Everyone is talking about content, but there are some areas for improvement when it comes to maximizing its value.

First, props go to the Chicago American Marketing Association’s BrandSmart 2014 (#Bsmart14) for delivering a powerful and content rich conference last Thursday, March 20.

Every presentation of the event’s theme, “The Art and Science of Storytelling”, tied in an element of history and brand heritage. Each presenter used relevant historical elements of their company’s or product’s brand to tell their story and did so compellingly.

Peppered throughout the day were subthemes which included an increasing need for storytelling with content, being a disrupter in the marketplace and connecting to the audience with authenticity. But, I’d like to highlight a few others.

First, there is a difference between content and context. As CMO of Progressive Insurance Jeff Charney (@jeffcharney) suggested: Content is King and Context is Queen. I think he’s spot on. Everyone is talking content. But, it can’t stand alone. Content has to be put in context so it can deliver a compelling story. And, the same content can be repurposed for different audiences by changing the context.

Second, organizations are publishers of their own content. Each one has to think about their network –like television, radio or print — and when the network is “on” so that each channel gets the most from content, context and timing.

Lastly, in order to execute any of the above, there has to be a clear understanding of where the content will originate. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute (@JoePulizzi), alluded that a surprisingly few number of companies have a documented content strategy and plan. For those that have a content strategist on staff, Joe characterized them as capable resources with access to content, yet inexplicably disconnected from the organization’s storytellers and publishers.

An overall takeaway from the day was that big companies are still in the early stages of realigning their marketing and communications operations with all of the new publishing channels and tools that are out there.

Not unlike their processes for delivering their products or services, companies need better content supply chains to find, create and deliver the right kind of information—and in the right way and in the right place. Take it a step further and I’d suggest that an organization’s experience and history is at the base of that supply chain.

It doesn’t matter whether that experience is yesterday or 50 years ago – it’s all one big resource that an organization can pull from to meet its growth objectives in any and all respects. Even better is the http://translatingfashion.com knowledge that the content is authentic and will connect more with employees, shareholders and customers. While heritage-based content should be relevant and should align with today’s messaging, it does not need to be immediately relevant on a day-to-day basis to make an impact on audiences. This enables content marketers the ability to build a healthy back log of relevant content from their corporate archive that can be used when there are content marketing gaps that need to be filled.

Heritage-based content is not only valuable for its ability to communicate authentically, it also often cheaper to create than other types of content companies often use in advertising, social media, or internal communications. This makes sense as historical content has already been created and is typically already owned by the company.

So, whether you’re driving a marketing campaign, recruitment, or strategic direction, there is great value in maximizing the content supply chain. The content you’re looking for is right there in your own backyard. You just need the tools to find it, contextualize it and deliver it.