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Product
Facts
Content & Organization Readiness Engine

With the need to restructure around the growth of content marketing, we developed MXM CORETM as a tool to help with the first phase of the process. In eight simple steps, we can capture a brand’s marketing needs and ambitions, and based on these inputs, describe a content organization along with a set of considerations. With so many choices to make, we invite you to begin the process below.
Begin MXM CORE
Product Facts
One side of the MXM CORETM equation is Product Facts. To better understand the needs of a brand, this takes into account the product variations and complexity, along with the audience and their journey. As these factors remain constant from year to year, this becomes the foundation from which MXM CORETM starts.
Begin Product Facts
This speaks to the complexity and variety of audience segments that you need to address. What’s important to understand is that the diversity of the audience will have a direct impact on the types and quantities of content that need to be produced.

HOW MANY SEGMENTS ARE IN YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?

Check all that apply.
FEMALE
MALE
Gen Z
Millennial
Gen X
Boomers
Seniors
Whether your brand sells a single, fixed product, has multiple product lines or deals in highly personalized, custom products and services, the breadth and variation influences the number of content topics that must be produced in order to effectively showcase your offering.

HOW MUCH VARIATION IS IN YOUR PRODUCT OFFERING?

Check the one that applies best.
Single product (e.g. Bottled water company that offers a single product)
1
Single product with multiple variations (e.g. Candy bar company that offers multiple flavor varieties)
2
Multiform product with accessories (e.g. Coffee company that offers multiple product forms, flavor varieties and accessories)
3
Multiple product lines (e.g. Computer company that offers multiple product types and models)
4
Multiple product lines + extensive combinations (e.g. Car company that offers multiple models and extensive configurations)
5
The complexity of a product has a large effect on the content that’s produced. Simple, self-explanatory products, like bottled water for instance, may not require a large volume of content in order to help the consumer make a purchase decision. Extremely complex product lines, such as health insurance, may require a significant amount of content to educate or familiarize consumers with your product.

HOW COMPLEX IS YOUR PRODUCT OFFERING?

Check the one that applies best.
Basic (e.g. Soft drink)
1
Simple (e.g. Clothing)
2
Intermediate (e.g. BBQ)
3
Complicated (e.g. Computer)
4
Complex (e.g. Health Insurance)
5
As highlighted in Book 2, the Consumer Journey refers to the stages of your brand’s particular purchase decision process, as well as the rational and emotional needs of the audience at each stage. The relative speed with which these purchase decisions occur—whether it’s hours, days, weeks or months—is directly correlated to how efficient and effective your content needs to be.

HOW LONG IS YOUR CONSUMER JOURNEY?

Check the one that applies best.
Days (e.g. Toiletries)
1
Weeks (e.g. Car Insurance)
2
1-2 Months (e.g. Computer)
3
3-6 Months (e.g. Car)
4
> 6 Months (e.g. Home)
5
Marketing Vision
The second side of the MXM CORETM equation is Marketing Vision. To understand a brand’s ambitions, this accounts for the significance of content quality and speed along with number of channels and level of personalization. As these factors evolve from year to year, the CORE tool can juxtapose different enterprise content strategies.
Begin Marketing Vision
Personalization is the tailoring of experiences, content and messaging to an individual, based on implicit and explicit consumer behavior and preferences. While high levels of personalization make for more effective one-on-one interactions with a consumer, they come with a variety of complexities that will influence people, process and tool decisions.

HOW COMPLEX IS YOUR PERSONALIZATION STRATEGY?

Check the one that applies best.
None / Not Applicable
1
Explicit (Segmentation)
2
Implicit (Triggered)
3
Adaptive (Predictive)
4
One-on-One (Concierge)
5
Understanding the quantity of content that needs to flow through the system on a regular basis is essential to determining how to best support the content organization and where efficiencies can be identified. As we highlighted in Book 2, the quantity of content required is typically defined during the gap analysis that results from a consumer journey-based content audit. For purposes of this question, consider “unique pieces of content” to encapsulate individual content (photos, videos, articles, memes, etc.) publishing opportunities.

HOW MANY UNIQUE PIECES OF CONTENT DO YOU AIM TO CREATE IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

Check the one that applies best.
Roughly 10 pieces of content
1
Roughly 25 pieces of content
2
Roughly 50 pieces of content
3
Roughly 100 pieces of content
4
Roughly 150 or more pieces of content
5
From email to mobile, from the brand’s website to their social platforms, each channel has its own unique characteristics whose strengths and limitations dictate the most effective use of content. The depth and breadth of those consumer touch points across the ecosystem have a significant effect on the volume and type of content that is required.

HOW MANY CHANNELS ARE CRITICAL TO YOUR MARKETING PLAN?

Check all that apply.
Email
Direct Mail
Brand/Product Website
Mobile Site (unique site instance, does not include responsive sites)
Mobile App
Paid Media - Digital
Paid Media – Broadcast
Paid Media – Print
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter
YouTube
SnapChat
Retail POS
Other Channels (e.g., Tumblr, Vine, etc.)
Social media marketing is a time-consuming process, regardless of the industry you’re in. And more than any other channel, consumers have high expectations that their social content demonstrates a high degree of relevancy and timeliness. Depending on the speed with which your brand needs to create content (e.g., monthly, weekly or daily), this has a direct effect on the processes and tools that may be required to make the organization’s daily efforts reasonable, efficient and successful.

HOW FREQUENTLY DO YOU WANT TO POST NEW SOCIAL CONTENT?

