Chapter 4

The Content Lifecycle

Building a successful content operation requires a basic understanding of the content lifecycle, which has four key stages: alignment, execution, distribution, and analysis. These stages allow marketing organizations to scale content production and ensure that their content operation will allow integration across all teams, tools, and channels.

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Stages of the Content Lifecycle


During the align stage, marketing leadership must develop a standard set of processes for prioritizing marketing initiatives to keep teams focused on executing a unified strategy. Those priorities must be turned into detailed plans and made visible for all stakeholders to enable teams to work cross-functionally.


In the execute stage, marketers must collaborate with one another across a broad set of teams, tools, and channels in order to effectively manage content production. Clear roles and responsibilities should be established to facilitate collaboration, and standard workflows should be implemented to hold everyone accountable to deadlines and deliverables. (Accountability among peers and accountability to leadership.)


Once content is produced and approved, it enters the distribute stage, where it must be made easily available for all internal stakeholders to leverage. Access to tools and channels is crucial for a streamlined publishing process that delivers relevant content to the right place at the right time.


After content has been distributed to the customer, it enters the analyze stage of it’s lifecycle, where marketers attempt to assess its performance. Without a standard form of measurement, however, the data can’t be accurately interpreted. A singular, consistent measurement for content performance— versus the many metrics used in a siloed organization—is needed for proper analysis and revenue attribution.

Each stage within the content lifecycle contains capabilities that need to be established in order to ensure optimal content creation, distribution, and measurement. The following chapters will explain these capabilities and provide best practices for developing them.


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Key Capabilities of Alignment