The Best Content Distribution Channel You’re Overlooking

The Best Content Distribution Channel You’re Overlooking

It reminded me of an experience I had while working on a global marketing team in a Fortune 500 company. We also shared information across an intranet system that notified the sales team of planned releases, updates, launches, and content recently added to the central digital asset management site. These discussions kept the dialogue going and ensured that the right content was being used at the right time. As a director of marketing, I saw a simple solution — content clearly communicated and easily found is content most used. We used the systems on hand, only adding a few new tools to link the content into the process. Which content works best and why? For the most part, the sales team needs early-stage content. It’s worth taking time to investigate the inner workings of what happens to content inside your organization — in particular, how sales engages with it — and to make sharing with that team the first priority, even before sharing with the audience. A version of this article originally appeared in the August issue of Chief Content Officer. Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute Author: Susan Hartman Susan Hartman is a former director of global marketing at Fortune 500 company Schneider Electric, now working with marketing teams in companies of all sizes across the country as a marketing consultant based in New England.

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In a recent planning meeting with a client, I was surprised to hear the sales manager complain to the marketing manager. She didn’t think marketing was producing much in the way of good content her sales team could use. In fact, she argued that a major focus for the new year should be producing better quality content.

I had recently worked with the marketing team on creating some amazing content in support of a product launch, designed to be distributed to target audiences, end users, and prospects. Where did all those assets go? What happened to all those hours of creativity, insightful research, and brilliant strategic focus? More to the point, why were the sales teams unaware these quality assets were available and waiting to be shared?

Turns out this issue is common in organizations, potentially feeding the rift between marketing and sales. Marketing teams apply laser focus to the message, audience, and buying cycle, but, when pushing content for distribution, barely consider their internal sales teams.

It reminded me of an experience I had while working on a global marketing team in a Fortune 500 company. We had fine-tuned the product message, developed dynamic examples and graphics, and published engaging new assets for a launch. Only when sales management caught wind of the new release did we realize the launch notice had not been given to their sales teams. Suddenly, we were playing catch-up.

It was a hard lesson when our content survey later told us that less than half of what we developed was being used and distributed by the sales team.

How we made friends with sales

The biggest change we made was to throw open the doors and invite the sales team to the table during the planning and strategy of our next campaign. This became a best practice in our team and was adopted by other marketing groups within the company. These discussions led to the realization that several process gaps impeded the alignment between our teams.

We determined that three major areas should be addressed:

  • Communication between the teams
  • Delivery of relevant, useful content sought after by customers
  • Ease of access so the sales team could put its hands on that content when needed

Communication, collaboration, and consistency

Our first order of business was to set regular meetings across teams and get them engaged.

Many teams are distributed across the country or the globe, so we worked with…