When I wrote my ebook The Content Bottleneck last year, I started with the assertion that there were three kinds of content bottlenecks: quality, quantity, and orchestration (which I called coordination at the time). The book quickly moved on to dealing with the bottleneck regardless of which one a marketer was suffering from, but the classification stuck with me. Specifically, I was amazed how many companies felt like their most acute pain was content orchestration: how to move the plethora of high-quality content they already had to where they needed it to go, when they needed it to get there.

The quality and quantity bottlenecks are well trodden ground, and their causes and solutions have been heavily discussed everywhere from conference panels to industry blog posts. Content orchestration, on the other hand, was the bottleneck nobody seemed to be talking about. So after what must have been 50 conversations with marketers describing their orchestration pain and a few working hypotheses for where it came from, I decided to explore it in more depth.

I spent much of November and December diving deep into the topic: Reading everything I could that felt even remotely related to the problem at hand. That included books and articles about marketing, business, systems and technology, and of course lots more conversations with marketers of all shapes and sizes. The Five Tensions of Marketing Orchestration is the result of all that digging.

What I found is that marketing orchestration isn’t a simple problem. It’s born out of a set of business pressures that nearly every marketing organization is under, which in turn cause tensions that require different kinds of treatments. Like many things that happen inside the complexity of large enterprises, each treatment can create a whole new cascade of pressures and tensions that need to be dealt with. While obviously every company has its unique quirks, I found five challenges that seemed to cut across every conversation I had, each of which could derail a marketing team if not addressed. In Five Tensions, I explore these challenges in detail – how they come about, how they cause problems, and how I think marketers can best address them.

You can download and read Five Tensions here for free. I’m looking forward to what you think about it.