‘Hi, I’m starting up a new business and I need to get on top of this whole digital marketing space. Can you tell me what I should do?’ asked the tech entrepreneur.

‘No problem’ says the digital marketing agency guy. And, after finding out about the client’s business and objectives, he drafted a thought-through plan. The plan was detailed, even laying out a calendar that told the client what he needed to do on a daily basis for the first month. The client was delighted with himself.

‘So how do I manage all this stuff?’ he enquired, excitedly. ‘Well, you use your website CMS and create accounts with Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Keyword Planner, Hootsuite/Tweetdeck, Newsweaver/Mail Chimp, WordPress and Yoast for your blog and …’ By the fifth tool his head was spinning and by the ninth he just said, ‘You’re kidding me, right?’

This is a true story, as related to me by a senior business figure in Ireland. He thought there had to be a better way. And there was. Stay tuned for the happy ending.

As I speak to more and more brands and businesses about content marketing in Ireland, it is clear that marketers are beginning to understand the term better and are starting to believe that they need to look at the area in a more considered fashion. Woo-hoo!

But the other thing that is very clear is that, at the moment, the overwhelming majority of brands don’t hold a truly integrated view of the space. Digital marketing generally exists in a variety of silos, frequently with different agency types - PR, web development, media buying, social media, direct mail, brand agencies - all in there fighting for their slice of the pie. Boo-hoo!

Many of the component bits and pieces of content marketing are there - people are developing more content assets than before - case studies, blogs, infographics, email marketing, social posts, webinars and more. There is lots of activity - mostly campaign-led - but it lives in different silos, oftentimes with these different agencies competing for control.

This creates a huge cost in terms of dealing with different agencies and a lack of clarity and insight into what is really happening because the multifarious reports and activities cannot be integrated. Nobody can give a single view of the prospect because nobody has a single view of all the prospect's contact points with the organisation. Mostly, this activity isn't integrated into the company CRM and there is no lead scoring mechanism for sales and marketing to work together.

What is lacking is the holistic view of how all of these disparate pieces work together to attract people to your brand or company and create interaction with them that leads to sales. The true end-to-end solution that incorporates all aspects of digital marketing (and even print).

It is this integrated customer view, allied to the fuel of content to enable these contact points, that sets content marketing apart as a discipline.

So what did our tech entrepreneur above do? He got himself a Hubspot licence and a content marketing agency and hasn't looked back.

If you find fragmentation frustrating, then drop us a line.

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