management system in 2015, meaning that 88% of sales reps are struggling with the above noted challenges to one degree or another.
The goal is always to produce relevancy and efficiency in the sales process. The best sales enablement solutions offer all the benefits of the above noted options and none of the drawbacks.
To see more about what a top digital content management platform entails, I suggest reading our ‘Content Management Lessons from Netflix’ article.
[RELATED CONTENT] If you’re wrestling with the idea of building your own in house, or buying from a vendor, the FREE download below is for you.