From a marketing point of view.
The initial stature has changed
Over time, many sections intended for a lot more target groups than only customers have been established on websites. For example, websites have download areas for product files, media libraries with corporate videos, login areas for dealers, and dedicated website areas that provide logos and branding guidelines. Not to mention, of course, a press area for journalists.
So as B2B brands work with different stakeholders, marketing teams are finding that traditional websites alone limit the ability to engage with their stakeholders in a satisfying way.
“Understand stakeholder symmetry: Find the appropriate balance of competing claims by various groups of stakeholders.” – Warren G. Bennis
Every stakeholder group requires its own content
Especially when you have to offer different content to different stakeholders, websites quickly reach their limits. Think of the hub in the US, where the team is supposed to work with different content assets or brand guidelines than the one in Europe. Maybe you need a fast and easy-to-use user authentification system to overcome all the challenges this context creates for you. Or think of your different dealers in various countries around the world. Not everyone needs the same product documentation or branding content, right?
Do you like your corporate design?
Even when it comes to design, it’s complicated to build a branded site with a DAM, PIM, cloud storage, or ECM in the back. Did you ever send a filesharing link via your content source that appeared in your corporate design? Wouldn’t it be great if you could publish your content according to your brand guidelines with just one click? But if – at the same time – it stayed where it was located initially, without uploading any assets to another content source? How do you think that would affect your brand experience and the spirit of your marketing team?
Alternative: Sharing Files with Smint.io Portals
The content silo trap
Last but not least, content needs one thing above all: a good content management system. Most marketers will agree that there is nothing more tedious than constantly updating marketing materials on your corporate website. Just because a sentence in the PDF document has been changed, for instance, now it needs to be replaced across the whole website. Wait, where did I save that again? Yeah, you know what I mean.
Or even worse, let’s think of the different storage locations that we have to use on a daily basis. As you amass dozens of pictures, folders, and videos in various content sources like DAM, PIM, ECM, or cloud storage, your content management becomes more complex, and the content silos continue to grow. One of our customers uses five (!) digital asset management systems. That means different teams store different content in different systems. Anyone who can keep track of it all must be an absolute genius.
In reality, however, this content silo trap is damaging your business.
But what can you do if nobody wants to part with “their” silo?
Smint.io Portals connects with your content source
How content portals help
Something many in the e-commerce sector are already familiar with is now being applied in the B2B sector: Decoupled architecture, meaning the front- and back-end are completely separate but connected to each other via a programming interface (API) or a plugin. Sounds complicated? It’s quite the opposite!
This new generation of content portals is finally making it possible to play out a large number of content sources, interconnecting different sources, with a focus on use cases that respond precisely to the needs of the different stakeholders, always with an eye toward being a simple solution. And, best of all, thanks to sophisticated permission functions, marketing teams can quickly and easily set which stakeholders see which content – without complex programming or adaptations to the existing systems. But always on-brand, with a great UI look and feel.
Based on my experience in marketing and branding, in my opinion, the question is not whether companies will use content portals to communicate with their stakeholders, only when.