Do brands need a central content team?

While it is a wonderful idea to have a separate central content team, it takes away the thinking power of others in the brand marketing team whenever the word ‘content' appears in their plan

Akanksha Nagar
New Update
Post Thumb

Having a dedicated and specialised central content team is being seen as the need of the hour by several medium to large-sized brands. But it has a drawback. Once there is such a team in place within the marketing ecosystem, everybody else within the brand team stops thinking whenever the word ‘content’ appears in their plan. They conveniently forward the requirement to the central content team. Rather, the content idea is something that should come from everyone.

After all, a marketing team has a full understanding of content marketing and its potential for the brand. So, would not a content idea coming from them already have the necessary ingredients of success?

A few marketers argue that a well-trained marketing team can be considered on a par with any specialist at the CXO level. The brand team must learn to tap the power of content promotion and its amplification. The ownership of content needs to lie within the marketing team. And within the team itself, brands can have some specialists.

Pawan Sarda

Seconding the thought, Pawan Sarda, Group Head, Digital, Future Group, said, “As marketing dynamics change, teams understand the needs of brands, including content, and there is no need for a specialist at the CXO level. In the new age of marketing, the hierarchy has no meaning. I would rather want my team to understand platform-level content that does justice to the storytelling and expect my team to be agile while having a better understanding of content. The moment you create a parallel layer, the ownership somewhere becomes unsettled. Marketing teams today need to have a 360-degree approach because there is no other choice.”

As Sarda hinted, a content specialist at CXO level is not something without which a brand cannot do. Last year, debated how there's a dire need for brands to hire content specialists at the decision-making level, given the fact of how vital content marketing has become for them.

Given the various aspects of content marketing from ideation to measurement of ROI of a content piece, a content specialist may be a must-have for the brands but not at the CXO level.

Abhiraj Singh Bhal

Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Co-founder, Urban Company, added, “If the whole marketing team is aligned to content marketing, then brands can definitely accomplish the best ROI. There is a requirement for a specialist but not at the CXO level.”

On the other hand, Girish Bindal, who was earlier with as Head of Content, said brands or agencies need to have someone at a senior level as someone at the CXO level would better understand content and a customer’s pain points.

Girish Bindal

Such a role at the senior level, Bindal explained, doesn’t just involve handling the content for the brand’s initiatives but also content on a product and a UI/ UX side. And multiple teams, including marketing, product or brand-based content teams, will all benefit by having a CXO-level content specialist. Specialists understand marketing language and lingos and the entire business challenges, including consumer pain points.

MVS Murthy, Head of Marketing and Digital, Tata Asset Management, added, “Specialists at the decision-making level have their expertise and experience of culture, taste and brand values, who then pass it onto the content creators to curate it better. Thus, a specialist at the CXO level is needed.”

Coming back to question on whether there is a need of a central content team, Gopa Kumar, Executive Vice-President, Isobar, emphasised on the importance of a well-trained marketing team that understands content rather than depending on a central team.

Gopa Kumar

Kumar said, “Ideally, there should be a good understanding of content across teams. However, brands need specialists to better focus on specific mediums and creativity. And they need someone at the top level who can provide the team with focus. For brands whose by-product is content, there must be a specialist at the CXO level.”

Discussing how having a specialist at the decision-making level depends on brands to brands, Petal Gangurde, VP, Marketing of XYXX Apparels, echoed the same view as Kumar’s.

Petal Gangurde

She said, “For legacy companies, it is important to have a content specialist at a senior level. Understanding content for an old team is not easy. They need some amount of education to be able to even spend on content marketing. However, for companies that are digitally native, there is no requirement of such a role as the entire team understands the need for content marketing and how it works because they are consuming content themselves.”

Vishesh Sharma

Vishesh Sharma, Head, Content Marketing at Angel Broking, said that the question of whether to have one specialist at the CXO level or to have a well-trained team still remains a grey area as it depends on whether it is a B2B or B2C company, he said. 

“For B2B brands, a content specialist is not needed, as they don’t directly interact with customers. Such brands can get away with just social media agencies. However, if there is a B2C brand, they need to be in a thought leadership space, empowering people with better content pieces. And it becomes crucial to have person specially dedicated to content marketing at a senior position,” he said. 

Anupam Bokey

Arguing that it is a matter of strategic fit, Anupam Bokey, CMO, RPSG FMCG, concluded that as long as content creation in place, getting away with a specialist can also work.

Do brands need a central content team