Our 2017 Content Operations + Leadership Benchmark Study uncovered no shortage of interesting findings. After thinking about and discussing the implications with the team, I wanted to share a few takeaways that struck me.

1. The More Mature Content Operations Are, the More Likely They Are to Report Success

We found a promising correlation between reported maturity and reported success. Investing in your content capacity likely would not be a wasted effort. That begs the question… what do mature content operations look like?

2. Mature Content Operations Have Leadership, Content Intelligence, and Content Automation

Those elements emerged as essential to modernizing and scaling content operations. Content intelligence requires access to data and tools to analyze and report that data. Mature content teams are curious about their content’s effectiveness or impact. The future of content automation that is quickly becoming now is artificial intelligence.

3. Content Leadership Requires Content Vision

Our study of content teams in 2015 revealed content vision as an important leadership quality. This study confirmed and expanded that finding. Crafting and communicating a vision for content specifically correlates with reporting success.

4. The “Why” of Artificial Intelligence for Content Automation Is Clear But Not the “How”

Our study revealed enthusiastic interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning, but most participants have not progressed much further than enthusiasm. We anticipate figuring out the “how” will be the focus over the next two years. And, if you already have it figured out, you have a significant advantage over most organizations.

5. Content ROI Seems Like a Catch-22

Maturing to the point where you can assess return on investment requires investment in time and resources. The good news is this Catch-22 only seems like one. If you secure that investment and use it wisely, you are likely to report a return.

Combined, these takeaways add to my excitement for 2018 but also remind me of the work we face to overcome challenges. Of course, you might glean different takeaways from our study. My hope is that you find it useful.

A new version of the study is available here.


The Author

Colleen Jones is the author of The Content Advantage and founder of Content Science, an end-to-end content company that turns content insight into impact. She has advised or trained hundreds of leading brands and organizations as they close the content gap in their digital transformations. A passionate entrepreneur, Colleen has led Content Science to develop the content intelligence software ContentWRX, publish the online magazine Content Science Review, and offer online certifications through Content Science Academy.

Colleen has earned recognition as a top instructor on LinkedIn Learning, one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Content Marketing, a Content Change Agent by Society of Technical Communication’s Intercom Magazine, and one of the Top 50 Most Influential Content Strategists by multiple organizations.

Follow Colleen on Twitter at @leenjones or on LinkedIn.

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