NEW YORK: Senior marketers around the world are struggling to manage the sheer volume of digital content that is now being produced, a new survey has revealed.

Accenture, the professional services firm, polled 1,078 senior marketers from 17 countries who work in 15 different business disciplines, ranging from finance to consumer packaged goods and retail.

A full 92% reported dealing with more digital content than they did two years ago, while 83% expected the volume to increase over the next 24 months.

Half (50%) said they have more content than their marketing organisations can manage effectively while a similar proportion (53%) said they spend more time on operational details, such as legal issues, than on core marketing and branding.

Marketing organisations are investing heavily to get a grip on this flood of content, the report said, revealing that 73% of respondents said their organisations spend more than $50m a year on content management alone.

However, only 45% reported that they are very confident that their digital content investments will achieve business objectives, and with so much focus on the operational side of digital content management, just 16% analyse how content contributes to customer lifetime value.

"The problems marketers are pointing out are symptoms of a broader issue," said Donna Tuths, global managing director of content services at Accenture Interactive.

"There is a finite amount of content you can create and manage using current approaches. Organisations need to recognise content as an enterprise issue that does not belong purely to marketing, IT, or any other stakeholder," she added.

The top three reasons why marketers feel challenged with managing digital content are lack of skilled talent, deficiency in technology, and overall process issues.

More than three-quarters (78%) said there needed to be better alignment with IT because marketing now relies more on technology than ever before.

To help overcome these hurdles, Accenture recommended that organisations develop and manage content under a centralised model.

This would allow marketers to spend almost three times the amount of their time on branding and marketing activities, the report said.

"To truly harness the power of content, you have to bridge the gap that currently exists in the organisation between business units, geographies, and brands – enabling an effective governance and content operating model," said Tuths.

Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff