Another year, another amazing Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland. This year, we decided to take a new approach and gather audience data using an interactive solution assessment at the ScribbleLive booth in exchange for our super swanky mini Etch-A-Sketch. We also found out that these old-school toys are produced not far from Cleveland (huh, who knew—except all the CLE-based attendees who proudly told us). 

Looking at the data from our assessment, there are some interesting findings: 

  1. Producing engaging content is the biggest content challenge, followed closely by lack of budget, resources, and then producing content efficiently (responses – 274)
  2. There’s a notable difference at the Executive level: 33% cite measuring content ROI, 29% selecting “produce engaging content,” and a surprisingly low 14% selecting producing content efficiently as a key challenge. 
  3. Digital marketing took the top spot for what content is being produced for, with Demand Generation coming a close second. Corporate marketing (including branding) and sales enablement were a distant third and fourth, respectively. 

Also worth noting, how few people use a content marketing platform and still struggle with content production using emails, file shares, and other tools that are not optimized for content production. This wasn’t a question on our interactive survey; rather I took an informal poll of 135 attendees during my presentation, in which less than a dozen people raised their hands.  That definitely is a source of cost and time savings to streamline content creation with a collaborative content production platform. 

We’re going to continue gathering data for our content assessment and update the results over time. This brings me to my personal favorite part of Content Marketing World: the keynotes, and notably Henry Rollins. He’s a spark plug on stage. Those who were there know the force of his presentations in which he hardly seems to breathe. My big take-away from his keynote: if you’re going to create content or produce something, make it the best. Don’t go through the motions of producing or repurposing content if it’s not going to be your best work. It’s a good reminder that sometimes we need to take a breath and a step back to evaluate what and why we’re doing things—and how we can do them better. 

Corinne Schmid with Henry Rollins

Based on our findings, it seems the attendees this year are struggling predominantly to produce engaging content for demand generation and digital marketing—perhaps heeding Henry Rollins’ advice might help—or perhaps there’s other factors at play.

What’s your biggest content marketing struggle? If you didn’t get the chance to meet us at CMW, take our booth assessment here.