Business leaders are identifying effective content marketing as commercially critical, but at the same time tying the hands of those who might make that happen, says Sticky Content ceo Catherine Toole.

For me, the standout finding of our State of Digital Copywriting survey is not that people prefer print articles to web content, or even that less than 10 per cent have an actual brief for the content they create.

The most frustrating finding of all is that content professionals overwhelmingly cite senior management as making the biggest dent in web copy quality.

What we have is a situation where business leaders are identifying effective content marketing as commercially critical but at the same time tying the hands of those who might make that happen.

Content marketers complain that securing budget for content is one of their biggest headaches, while 30 per cent complain that their content plan is usually ‘hijacked by other priorities’.

Worse still, 52 per cent say that their corporate set up is such that they can only ‘write copy on demand, in response to business needs’.

If we truly believe content is king, then perhaps it’s time to focus on monarchical rule, where someone with some serious clout leads our content marketing strategy and their analytics and qualitative assessments are law.

This requires a serious organisational rethink, asking tough questions about content workflow and governance. 57 per cent of the content professionals we surveyed admitted to having over 3 stakeholders in their content sign-off process, with 5 per cent admitting to 8 stakeholders or more.

How can this kind of content by committee produce the kind of customer delight and measurable marketing effect we’re all after?