Remember the idiom about not being able to see the forest for the trees? 

In many ways, it crystalizes the message Hilary Marsh will share with attendees at CMSWire's DX Summit this November. While her words will be far more eloquently delivered, she will stress the necessity of looking at content from a high level perspective.

Marsh is the president and chief strategist of Content Company, a Chicago-based content strategy consultancy. The company works with clients including the American Bar Association, Endocrine Society, Institute of Food Technologists, Allstate, Intuit and California State University.

Content Strategist, Professor, Public Speaker

An experienced strategic communicator, Marsh has created digital strategies, developed content strategies and management plans, managed social media guidelines and channels, built e-newsletter programs, written digital content, and helped organizations choose content management systems. As the managing director of, she oversaw the National Association of Realtors’ website and spearheaded the organization's social media strategy.

In addition to consulting, Marsh teaches content strategy courses for Kent State University’s online masters program in user experience design. She manages the 25,000-member content strategy community on LinkedIn and the 1,200-member Chicago content strategy meet-up.

She is also a frequent speaker at national and global conferences, including the AM&P Annual Conference, ASAE Tech Conference, Confab content strategy conference, Content Strategy Forum, Technology Councils of North America summer conference, IA Summit, WebVisions conference and Society of Technical Communications awards banquet, and numerous meet-ups and webinars.

Building Your Content Ecosystem

Marsh assists corporations, associations and nonprofits in getting better results for their content. To do this, she focuses on content creation, management, promotions and governance. 

She'll share her insights on content and digital strategy at the DX Summit this Nov. 14 through 16 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago. Marsh will discuss how organizations can build effective content ecosystems and transform their content into assets that deliver audience value and drive business success. 

CMSWire caught up with Marsh to learn more about developing optimal content ecosystems and how to create one that aligns with the business objectives of your organization.

Audience-Centric, Business-Sensitive Content Strategy

Walter: What message do you plan to deliver at the DX Summit?

Marsh: That all the content your organization creates is more effective if it’s created within the context of a larger perspective. It’s not only about an individual program, product or service, but also about surfacing and connecting the work your organization does and the overall relationship you’re building with your audience through each individual piece.

Walter: Why is content creation so critically important today?

Marsh: Content is the way an organization’s work is manifested in the world. Every product, program, service, etc. is manifested in the world as content. Therefore, all content has to be written in the brand’s voice and tone, and with the audience’s perspectives and needs in mind.

Walter: What are the key elements of a content strategy?


  • Audience understanding (gathering information from surveys, interviews, and staff knowledge), often distilled into personas
  • Articulation of the organization’s strategic priorities and identity (voice and tone)
  • Knowledge of the content that exists, and how it is meeting its goals — and if it’s not effective, developing ways to fix that
  • Creating roles/responsibilities and processes for planning, creating, managing, governing and measuring content
  • Developing guidelines for content creation

Walter: How do you expect the content space to change over the next few years?

Marsh: Hopefully, as organizations understand the role that their content plays for them, there will be an even greater demand — from both executives and those who produce content — for an audience-centric, business-sensitive content strategy.

Walter: Everyone complains about email overload, but e-newsletters remain important marketing tools. Why?

Marsh: Email is still the best push medium there is. Everyone has an inbox.

Walter: What do you do outside of work to recharge?

Marsh: I love listening to live music and spending time outdoors.