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On Navigating the Content Marketing Vendor Landscape [ALTIMETER GROUP REPORT]
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By: Sandie Young

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May 22nd, 2014

On Navigating the Content Marketing Vendor Landscape [ALTIMETER GROUP REPORT]

Content | Marketing Technology

content-toolsThe content to marketer relationship is probably a lot like the one you have with your iPhone. You can’t go anywhere without it.

Content drives marketing activities. It’s the eloquent middleman between your brand and your consumers. So, why are marketers behind the ball on strategy and execution?

Earlier this month, Altimeter Group released a report showcasing The Content Marketing Software Landscape. The report found that 70% don’t have a “consistent or integrated content strategy.”

To make matters worse, choosing the right content software to guide the process is like “blind men describing an elephant,” says Altimeter. That sounds about right.

Content creation is a complex, strategic process. The right tool can be like the TweetDeck to your Twitter, the Google Alert to your monitoring. And, the content software landscape is more crowded than ever. The question on our minds: does the perfect tool even exist yet?

Altimeter presents a strategic guide to make more intelligent decisions when it comes to content tools. Below is a recap of report highlights, including tips on selecting the right vendor. Download the full report for more on the content software landscape.

Why The Content Maze Is More Complicated Than Ever 

The right tool can truly reinvent your content machine. But, in today’s landscape, choosing just one isn’t easy. Altimeter lists three trends that are “making this [decision] even more confusing.”

  1. Marketers are faced with a long list of choices. Altimeter recognized 110 content vendors to be exact. Some specialize based on activity (i.e. optimization, creation, analytics, etc.); others assist with tasks in several areas of production.
  2. Vendors are split. Most are small companies. On the flip side, you have big name corporations that try to encompass the full range of content tasks in their offerings.
  3. Paid, owned and earned media are colliding. Marketers are looking to content “stacks” for a holistic tool that will direct the content process from start to finish.From Altimeter:

“While fragmented today, Altimeter believes that the content marketing tool landscape will begin to consolidate in earnest. By 2016, there will be ‘content stack’ offerings in the marketplace — end-to-end solutions akin to ad stacks.”

How To Select the Right Vendor

The right tech decision requires attention to detail. Organizations must first evaluate internal needs and use cases, then plan for integration across activities before identifying potential vendors. From there, it’s easier to rate and prioritize content marketing vendors against organizational goals, use cases and legacy integrations.

Altimeter provides a three-step process to guide your journey—and rates more than 50 content marketing vendors. Download the full report for details. 

The Future of the “Marketing Cloud”

The content landscape is undergoing an accelerated growth spurt. While there may not yet be a perfect solution on the market today, it seems that experts predict big changes in the years to come.

New solutions specializing in specific areas will likely continue to materialize, while investments and acquisitions will continue to consolidate niche tools. But, as Altimeter notes, it will be a few years before the true content “stack” enters the scene.

“Content stacks will be similar in structure and function to ad stacks, with which they will integrate. Eventually, this will become the true meaning of the term ‘marketing cloud.’” 


Download The Content Marketing Software Landscape: Marketer Needs and Vendor Solutions.

What do you think about the future of content solutions? Which ones are most helpful to your content team? I’d love to see your feedback in the comment section below! 

About Sandie Young

Sandie Young started at the agency during the summer of 2012, with experience in magazine journalism and a passion for content marketing. Sandie is a graduate of Ohio University, with a Bachelor of Science from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Full bio.

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