If you’re a B2B marketer and take responsibility for building content for sellers, here's one of those déjà vu moments that you’ve come to dread. During a presentation, a slide comes up. You’ve seen this slide before. In fact, you built that slide — a few years ago. What is it doing in this presentation? How out of date is it?

Oh, you know the story. The seller had some version of the original presentation and mixed this and other slides with newer content. Or the original presentation with additional slides is still findable somewhere on a shared drive. But someone changed — customized — it without regard to current positioning, messaging, or branding. From the seller’s point of view, nothing is more natural than to fit content to the needs of the buyer, which progresses the sale. But from the marketer’s point of view, carefully crafted messages are garbled or — worse — just plain wrong.

What do we do? For B2B marketers, the answer is not to just clamp down on customizing. Sellers will always have ways to download or screen-capture content and alter it. The answer is to think about how and why the content sellers use should be customized.

In my new report, “Making Content Customizable Helps Both Sales And Marketing,” I take a close look at how and why different organizations support and manage customized content. In talking to both sales enablement practitioners and vendors, many levels of customization are possible. The trick is using sales enablement automation to support customizable content that frees sellers in a managed environment to better position solutions and align with buyer needs while allowing content creators to guide the process and learn from the results.

For B2B marketers, this means understanding several issues including:

  • The dangers of uncontrolled customized content.
  • The manners in which the levels of customization vary by sales scenario and seller type.
  • The ways in which the sales culture of the organization drive the need for customization.
  • The customization functions that sales enablement automation supports and manages.
  • Use of reporting to discover what works and doesn’t and encouragement of best practices.

You can solve the customized content conundrum by combining technology and process and avoid that dreaded moment of déjà vu.

Continuously curious,

Steven Wright