You see a problem in the way your organization does content today, and this—this!—is the year you’re going get the software your team needs to fix it. Like many marketers before you, you’ve determined that spreadsheets and endless email chains do not an effective content operation make. You’ve started shopping vendors, but deep down, you know: You can’t buy a content marketing platform (CMP) alone.

Not that you wouldn’t. You’re smart, efficient, and thorough. But alas, we live in an age in which we must reach consensus or go home.

In fact, Gartner reports that today’s average buying group includes six to ten people. That’s a lot. And with this context, it’s not surprising that the number one reason purchase decisions stall is that buying groups careen headlong into a stalemate. Putting off gathering your stakeholders until you’ve already chosen a solution is a natural reaction to this statistic, but in reality, it’s the worst thing you can do. The most successful buyers bring together the right group early on in the process to align everyone from the start.

Ready to get social? Here’s who you need on your side when it you’re ready to buy a content platform:

1. The Solution Champion

Searching for the solution champion? Look in the mirror: It’s probably you. As manager-level or above, the helm of the ship usually belongs to a marketer who oversees many creators and is ultimately responsible for bringing strategic vision to life.

Role: Director/Sr. Manager/Manager of…

  • Content Strategy
  • Demand Generation
  • Global Marketing

Priorities:

  • Improve efficiency and collaboration
  • Lead a happier, more effective team
  • Demonstrate and report of value to the CMO/executive team

2. The Budget Holder

While not often directly involved in the purchase decision, this executive sponsor’s buy-in is essential. They’ll ultimately be the one who approves the spend (which, if you’re looking for a real CMP, will probably a fairly large one) and help lend legitimacy to your efforts as you work to bring in stakeholders from other teams and departments. In return for their support, they’ll want a content software that centralizes efforts and makes it easier to track message consistency and marketing activity.

Role: CMO or other marketing executive

Priorities:

  • Strengthen brand and message consistency to create better customer experiences
  • Gain visibility into what is put into the market
  • Allocate budget to the most effective programs and demonstrate return on those investments

3. The Users

While not budget holders, these day-to-day users usually do (and should) hold a significant amount of sway in the decision-making process. They know what they need to execute your vision effectively, and are eagle-eyed about the features most important to getting their jobs done. While you think bigger picture, let these folks kick the tires and get a feel for the tactical level of each content platform offering.

Roles:

  • Project Manager
  • Writer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Editor
  • Videographer
  • Web Designer
  • Customer Advocacy Manager
  • Social Media Manager

Priorities:

  • Work with tools more easily through intuitive UX and UI
  • Collaborate with fewer headaches through files and version control, reviews, chat, and notifications
  • Work more efficiently with optimized workflows

4. The Non-Marketers

Sometimes the biggest cheerleaders, other times the biggest naysayers, additional stakeholders range from those who use content to those who manage technology. They’ll want to know that this new content marketing software won’t just be another technological headache. They’ll want to see how it will benefit other revenue teams, like sales and CS, by making collaboration and access to content easier.

Roles:

  • Sales Enablement
  • Sales
  • Customer Success
  • Marketing Operations
  • IT/Security

Priorities:

  • Maximize MarTech investment with seamless integrations and technology consolidation
  • Collaborate seamlessly with marketing
  • Protect and maintain the integrity of data

As you spearhead the buying process, make sure your research considers each of your stakeholder’s needs in addition to your own. Make sure they understand the ways in which a software will better enable their work, and get ahead of the questions and concerns they’ll raise throughout the buying process.

And remember: Buying software the right way isn’t quick. You’ll need to build consensus rather than go it alone, and making the right decision—not just the easy one—takes time. Move too quickly and you’ll wind up trying to solve the same problems all over again a year from now. Do it right, and you’ve set yourself up for a promotion.

 

Ready to go? Grab your How to Buy Content Software guide for everything you need to know.

Zoë Randolph

About Zoë Randolph

Zoë serves as Content Architect at Kapost, where she oversees messaging, hosts webinars, and authors long- and short-form content. When she's not contemplating the future of B2B marketing, you'll find her immersed in a book, talking politics, or agonizing over the mediocrity of Cal Bears athletics.