Check the one that applies best.
Seasonally
1
Monthly
2
Weekly
3
Daily
4
Hourly
5


04 Thoughts to Consider
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The term "Content-Light" organization applies to marketers who create a limited amount of content that is not a critical part of the consumer decision process. This often applies to marketers who operate in a commodity space, where loyalty and barriers to entry are relatively low. They have a diverse audience, a simple or limited product and a short journey. Marketing team members are cross-disciplinary and often have multiple roles, while strategy is often integrated within the content creation team.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term “Content-Led” organization applies to marketers who have made a strategic decision to use content as a competitive differentiator. This often applies to brands that have a handful of simple products and compete in markets with oversupply, little product differentiation and low barriers to entry. Content is a critical part of their offering, core to their brand and often part of the product experience. Supporting significant content creation, there is often a content strategy team that is separate from the execution team. Measuring content performance is key, as are effective workflow, calendaring and distribution tools.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term “Content-Led” organization applies to marketers who have made a strategic decision to use content as a competitive differentiator. This often applies to brands that have a handful of simple products and compete in markets with oversupply, little product differentiation and low barriers to entry. Content is a critical part of their offering, core to their brand and often part of the product experience. Supporting significant content creation, there is often a content strategy team that is separate from the execution team. Measuring content performance is key, as are effective workflow, calendaring and distribution tools.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term “Content-Light” organization applies to marketers who work in a commodity space, where loyalty and barriers to entry are relatively low. They have a diverse audience, a simple product and short journey. Content is typically not a driving factor in the consumer’s purchasing decision.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term "Content-Centric" organization applies to marketers whose content is a key part of their brand’s value proposition and is required to effectively explain and position its products. This is a robust content enterprise that supports a moderate level of audience diversity, product complexity, quantity of content and the number of channels used for distribution. Organizational structure needs to ensure that content competition among products is minimized and there is a clear division between strategy and execution. The strategy team often determines content priorities and budgets, while the platform team ensures that best practices are followed within each channel. Sophisticated workflow, distribution and measurement tools are typically required.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

We typically see “Content-Centric” embodied in an organization that operates as a high-level corporate brand identity, under which other products and services fit. This type of brand architecture is referred to as a “Masterbrand” or “Umbrella Brand,” and has been utilized by companies such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever. From a content perspective, these types of organizations have the tendency to be both simple and complex at the same time.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term "Content-Centric" organization applies to marketers whose content is a key part of their brand’s value proposition and is used to attract new consumers. This is a robust content enterprise. A diverse audience and extensive product variations are often present. Product cross-sell is a key objective and the content strategy ensures a publisher’s mindset is followed—with content that supports overarching consumer needs playing an important role.


Content partnerships are frequently employed, and owned properties with significant reach offer opportunities for content monetization. Organizational structures need to ensure that content competition among products is minimized and there is a clear division between strategy and execution. Sophisticated workflow, distribution and measurement tools are typically required.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term "Content-Centric" organization applies to marketers who need content to explain the features and benefits of a complex product, support upsell opportunities and shepherd an audience through a long journey. This is a robust content enterprise, with strategy and channel execution being separate teams. The strategy team needs deep product expertise and access to analytics that measure the performance of content at each phase of the journey and often determines content priorities and budgets. The channel team ensures that best practices are followed within each channel. Sophisticated workflow, distribution and measurement tools are typically required.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

"A Scenario for Disaster" applies to marketers with a complex product with a long purchase journey that requires a brand to walk a consumer through multiple decision phases. Without a robust content ecosystem, a brand will not be able to satisfy the needs of the consumer and drive action.


With this content scenario in mind, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term "Content-Focused and Deep" applies to marketers who offer complex products with a long customer journey, and often use personalized content to communicate the rational and emotional benefits of their offering. Due to the nature of their audience, content is distributed in a limited number of channels. The content strategy team needs deep product expertise and translates complex journey needs and pain points to the execution teams. An independent analytics team partners with strategy and execution teams to measure content performance and define a robust test and learn strategy. Organizational structures are often aligned to the consumer journey to empower the creation and delivery of personalized content. Advanced content creation, measurement and delivery tools are frequently in use.

With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

The term “Content-Balancing Act” applies to large marketers who have a diverse and complex product offering, with a long consumer journey, and create a significant amount of personalized content in a multitude of channels. This is a large-scale and far-reaching content enterprise. The organization is designed to balance the often-competing needs of scale, complexity and cost inherent with this volume of content. The content strategy team is independent and lead by a seasoned executive. They often have budget authority over all content creation and set the annual content calendar and adjudicate competing content needs within the organization. Content creation teams are extensive, organized around channels, platforms and specialized expertise. They also frequently report to marketing managers outside of the strategy team. To coordinate content distribution, an advanced and sophisticated set of workflow, calendaring and measurement tools are utilized.


With this content need, below are some key thoughts to consider.

With a low level of personalization, consider a testing strategy to help determine what content is working hardest.
With a medium level of personalization, consider an audit of data sources to prioritize what areas of personalization can yield the most ROI.
With a high level of personalization, consider a testing strategy to help determine how to create efficient personalization at scale.
With a low quantity of content, consider an SEO Analysis to determine what evergreen content can be made to work hardest for the brand.
With a medium quantity of content, consider a Gap Assessment to help prioritize what is most important in the near-time.
With a high quantity of content, consider how a Gap Assessment can help determine what existing content can be leveraged and what new content needs to be created.
With a low number of channels being used, consider how a consumer journey can help prioritize what channels are most important to the audience at different stages.
With a medium number of channels being used, consider how a Channel Strategy can provide focus for the role of each channel.
With a high number of channels being used, consider how a Content Strategy can help guide the right content for the right channel.
With a low speed of social content development, consider how a listening audit can help determine what topics to focus on for content creation.
With a medium speed of social content development, consider how an editorial audit can help prioritize what time of the year to focus on the most.
With a high speed of social content development, consider how a listening program can help jump on trends as they happen in real-time.
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