Content is the lifeblood of modern marketing, so it’s no surprise that three top money-wasting marketing inefficiencies are content-related. If your marketing is currently losing money to inefficiency, chances are it’s related to one or more of these: wrong content, duplicate content, or unused content.

Wrong Content encompasses two main issues. The first is pretty straightforward – the content is wrong because it’s incorrect. Informationally wrong content is an easy fix, though correcting it can still introduce extra headaches and expenses to your content cycle. The second issue is a little more complex – content that is not informationally, but existentially wrong.

If you’re doing customer experience (CX) or account-based marketing (ABM), you need a lot of content to support your strategy. If you’re doing both, you need even more content. But it’s not solely a volume issue –  just having a giant pile of random content won’t actually help your CX or ABM. You need a high volume of content that’s relevant to your very specific customer, and designed to address their very specific needs. If it doesn’t do that, then it’s the wrong content.

Wrong content costs you money both by wasting the resources used to create it, and by losing potential opportunities by not connecting with the right people. So what do you do about it?

Solving the wrong content problem starts way back at the beginning of the content production process. Once you’ve determined your strategy and what you need to support it, make sure everyone involved in creating your content has that information, including the objective for each piece and how its fits into the bigger picture. With that information in hand, your team is positioned to create the right content, the first time.

Duplicate content is the inverse problem of wrong content. In this scenario, your organization knows what content is needed and which customer it should address. The issue is that multiple teams decide to create the necessary content, without realizing they’re all working on the same thing. You end up with multiple variants on the same content.

Spending time and resources creating redundant output is obviously a waste of budget – for the same cost, you could have had each team create something unique, and have that many more content pieces finished. It can also cost more than just money. Presenting potential customers with a competing spread of similar content pieces can leave them more confused than persuaded, and possibly cost you an opportunity.

The key to solving the duplicate-content problem is cross-organization communication. It’s easy for marketing teams to become siloed, especially teams with regional or business unit separation. You need to ensure everyone in your organization has visibility into what everyone else is working on, regardless of what team they’re on. Awareness of what’s in progress on other teams will prevent your content creators from unknowingly double- or triple-booking on the same content.

Unused content is one of the most frustrating types of marketing inefficiency, particularly for your content teams. In this situation, your team has done exactly what they were supposed to do. They’ve created the content you need to address your prospects’ needs and move them forward, and now that content is ready to go to work.

Except…it doesn’t. It sits, languishing on someone’s hard drive or on an intranet server somewhere, never to be used. Your sales team might not even know it exists.

In the short term, unused content costs money by wasting the resources used to create it. Because the content never finds its way into the marketplace, you don’t get any return on that resource investment. In the longer term, you once again face an opportunity cost – you’ll never realize the revenue that might have come from the piece connecting with buyers and convincing them to choose you.

So what to do? This is an area where the importance of sales-marketing alignment really can’t be overstated. Your team produces quality content, Sales wants quality content to help sell, it’s all a matter of fixing the communications breakdown. Better communications practices in general can help with this, as well as tech solutions like sales enablement platforms. The important thing is, have a single place where yours sales team can find all current content, and take an active role in making sure they know what’s available.

Besides just being a drain on your budget, these three inefficiencies have another thing in common: they’re all symptoms of larger orchestration issues, that can have a negative effect on your marketing. Read more on how these happen (and more importantly, what to do about it) in our free ebook  A Guide to Common Orchestration Problems (and How to Solve Them)