Breaking Through the Chaos

Breaking Through the Chaos: Solving the ‘Content Challenge’

Chris Dunmire

The Content Challenge:

Industry expectations on the availability, timeliness, and format of content are changing as consumers demand a more curated experience through a growing number of communication channels. Despite the introduction of new technologies, Asset Managers have struggled to adapt the way they create, store & distribute content to meet these expectations; with siloed teams and a complex infrastructure driving ‘content chaos’ across the organization. We see a large opportunity for firms to rethink the end-to-end production lifecycle, from ideation to distribution, and redeploy their content operating models, to better organize, share and automate content.

Expectations are Changing:

Content management and production has been a constant challenge for Asset Managers over the years. Content and its component pieces, or ‘unstructured data’, makes up over 80% of the information produced by large scale, client-centric enterprises [Gartner 2017]. However, this type of information is notoriously difficult to capture, store and distribute across an organization.

According to the content services platform, Starmind, 37% of employees spend over two hours a day searching for answers within large organizations, with more than 84% making decisions based on assumptions because they can’t find the information they are looking for. This type of lost productivity highlights how the search for information can severely impact’s an organization’s ability to produce well timed, quality content.

More recently, client expectations regarding the availability, accuracy and timeliness of information have grown considerably, which in turn is putting an even greater strain on Asset Managers to produce relevant, personalized, and compelling content for their audiences.

The Impact on Asset Managers:

As a result, Asset Managers are grappling with an increasingly complex content infrastructure, with firms struggling to manage an ever-growing volume of content across more and more communication channels.

Alongside this, there is a need for consistent messaging across client touchpoints, regardless of the medium, which requires close coordination between several teams–from writers to designers, compliance, publishers, and sales–where each function has a part to play across the content lifecycle. However, the ability to collaborate drops dramatically beyond the interactions of immediate team members, with Starmind survey respondents reporting ‘good’ knowledge sharing between business functions at a paltry 65%.

With these challenges in mind, most firms are not set up to scale their content production effectively. Instead, a ‘one-and-done’ mindset persists as content creators struggle to meet mounting product complexity and an expanding volume of content.


How Can This Be Resolved?

This ‘content chaos’ is leading Asset Managers to evolve the way in which they process and present the information they produce. Content, and its component pieces, should be treated as strategic, reusable business assets: to be created once, used everywhere & governed centrally. This entails an approach to managing unstructured data not unlike that of managing structured data, and is just as powerful when done right.

This will require a fundamental change to the traditional ways of working, but it can be achieved when aligned through the following success factors:

It is important to note that most Asset Managers already have the tools and capabilities to support such a shift. What tends to be missing is the supporting strategy and operating model to realize the full functionality of those applications.

This new way of working must be considerate of the full production lifecycle from planning to analysis, while establishing collaboration, efficiency & thoughtfulness at the heart of content at scale. Significant change such as this may seem daunting, but success doesn’t need to come all at once. Instead, Asset Managers should be prescriptive in their scope, roadmap, and objectives. Choosing to think big, start small and scale fast, Managers will find it easier to integrate and expand across relevant business functions while laying a foundation for success through targeted, prioritized program delivery.

What Successes Have Alpha Seen?

Content management at the component level, built upon the principles above, can allow Asset Managers to treat content as a competitive advantage, not as a process and resource quagmire, and make content a differentiator when they go to market.

More compelling client experiences
A more informed understanding of what resonates
Less internal confusion and wasted effort
Significant productivity release back to the business to focus on high value activities

What To Do Now:

Throughout 2022, we expect to see continued focus on how best to organize around a manager’s content platforms and how to drive an effective component strategy across the firm.

To deliver on this strategy, we expect Asset Managers who aim to define and scale a leading content services platform to focus on the following key priorities:

  • Instituting governance groups on enterprise Content Enablement and setting a firm-wide vision
  • Establishing governance processes to identify priorities and execute across core content use cases
  • Investigating what CMS platforms are best positioned to facilitate this transition and what a structured authoring approach would mean within their organization

How can Alpha help?

A consistent, enterprise-level content strategy sheds light on areas of your content infrastructure that require immediate attention. Alpha’s Distribution practice brings industry insights & best practices from SMEs dedicated to the future of content enablement. To learn more or speak to one of our experts, please reach out to Alpha.

About the Author

Chris Dunmire

Chris is a Manager at Alpha's office in San Francisco, CA. He has extensive experience in capability-driven content strategy, technology-enabled business transformations, as well as strategic initiative planning, development and deployment across Alpha’s Distribution practice.