The CMA's MD tells us how media agencies can work in collaboration with content and data marketing partners


A new survey of global CMOs reveals content is one of their top concerns. Clare Hill, Managing Director of The Content Marketing Association tells us how to keep the CMOs happy…

cma content marketing media agencies

We know that it is a tough life being a global CMO these days - fighting for budget is difficult. Once you’ve got it, deploying it effectively is challenging.

Evidence of success is mandatory, but sometimes hard to prove. The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and the means by which to reach consumers is ever-expanding. Data is proliferating. Managing it, and making sense of it, doesn’t appear to get any easier.

As a survey of 276 senior-level marketers – drawn from the ranks of the CMO Council – reveals, the concerns are piling up in their in-tray.

High up on the list is content marketing.

It’s a survey to take seriously. It was conducted by Ebiquity which provides marketing analytics to a host of global advertisers, and the respondents – including CMOs from Samsung, Virgin Atlantic, Ikea, Volvo and AB InBev – representadvertisers with big budgets working at the cutting edge.

You can download the survey here and read CMA consultant editor Dominic Mills’ take on it here.

The key finding from the report is that generating content marketing represents a major concern and that clients are increasingly looking to partner with new types of agencies and organisations, including from outside the traditional groups – 72% of CMOs say they are planning to bring on external help.

One conclusion, looking at the top CMO concerns in the report, is that they are all inter-linked.  The data explosion, analysing and exploiting it, and exploiting new channels…all lead towards content marketing.

Solve content marketing, and you start to solve the others. Effective content marketing is based on data, and is, in this day and age, multi-channel.

But it may be that the CMOs are looking for a solution in the wrong places. Nick Manning, Ebiquity’s Chief Strategy Officer thinks it’s because there’s a perceived shortage of agencies that can generate content across all channels. “The need is for content across multiple channels (including e-mail), so the old ATL/BTL model doesn’t work anymore.”

 But whereas in other areas such as data management and exploitation, Manning says, clients are looking outside to what he calls the solution providers – the likes of Adobe, Accenture, Deloitte or Oracle - in content they’re looking for new types of agencies.

He says, “They don’t look to Oracle or Adobe to do this for them, but they need the cloud-based software guys to do the heavy-lifting. Then they need a new style of agency to convert all that into content and channel options for them. There are real opportunities for new forms of agency.”

The report quotes a US-based financial services advertiser: “We all know content is king. The bigger challenge is figuring out how to distribute the content once it has been created and how to gain traction with the audience once that content has been turned over to the internet.”

Dentsu Aegis Network seem attuned to this if May’s purchase of John Brown Media – a leading branded content agency – is anything to go by.

There’s certainly no shortage of content agencies that can meet the challenges laid down by the CMOs and indeed work together to solve the problem. The benefit of our membership is that we can connect brands and content agencies together through our CMA Advance programme which can help with the CMO’s worry of content marketing.

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