Managing the large volume of digital content available to marketers is consuming a significant share of their time, according to an Accenture report, “Content: The H2O of Marketing.” The professional services company found that 53 percent of the senior marketing leaders it surveyed say they spend more time on details like requirements documentation, securing legal and leadership approval, and content tagging than on marketing and branding activities.

“Content fuels virtually everything a marketer touches—all roads lead there,” says Donna Tuths, global managing director, content services at Accenture Interactive. “Content is marketing’s most vital asset—literally the currency of communication powering engagement and driving sales. Ironically, the exponential digital content growth now has the potential to become marketing’s greatest obstacle to drive value from it.”

The study’s survey of 1,078 senior marketing leaders in 17 countries found that 92 percent are dealing with more digital content now than they did two years ago, and 80 percent expect that in two years they will be spending more time on operational details than they do today. The focus on the operational side of digital content management has also affected how they measure its effectiveness, as only 16 percent analyze how it contributes to customer lifetime value. Operational statistics such as operational costs, cycle time and time-to-market all rank higher in the survey.

“The problems marketers are pointing out are symptoms of a broader issue,” says Tuths. “There is a finite amount of content you can create and manage using current approaches. Organizations need to recognize content as an enterprise issue that does not belong purely to marketing, IT, or any other stakeholder. Now is the time to step back and look at your content needs on a holistic basis.”

Click here to read more on Accenture’s content management study.