Two Roles Your Organization Needs in 2013 Part 1: The Content Czar

Jason Sindel Jason Sindel
January 14, 2013
Digital Marketing , Web Strategy

In this first of a two blog series, Account Manager Jason Sindel delves into the evolving world of content management, customer engagement marketing and workflow to help organizations better plan and budget to support their enterprise marketing goals.

Everyone knows that "content is king" right? Now meet the Content Czar…

Question: How much money does your organization spend every year on advertising and marketing materials?

I'm not just talking about the various in-home, out-of-home and point of purchase advertisement like coupons and mailers, ads in magazines and newspapers, etc. , etc.; I'm also talking about broadcast and online – radio, podcasts, television sponsorships, commercials, original material for Youtube, Facebook, standard and non-standard online units, and on and on.; but not to forget, HR handouts, on-boarding and in-field guides, annual reporting, and so on…

Answer: Way too much not to try and leverage every piece of it.

If the amount of content produced and reproduced by an organization is staggering, then imagine the amount of content produced and unused and the wasted potential of content produced for one use only. Just as we green our business practices through better resource management, conscientious application of common sense, and widespread recycling, so too can we streamline our content conception, production and re-use. And the trick here is management.

Meet the Content Czar: Part-librarian, part-historian, many-part marketer and innovative re-marketer. This person or person(s) are responsible for planning, managing and coordinating the conception, development and execution of all content that might find use and re-use on the web and in social media, and that's just for starters. As a content czar, they set goals for the publication of new/original content as well as find new uses for older content. They watch for trends and prospect for ancient and significant artifacts— an Indiana Jones meets McGyver of content discovery and re-use. Think of your content czar as a dedicated in-house redditor, scouring the web, the archives and the file system for messages and media that matter to your customer and your employees.

Currently this role is being filled now by volunteering staffers and fueled by extra-curricular obsession with little or no recognition for this job they do. Although the skill-set exists now, its value to the company can easily be overlooked or unseen. These ersatz content czars are often responsible for producing content for various product groups, promotional marketing groups, or specialized sales channels, while clawing for a few dollars for the basics like graphic designer resources, copywriting or decent web production; they are the unsung heroes who make a lot do with very little. With the proper title, a strategic mission statement and an organizational mandate, the content czars can arise as leaders. They can become champions of untapped social networks and harbingers of real change towards social business.

In addition to helping run creative development with agencies for major campaigns, the content czar will be responsible for parceling out content for social media, keeping the website fresh and tapping into an active, but little understood customer base for user generated materials. If they begin as mid-level marketers, showed expertise in managing media production, they will excel as they reinvest the knowledge into best practices, strategic recommendations and guiding investment in knowledge management and web content management.

The organization that understands and staffs well for this role will bring strategic planning to a process that is often completed ad-hoc or as an afterthought. This in turn will empower individual business units to take more initiative and responsibility on the web, thereby freeing up critical development and IT resources for product development instead of content management support. A content czar should be responsible for initiating content management training, encouraging innovation in interactive media, and pushing for more research and development. They are tasked with both democratizing content publication within the organization and focusing its intended effect on the customer.

The content czar is just one part of an emerging trend specializing in social media and customer engagement. They form a crucial business link between the business units traditionally responsible for media production and the content managers publishing it, but they aren't the only ones your organization will need to succeed. In order to measure the effectiveness of campaigns (and more granularly, the content within that campaign), they need data. An effective content strategy requires digitally savvy marketers who have a vision and the tools to test and measure everything on the web. While the content czar builds the boats, these digital marketers chart the stars in order to navigate the waters.

Next month, we'll introduce you to the new breed of internet and social marketer, dubbed by us the "customer engagement marketers." Are your "digital" marketers truly digital?

Update: Read Jason's Part 2 of the series Two Roles Your Organization Needs in 2013 Part 2: The Customer Engagement Marketer
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