According to research from Gartner, less than 10% of enterprises have a content strategy. Although they don’t use the term “content” (they say “information”), the result is the same: strategic thinking about the information we provide our customers is just starting to gain traction among upper management. In most enterprises, it is non-existent.

Business leadership will need to make some major changes in order to tackle (and exploit) the “information explosion” occurring today. Gartner says most businesses need to introduce new roles and new skills in order to succeed in a content-driven world.

Some considerations:

  • What new types of content matter? Who will determination what content types matter and what content types don’t? How will they explore the possibilities? And, what support will be provided to them in order to support future innovation?
  • As content becomes increasingly modular, precision delivery and personalization will become possible. But, who will be responsible for identifying approaches to content creation, management and delivery that were previously unrealistic, but that are now a requirement to remain competitive?
  • How will organizations discover and wrangle content?
  • What permission is needed to leverage information without running afoul of security and privacy concerns?

Gartner provides a few recommendations for organizations looking to get strategic about their content:

  • Leverage Visualization Technologies – Representing complex business information visually can help enterprises make informed business decisions based on actionable data.
  • Start with a Vision of the Future – The vision plays a critical role in content strategy development. Vision not only provides us with motivation (“to become the first ‘zero-waste’ city by 2020”), it also supports critical business decisions (“moving our software — and your information — to the cloud”), and is what we measure against to determine if we’re making progress (“to become the largest retailer of smartphones to Latin Americans living in the US by 2014”).
  • Seek Views from Outsiders – Peers, shareholders, competitors, partners, consultants, analysts, thought leaders, and customers are all sources of useful information. Business enterprises can use these sources to help them build to the business case for change. Best practices, lessons learned, and innovative strategies for success can be obtained by listening to people outside your own organization.

Recommended Reading: Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy, by Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper.