What We Talk About When We Talk About Content
Raymond Carver’s 1981 book of short stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a series of vignettes focusing on characters seeking to define and understand the true nature of love through conversation. The deeper the characters delve into attempts to articulate love, the more inarticulate they seem to become.
The same seems to be happening for those of us in B2B marketing seeking to define (never mind solve!) the content conundrum. The deeper we get into the conversation, the more broad and complex the problem reveals itself to be. Often, we find clients trying to solve the “content problem” before coming to a shared understanding of the nature and scope of the problem in the organization.
This approach often leads to the “blind men and the elephant” type problem: Each function views content myopically from its unique vantage point and hypothesizes a solution that solves only a small part of the problem. This siloed view and those emanating from other groups may not easily be cobbled together to create a logical and efficient enterprise-wide result.
As your marketing organization begins to tackle this problem, ensure that the conversation is cross-functional and that all functions involved are considering the three core dimensions of a piece of content:
Understanding content through these three lenses upfront can alleviate much of the waste we see in organizations with a proliferation of unused content. It can also act as a framework for building out the right skills, competencies and workflow for the modern B2B content engine.