Getting senior management's attention is about showing how costs can be reduced or how value can be created. Content needs to show how it will reduce costs by X percent and increase productivity by Z percent.

Content management has been a fuzzy, poorly respected discipline within many organizations. Its related discipline, communications, is often seen as peripheral and nonstrategic.

To most senior managers, content is a cost. It is seen as not key to achieving results. It does not affect growth, profitability or productivity, nor does it impact the value of the brand.

People are spending an increasing part of their day searching for content. Search, particularly for intranets, is generally poor. You would think that there is a business case to prove to senior management that, if you reduce the time spent searching, you are making the organization more effective.

It doesn't work. To most senior managers, that's too vague.

Can you show a reduction in the average time it takes to support a customer as a result of better search? Can you show that by improving the content quality on your Web site sales leads increase? Can you show that a poor-quality Web experience leads to a negative impression of your department with the public?

There are quantifiable benefits that a quality public Web site or intranet can deliver. There are quantifiable drawbacks to giving your staff or customers a poor Web experience. You must identify them and you must prove them with hard numbers. You must show that content can deliver quantifiable value.

I worked with a large organization recently that changed three words on its home page and increased sales leads by 30%. I know of an organization that changed one word in a Web site heading and trebled the click-through rate. I know of another organization that rid its site of brochure-ware content and replaced it with sharp, customer-focused Web content, and increased sales by over 100%.

Content means business. Quality content delivers. However, you need to clearly articulate the value that your content delivers. Too many Web managers try to do too much with their Web sites. They have so much content to manage that they hardly even have time for metrics.

How accurate and credible are your metrics? Are you educating your senior management about what the really important metrics are?

I heard a senior manager from a large organization recently give a speech about its site. He kept going on about how many "hits" the Web site has. It was embarrassing.

Obviously, nobody on his Web team had told him that hits are a totally useless measure of success. The only reason they are quoted is because they are the largest number in the Web metrics report. (Everyone loves big numbers.) Sooner or later, this senior manager will be informed that he is making a fool of himself talking about hits, and he won't be very happy.

Senior management loves numbers. The more useful numbers you can feed them that illustrate the value the Web site is creating, the better.

But get away from volume of visitors; that's so crude. Instead, talk about 5% reduction in time per support call, a 10% increase in sales leads or a 2% increase in customer satisfaction.

Subscribe's free!

MarketingProfs provides thousands of marketing resources, entirely free!

Simply subscribe to our newsletter and get instant access to how-to articles, guides, webinars and more for nada, nothing, zip, zilch, on the house...delivered right to your inbox! MarketingProfs is the largest marketing community in the world, and we are here to help you be a better marketer.

Already a member? Sign in now.

Sign in with your preferred account, below.

Did you like this article?
Know someone who would enjoy it too? Share with your friends, free of charge, no sign up required! Simply share this link, and they will get instant access…
  • Copy Link

  • Email

  • Twitter

  • Facebook

  • Pinterest

  • Linkedin


image of Gerry McGovern
Gerry McGovern ( is a content management consultant and author. His latest book is The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, which teaches unique techniques for identifying and measuring the performance of customers' top tasks.