Aug 222014
Content Marketing Structure

graphic courtesy of the Altimeter Group

More and more companies I talk to understand they need to adopt content marketing principles. What isn’t nearly as clear for most of them is exactly how to organize their efforts, and plan for how it will change their current marketing structure.

The energetic folks at the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recently published a report on this question. It’s probably not a surprise that corporate approaches vary greatly, and best practices are in the embryonic stage. As if to illustrate that point, not one of the 27 marketing leaders interviewed for the report had the same title.

That said, in the report CMI described some structural models that seem to be emerging. They also shared some findings on budget allocations that I think are right on the money and important to consider.


  • Ad hoc models  seem to work well within organizations that are “beginning the shift.”
  • Engaging external content marketing agencies and in-house “agency-like” teams seems to work best with large companies trying to mature and/or currently experimenting with different models.
  • Assigning channel managers works best when there is a primary owned media platform (e.g., a brand publication).
  • A central strategist model seems to work effectively when the business already has executive buy-in and the effort is to fundamentally transform the team.


  • Content creation: People, processes, and technology needed to create and produce the content and materials
  • Content distribution and management: Social channels, software, and agency costs around distributing the content
  • Content promotion: PR, ads, and other paid channels used to promote the content being created

Regarding those budgeting points, I’m starting to see the same thing with my B2B and B2G clients. They are realizing that focusing on high quality content creation is fundamentally important, yet just part of the content marketing process. Companies need to budget funds and time to the equally critical tasks of distribution and promotion of their owned content.

The full CMI report is embedded below. How is your organization approaching the content marketing opportunity? Please feel free to connect via a comment or your favorite social media channel — I’d be happy to share some best practices I’ve gleaned over the past five years.



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