AT&T recently finalized its $85-billion merger with Time Warner, and now controls several well-known media brands including HBO, CNN, TBS, and Warner Bros. And within days after that deal closed, Comcast made an offer to buy most of the media assets of 21st Century Fox, which Disney eventually won a bidding war to acquire.
These and other mega deals evidence the importance of content and the value corporate leaders place on owning resources that can develop and produce relevant, engaging and valuable content to their customers and prospects.
Such great content is critical to exceptional customer experiences. According to Accenture Interactive, “Content is arguably a marketer’s most vital natural resource; it fuels and sustains the marketing activities that connect businesses with customers and drive business outcomes. Content is to business what water is to life . . .”
The right content at the right time on the right channel can educate consumers not just about a brand’s products, but also about the problems it can solve for consumers.
Another Accenture Interactive survey of over 1,000 executives in global enterprises shows that marketers understand the role great content plays in their business and are going full force on developing it:
Nearly 80% of respondents believe the content they produce must convey everything they want people to know about their businesses, and three-fourths of the respondents said content quality is the single most important driver of brand engagement.
Over one-third of the respondents said their company is producing an enormous volume of content. On average, large enterprises are creating over 1 million digital assets per year.
But this quest to continue to provide innovative, outstanding customer experiences has fueled explosive growth in the amount of content that enterprises develop and manage every day.
More content, more problems
The sheer volume and variety of content that great experiences require is expanding so rapidly that many enterprise marketers are challenged to manage their content effectively.
Accenture also found that:
More than two-thirds of respondents said they spend the majority of their time on the operational details associated with content.
27% reported having a strong content governance/management system in place.
20% of all content that’s produced is never distributed, which effectively means that for every $1 companies are investing in content, they waste 20 cents.
To fully optimize their content strategies and deliver innovative customer experiences, marketers must rethink and reengineer the processes and tools they use to develop and manage content in order to meet skyrocketing content demands and maximize their return on content investments.
Donna Tuths, Content Lead at Accenture Interactive, described this need emphatically when she wrote, “The exponential growth in content has the potential to be the great limiter. I can say with certainty that there is a finite amount of content you can create and manage using current approaches.”
To manage content effectively, companies need to develop new strategies for how they want to use it successfully. They must implement new technologies and processes to better manage the entire content supply chain, which describes all the activities that must be performed to satisfy content demands, and span all stages of the content life cycle, including:
Planning and ideation
Creation and production
Organization, storage, and security
Activation and distribution
Performance tracking and measurement
Reuse or retirement
An effective content strategy also should address how organizational resources and capabilities will be deployed and utilized at each stage of the content life cycle. Organizational resources and capabilities include: