The way many brands produce marketing content—assets like images, copy, video and all the building blocks of communication that brands use to speak with its audiences to promote and sell products—is fundamentally broken. Their teams aren’t structured correctly, they prioritize the wrong types of content and waste resources duplicating content or chasing goals they can’t measure. But with every misstep lies a lesson and an opportunity for change and growth. Here are top reasons brands struggle to create content at scale.

1. Creating content channel by channel

Marketers may not realize how fragmented their content production processes are. Teams are dedicated to individual brands, divisions or channels, or they work with multiple agency partners, each focused on different channels or outcomes. This disjointed approach leads to duplicate content, gaps in communication and inconsistent brand assets. It all falls to the bottom line, wasting nonworking-spend.

2. Viewing content as a cost, not an investment

If the goal is more efficient content production, stop developing content that only addresses an immediate need. Prioritize foundational, strategic, long-term assets that provide the most value to your audience. Think of content as modules that can be adjusted and repurposed to fit different channels or stages of the buyer’s journey.

3. Missing the creation-to-promotion ratio

Omnichannel marketing demands brands produce more content than ever. But many marketers spend too much money on the wrong types of content, and don’t balance the cost with proportionate media spend. For example, a company may spend $100,000 or more creating social content, then spend only a fraction of that to promote it. Unless those elements are created modularly and are reusable, brands need to balance the cost of creating content to the cost of media spend.

4. Poorly managing creative assets

After spending time, resources and budget developing content, many marketers mismanage their investment by simply not organizing assets. This leads to content being misplaced or recreated multiple times. The mistake—many brands try to scale content production before building a strong asset management system. The content repository should come first, or at least be built concurrently, so the value of content produced doesn’t go to waste.

5. Over-personalizing content

Personalization is an explicit 1-to-1 messaging to a specific customer and can be very effective in campaigns. However, personalized content at scale is resource intensive. Instead, intelligent, scalable content should focus on customization—creating content that resonates with customer personas instead of reaching single individuals. Target top customer segments, continually test and optimize content needs and usage accordingly.

6. Making more content than can be measured

Brands waste time and money producing content that can’t be measured for impact. For example, companies try to create 1-to-1 messaging for specific customers, but then their measurement tool only provides data analysis for buckets of 100 or 1,000 customers. Without the ability to reliably gauge the effectiveness of content, brands can’t produce more engaging content, let alone do it at scale.

7. Using data as bookends

Everyone likes to say data rules, but this invaluable resource is often underused. Brands know to use data and insights at the start of a campaign and at the end to measure the impact.. The mistake is that so many customer actions take place between those two points and are not being measured or applied. That’s where real insights come in and can be effectively applied during campaigns. Focus on the entire data set to fully understand customers, deliver content that supports their buying journey and make in-campaign changes for maximum efficiency and ROI.

8. Relying on unconnected technology

Technology system integrations drive efficiency by streamlining data management and giving stakeholders information needed to plan, innovate and execute. But tech only works when the digital infrastructure connect and operate as a harmonious system. In other words, even though systems may talk to each other, when the volume is turned up on one system, it must impact all systems. By failing to develop a truly connected tech stack, brands are wasting resources and an opportunity for greater operational efficiency.

A better path forward

If you’re like most marketing professionals, chances are at least one or two of these content production problems feel uncomfortably familiar. But with the right people, process and technology (not necessarily in that order), you can efficiently create intelligent content at scale.

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