Marketers continue to face a series of content-creation challenges, ranging from the amount and value of their content to the way they approach content creation.

Some 44% of respondents to an Aberdeen Group survey say they approach content creation in an ad hoc fashion, and 51% say they focus on the pressure of creating enough content.

The top concern for marketers, however, is how they might be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

In a world of cluttered inboxes and inflated promises, marketers can no longer rely on their marketing instincts alone to reach and engage audiences. The success of your marketing strategies largely hinges on the quality of your content and how well the content engages your audience.

Aberdeen Group research has found that organizations that develop and execute data-driven content enjoy nearly five times more marketing-attributed revenue than those that do not.

Embarking on a content science strategy can be daunting, but it will ensure you win more and leave less revenue on the table.

I'd suggest starting with a detailed understanding of your customers (who they are and what they are interested in). That might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised: only 38% of best-in-class companies implement a personalization experience across all channels.

By taking the following series of steps, you'll not only better understand who your customer is but also identify areas where your sellers are more likely to win. These four steps are the beginning to establishing your competitive advantage.

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image of Gary Skidmore

Gary Skidmore is the CEO of Aberdeen Group, a technology and services company that helps tech sales and marketing executives distill smart data science into actionable moments.

LinkedIn: Gary Skidmore

Twitter: @gskid