Read enough industry opinion on content marketing, and you can start to determine
each author’s professional background. If their point of view is focused on:

  • Interactive:
    the author tends to be in digital marketing or may work with a digital agency;
  • Creative:
    a traditional marketer might be chief storyteller, perhaps working with a
    creative agency;
  • Editorial:
    the expert could come from public relations or might work with a PR agency;
  • Media:
    someone with paid media background, who takes a media-neutral approach to
    building an audience or may be working with a digital agency.

Read Between the Lines
If I’d written this article just a few years ago, you could easily tell
my roots are in public relations. By their name alone, my two personal blogs would
confirm this assumption.

But over the last 10 years, my focus became more broadly focused in
marketing. And in the last five years, I’ve witnessed content morph into a clear
mix of editorial, design and development. My last four years at a media agency
have further evolved my point of view.

Marketing’s True North
This experience has taught me that the focus should always be on the
audience – regardless of your background. While this isn’t an epiphany or a deep
thought, it’s critical to remind ourselves of this timeless rule. It tends to
fade into the background when the marketing industry, inevitably, debates who
in an organization should own a new practice area.

Content marketing can’t live anywhere in the building, but it does take
a variety of stakeholders and skill sets to make it work. Regardless of where content
marketing lives in your building, make sure the team has the skill sets needed
for each phase of content marketing.

  • Plan:
    The planning phase requires strategists with an a deep understanding of the
    brand and its audience as well as an appreciation of content and media.
  • Publish:
    Publishing requires a mix of editorial, design and creative that taps technology
    to distribute and share the content as relevant.
  • Promote:
    All content needs help being found. In addition to paid media expertise, analytics,
    search marketing and social media mindsets are required.
  • Optimize:
    The key to sustainable success is constant, informed iteration of the entire
    process and the platform. A team capable of drawing insights from analytics and
    relevant search data is critical.

Story or Science?
Each member on a content marketing team, based on their background, will
focus on the left- or right-brain aspects of content marketing. That’s
understandable. The point is simply to make sure you’ve got the right mix of team
skills and that the focus is, first and foremost, on the audience.

And if anyone asks who should own content marketing? The answer is: the

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