By Joe Pulizzi published October 14, 2011

Creating a Content Marketing Team and Workflow Plan

Yesterday, Robert Rose and I held a workshop at Openview Venture Partners‘ headquarters in Boston. The workshop was based on our new book, Managing Content Marketing.

The most compelling part of the workshop (at least according to the participants) was the topic of developing a content marketing team within the marketing department. Here’s some of what we covered.

The Content Marketing Process

The Content Marketing Process

The four phases of the content marketing process include:

  • Creating & Managing the Content
  • Optimizing, Aggregating and Curating the Content
  • Conversations and Listening
  • Measuring and Learning (and adapting the program)

To deliver on these stages, there are a variety of roles that need to be filled within the marketing organization.

The Content Marketing Team

Not all of us have the luxury of hiring a chief content officer (see the chief content officer  job description here), but we all need someone to lead the content marketing strategy. The Chief Content Officer, which may or may not be the VP of Marketing in your organization (or may be a shared role), takes the role of the “chief storyteller” for the organization.  Responsibilities include:

  • Content/editorial management
  • Design approval
  • Web/print/event resources for content marketing
  • Project budgeting, integration with other efforts
  • Contract negotiations
  • Audience development
  • Research and measurement

For Junta42 and the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), that role is filled by me.  Eloqua has Joe Chernov, whose title is VP of Content Marketing. Monetate has Rob Yoegel, their new Content Marketing Director. Even Cisco has a content evangelist.

Managing Editor

Perhaps the most critical role in the process is held by the managing editor.  This role needs to have professional writing (storytelling) experience.

The managing editor is the actual day-to-day storyteller for the organization.  The managing editor makes the content compelling. But, it’s worth noting that they are not always the “source” of the content, which may be the CEO, the engineers or even product development managers. This role may also be outsourced.

Responsibilities include:

  • Content creation/production, scheduling, consistency
  • Mechanics of publishing and management (SEO, etc.)
  • Tagging, images, style

Michele Linn serves as the managing editor for CMI, and has the title of content development director.

Content Creators

These are your sources…your content well.  They may be writers, but in many cases are not.  These are the sources in and around the company that need to be mined for content.  They are the source of material for our story – not necessarily the story itself. All companies already have a wealth of resources for content creation (including our customers). We just need to use them wisely.

Content Producers

The content producers are the ones that make the content beautiful. It compels the audience to engage in the content.  This could be one person, an in-house design team, or even a digital agency in larger organizations. Very often this role is outsourced – especially for different media (e.g. video/audio/multimedia/mobile app).

For CMI, Joseph Kalinowski, our Marketing and Creative Director, serves as our content producer.

Chief Listening Officer (CLO)

Remember – the story is generating conversation. The CLO is the “air-traffic control” for your social media and other content channels. They are there to listen to the groups of customers, prospects, influencers and competitors.

They often maintain the conversation, but also route conversation to the appropriate content resource (hence the air-traffic control title).

The CLO either establishes the “listening posts” or, at minimum, monitors these channels as directed by the CCO.

Pam Kozelka, CMI’s VP of Operations, holds this role for our organization.

Mixing the Team with the Process

Content Marketing Process and Involvement

Remember, there is no silver bullet. Content marketing success can happen differently in every company of every size.  Match the roles needed with the skill sets you have and outsource what you need.

For more detail on this entire process, as well as building the organizational structure, Managing Content Marketing is a fantastic resource – Available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine online retail establishments.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Brody Dorland

    Great stuff Joe…It’s no surprise that your audiences found this compelling. Everyone can use a better blocking/tackling strategy.

    I had a question on your Chief Listening Officer role. We all talk a lot about the “new” CCO role and it’s importance, but I’m wondering if you’ve seen many companies with someone in that CLO role? We push monitoring pretty hard with clients, but most aren’t aware of current technologies and don’t realize what can be gleaned from a consistent listening effort. One of our clients is actually an online monitoring system ( based in KC, and I’m wondering if we need to start looking for that CLO title. Or is that something you just came up with…;o)

    Talk soon…

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Brody…the role of CLO could land on many roles in the company, but specifically, Kodak has a person they actually call “CLO” and that’s all they do all day long. In smaller companies, that role needs to be with a marketing coordinator at minimum. Thoughts?

      • Brody Dorland

        Yeah…we’re finding that many clients don’t have the bandwidth or the “data chops” to be able to listen on a regular basis and do anything with the insights that come down the pipe. That being said, since we (their outsourced partner) understand their strategic goals, we can play that air traffic controller role and triage the juicy nuggets that come down the Spiral16 pipe.

        I think there is a lot of opportunity for agencies and consultants to provide this service to their clients.

  • Matt

    I like the plan but unfortunately from my experience its close to impossible to get companies to even hire a full resource for social media. A blog manager/writer…forget about it. We all know that putting a few talented people on the payroll can pay off big but organizations are just unwilling.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Matt…for small companies, agreed. Our social media person is also our VP of operations. So the point is not to get caught up in “positions” but rather put the roles with the right place.

  • Tom Mangan

    I’m curious: Is editing still editing on the old-school sense of enforcing grammar, style and usage? Or have those concepts faded in favor of aggregating and curating?

    I think editing is principally a matter of judgment and strategy, but a lot of my colleagues in the profession are having a hard time letting go of their stylebooks and edicts.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Great Tom…yes, it’s more important than ever in my opinion, but aggregating and curating is important as well. The style guide falls directly on the managing editor, which should be communicating fully with the content creators (hopefully they’ve seen the style guide) 😉

      • Tom Mangan

        Joe, that’s refreshing on several levels (not the least of which is that fixing commas and enforcing style is how I earn a living).

        I read the first chapter of your book & clicked on the “tell the publisher you want a Kindle version” at Amazon. (After I read my first book on my new iPad, the idea of flipping paper pages seems *so* 20th century).

        • Joe Pulizzi

          Thanks Tom…yep, the Kindle is available now. I still like both print and online, depending on my mood.

  • Tod Hirsch

    Great post Joe. Looking forward to reading the book. Any idea when it’s going to come out on the Kindle?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Tod…funny you ask. The Kindle version was released this morning. Here is the direct link.

      After you are done, would love a review of the book on Amazon.

      Thanks again!

      • Tom Mangan

        Got the Kindle version, thanks for posting the link.

  • Tara Geissinger

    I really like the process you’ve laid out — and I can see why it resonated with so many of your conference attendees! It’s nice to have a plan to follow. I agree 100% with: “Match the roles needed with the skill sets you have and outsource what you need.” Hiring an outsourced content marketing team to complement your internal marketing team can often produce excellent results.

    The internal team has the knowledge and industry know-how while the outsourced team has the scaleable staff and the SEO knowledge. The key to content marketing is often consistency. Maintaining a consistent publishing schedule can sometimes cripple an already busy internal team!

    Glad to see your book is available on the Nook as well. It’s downloading now…. 🙂

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Tara…really appreciate it. If you can, please give your review on after you’ve read the book. Thanks again.

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  • Jen McGahan

    The Chief Listening Officer! I love it, Joe. I’m a one-person shop, but I outsource a lot. This position could be the most important one of all.