What's the best way to know if your marketing efforts are working? Look at the numbers. The trouble is, not every business has figured out how to make marketing add up. That's where technology comes in.

Just ask Stephanie Losee. When Losee, Dell's managing editor for global communications, arrived at Dell in 2012, she saw multiple departments creating their own content for the same product launch. To remedy the lack of communication, Dell explored building its own content marketing software platform. Ultimately the company chose Kapost, a workflow, distribution and analysis platform.

For some marketers looking at introducing a new technology solution, concerns arise around integration, ongoing fees, broad adoption across regions and ongoing support. For Losee, the prospect of a rudderless environment was far worse. "My fear was that we'd go on like this, tool-less and manual, bumping into each other's content publishing efforts by accident, forever," says Losee.

The big question brands are now asking is, once I choose a platform, then what? Here are three ideas:

1. Think of your content publishing as a conversation, not a lecture. All too often brands want to control the conversation rather than merelyparticipate in it. Shinola, a made in the USA luxury brand, noticed customers were posting pics of themselves sporting Shinola products in social channels. "They started encouraging this natural behavior, promoting the hash tag #MyShinola,"says James Gross, a co-founder of Percolate, a content management software platform adopted by Unilever and G.E.

2. Focus on base hits, not just home runs. Everyone wants their Oreo Super Bowl moment. The less sexy truth is that brands build their audience through consistent regular publishing. Listen to the conversation around your brand and join inby adding value.

3. Embrace technology. The whole point of introducing a technology platform solution is to institutionalize the process. When Braun launched CoolTec Shavers, they hosted an event with theiragency partners--Starcom, Barefoot Proximity and Porter Novelli used Percolate's mobile app to photograph the event and secure rights clearance. Here, automation simplified a process for multiple stakeholders.

It's an enormous challenge to get all the stake holders on board with a pan-corporate content calendar, admits Losee, but she's quick to add, "I'm so grateful, I'm thinking of giving them my first-born child."