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Essential Tech Enablers for Building Your Content Operations Framework

A content operations solution gives businesses the agility to perform and respond at a digital pace. Which tools can you use for building a content operations framework?

Your goal as a marketer is to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Sounds simple, but we all know it’s an incredibly complicated process that involves:

  • Aligning planning and budgeting with corporate goals
  • Creating, reviewing, storing, managing and sharing content
  • Distributing content across channels, devices and platforms
  • Measuring and analyzing results to ensure marketing efforts are impacting desired business outcomes

Marketers have to work at the pace of digital, which means your teams have to accomplish all of these efforts quickly, while staying on brand and mitigating risk. This requires two key capabilities: 

Agility: To operate at the pace of digital, marketers have to be able to quickly act and pivot in response to business needs, market changes, new opportunities or unexpected events. That could mean launching or changing an in-flight campaign within hours if required. 

Scalability: Every business is looking to grow market share, customers, revenue and profits. Marketing has to be able to absorb and react to this change without slowing down or making mistakes – otherwise your processes and solutions will eventually crack.

A full content operations solution gives businesses of any size the agility to perform and respond at the pace of digital and the scalability to grow and succeed without boundaries.

In fact, since content operations strategy is fundamental to building and maintaining customer connections, midmarket organizations have the most to gain from content operations.

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In Gartner’s “Annual CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 Research” report, respondents stated that Content Creation and Management was a top five most vital capability in supporting marketing strategy.[i]

A content operations solution orchestrates all of the components needed to power an exceptional, personalized customer experience – digital asset management (DAM), marketing resource management (MRM) (productivity management and strategic planning) and integrations with other critical tools and resources marketers use on a daily basis. Let’s take a deeper dive into what each of these key components does within a content operations solution.

Digital Asset Management (DAM): Your single source of truth

Everything is an asset—so manage it like one! A best-of-breed DAM is not just an image library. It has evolved into what we call “a single source of truth.” Yes it includes, images, but it should also manage rich media experiences—graphic documents, office documents, video, 3D, computer generated imagery (CGI), along with text-based content that has file and no-file content objects including usage instructions, disclaimers, claims, license agreements, copyright statements, product benefits, product family descriptions, safety statements, boilerplates, mission statements, campaign messages, promotional messages, tweets, blogs – the list goes on and on.


What marketers need


How DAM delivers
Balance agility and compliance


·         AI-powered auto-tagging

·         Flexible, business-specific taxonomy

·         Agile, ad hoc, or hybrid methods

·         Prepares content for regulatory submissions

Improve time to market and innovation ·         Autoscaling cloud infrastructure

·         Weekly product updates

·         Performance at scale, across functions

·         Stay on-brand and deliver content quickly

Eliminate the work about work ·         Automate content expiration

·         AI learns your specific use cases

·         Govern user access to assets

Support all content types ·         All content types—from text to 4K video

·         Assign business use case to assets

·         Manage it all in a single place

·         Supports creative files like InDesign or Illustrator

Provide content and campaign insights ·         Full view of time, resources, and money that go into content

·         Combine content performance and effort data

·         Business intelligence dashboards display data

·         Measure true return on effort (ROE)

Manage the entire content lifecycle ·         Break down department silos

·         Localize, replace, and refresh content easily

·         See everything in flight and in market

·         Consolidate many tools into one DAM

Marketing Resource Management (MRM): Your marketing engine

MRM is considered the engine of marketing, responsible for money management (e.g., budget planning and spend tracking), content management (e.g., ideation and production), and workflow management.

“I like to compare MRM to a central nervous system. It’s critical for coordinating marketing operations, but it must integrate with other tools to create a feedback loop, from planning to execution to performance management. Think of MRM as a workhorse that keeps your teams on track, on budget, and on brand. “

— Stephanie Liu, Analyst, Forrester[ii]

Productivity Management

MRM gives order to workstream chaos so marketers can get content to market faster. By improving productivity with automated workflows, task routing, reviews, and approvals, busy marketing teams can allocate their time on the work that moves the brand forward. With MRM, you can automate project management processes like task routing, due-date assignments, and project milestones – speeding up delivery, boosting consistency, and making it easier to measure impact.

What marketers need


How MRM delivers
Ability to see the big picture and act on it


·         See all campaigns in one place

·         Track project progress

·         Provide executive views into all marketing

·         Automatically flag risks

Deploy agile methods ·         Intuitive user experience

·         Combine Agile, ad hoc, and hybrid methods

·         Visualize all work at every phase

Improve time to market and innovation ·         Autoscaling cloud infrastructure

·         Weekly product updates

·         Performance at scale, across functions

·         Enables you to stay on-brand and deliver content quickly

Streamline production workflows ·         Optimize resource management with AI

·         See all assigned work in one place

·         Solutions for project managers to track projects

·         Enable mobile reviews

Collaborate across teams ·         Capture new ideas, tactics, and strategies

·         Provide feedback to move projects forward

·         Reminders and notifications to help keep people on task

Get deep campaign insights ·         Compare results against KPIs

·         User-friendly data visualization

·         Create custom reports

Planning and Spending

Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, especially now, as marketing is becoming more data driven and is feeling more pressure to prove their effectiveness. Take on this perspective to start asking better questions about what roles your team needs most, what you can deemphasize, etc.

