When you ask management to fund your content strategy initiative, you need to show them the money.
But how am I supposed to do that?, you may be thinking.
An exchange Sarah O’Keefe and I had in episode 34 of the Content Strategy Experts podcast clarifies what I mean:
Here are some suggestions for developing those ROI numbers that are crucial to securing funding:
Sarah: At some point, you need…an investment from management. You need them to say, “Yes, this is a priority, and yes, we need to do it.” So, how do you do that? I mean, what are some of the techniques for getting past that inertia that, “This is not a high priority, we can do this next year, we have other projects.” How do you get past that sort of initial obstacle?
Alan: Well, content creators are always talking about knowing their audience when it comes to the actual content itself. Unfortunately, they don’t always apply it to their communication with their coworkers and leadership of their company. When you want to talk about why a content process is not working to an executive, they have likely zero interest in talking about tool specifics, why I need this system or that. Give them some metrics, give them some information on return on investment. If we implement this, this is how much more quickly we’re going to get this product into this particular international market. If we make this change here, we are going to lop off 20 to 25% off of the time it takes to get out the content for this particular product, or this service.
- In the book Content Strategy 101, there are several case studies that offer examples of estimating both the costs for an updated content strategy and the savings the strategy will generate. Develop similar numbers to show how your new or modified processes will pay for themselves—and then some.
- If you are considering a move from an unstructured desktop publishing environment to a structured authoring environment based on XML, use our XML business case calculator to see how much you can save by increasing reuse and eliminating manual formatting tasks.
- Don’t limit your analysis to just your department’s content. Are different departments writing the same content (or just slightly different versions)? What are the potential cost savings for sharing content instead of each group writing its own versions?
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