  • Setting goals for the team
  • Planning content and products to support business results
  • Ensure all pieces of marketing demonstrate their reason for being

The planning and spending capabilities within MRM empower marketers to manage budgets and track expenses. They can easily plan, configure, and visualize budgets to ensure that your marketing spend always aligns with the broader goals of your business. Gain the data-driven insights you need to make more accurate and effective return on investment and return on effort calculations, leading to more impactful brand experiences. A best-of-breed content operations solution will collect data starting from content planning and going all the way through content reuse. With that robust data, marketers can better understand the time, money, and other resources that go into producing content and creating successful marketing strategies.

“Marketing leaders responsible for content marketing and management must clearly understand the value that different technologies provide to their organizations. To do this, you must have a clear plan for measuring the value of content by leveraging the analytics and insights within your content operations ecosystem to define and show ROI.”

– Gartner, The Future of Content Operations: How to Deliver Marketing in a Changing World, 2020[iii]

What marketers need


How MRM delivers
Deep performance insights ·         Make marketing goals a reality

·         Define multi-level review processes

·         Review proposals and creative briefs

·         Map corporate objective

Allocate budgets ·         Get a single view into all marketing budgets

·         Manage spend by program

·         Automate yearly budget process

·         Run what-if scenarios on your budget

Manage spend ·         Manage spend requests from mobile

·         Control vendor and agency spend

·         Get a single view into all spend activity

·         Manage purchases orders and invoices

Track vendor results ·         Track vendor work history

·         Manage RFPs

·         Automate RFP invitations and responses

·         View convenient vendor roll-ups

Integrate with current systems ·         Connects to your system of record

·         Integrate with entire tech stack

·         Create audit trails automatically

Integrations: To ensure seamless operations

Even the most effective tool, if cut off from everything else a user needs to work, isn’t actually all that effective. For marketing to be agile and scalable, marketers have to be able to seamlessly work across all of the tools they use on a daily basis to create and deliver great customer experiences. Content operations solutions stand out from other technologies because of their integrations with other apps, other tools, other resources that teams are already using. There’s no learning curve, there’s no “dip in productivity now to realize benefits later”—content ops solutions just work with your existing tools. Integrating the powerful tools you use on an everyday basis with your content operations solution is an essential step to successfully scaling personalized content experiences.

Integration examples

Salesforce Marketing Cloud ·         Connect marketing planning and operations to campaigns

·         Create personalized customer experiences fast

·         Access market-ready content and seamlessly create personalized messages

Adobe Creative Cloud ·         Enables a seamless connection between a DAM and Creative Cloud solutions, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, to allow creative teams to work directly in their tools of choice while utilizing assets from their DAM

·         Enables check-in/check-out of files from your DAM, creation of new files in these applications with images from the DAM, and automated versioning control and commenting

MailChimp ·         Quickly search for, find, and use DAM content while building emails in MailChimp to accelerate your ability to create attention-grabbing email campaigns with high-quality, on-brand content every time
Slack ·         Enables Slack users to search for and share DAM assets with other individuals via direct or group channels, and preview their tasks directly within Slack
Trello ·         Augment project management capabilities with the ability to quickly search for, find, and use your DAM assets in a Trello card when managing projects in Trello boards
Marketo ·         Without navigating to yet another tab or solution, quickly search for, filter, and use your DAM assets when creating campaigns, emails, and landing pages to speed up content and campaign creation and execution.

Future proof your business with content operations

Just like the ease and immediacy of turning on your car to make it go wherever you want, marketers need the ability to just “go” and perform, without thinking about all of the different variables that go into creating customer experiences. Having a strong content operations solution solves fundamental challenges by empowering teams in every stage of content creation, from planning through performance analysis so they can:

  • Optimize planning and execution
  • Maximize content creation efficiencies
  • Optimize production workflows
  • Manage content centrally, maximizing findability and usage
  • Remain on-brand and compliant
  • Gain confidence in how content contributes to the bottom line

Consumer demands, technology and markets will continue to evolve in ways we can’t fully anticipate. Your business needs to be ready for whatever comes its way. With a full-power content operations solution, your brand will be far more adaptable and agile to support continuous change and take advantage of opportunities that lie ahead. Better integrations, better content management, better and control over workflows – it’s all in content operations.




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Ed Breault, Chief Marketing Officer, Aprimo
Ed is currently the chief marketing officer of Aprimo, the industry-leading provider of digital asset management and content operations solutions. As CMO, he drives the brand’s go-to-market strategy across all marketing functions to empower the marketing organizations of today to become the genius brands of tomorrow by unleashing the power of content. He combines his growth marketing expertise and extensive background in brand development with his passion for developing intentional account-based experience programs that build awareness, demand, and ultimately, revenue.

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