Content Supply Chain – The Time is Ripe to Reimagine the Content Ecosystem Lifecycle | Blog

Content is key to creating connected and engaging experiences. By effectively managing the content supply chain, enterprises can achieve greater productivity and scalability and produce high-impact content. Discover how the content ecosystem has evolved, explore the potential of generative Artificial Intelligence in reshaping the content supply chain, and gain insights into what’s next in this blog.

In today’s hyper-connected world, where customers interact with brands across multiple touchpoints, the demand for seamless experiences and one-to-one personalization has reached unprecedented levels. This has exponentially increased the desire for all forms of quality content that aligns with customer expectations.

The increasing appetite for content, coupled with rising customer expectations, poses a challenge for marketers to create, share, and track quality content at scale. Marketers need strategies and implementation mechanisms that can streamline the workflow, deliver content at scale, and track results to gain a competitive differentiation.

Evolution of the content ecosystem – then, now, and forever

The content ecosystem evolution has been nothing short of transformative. The 1990s saw the emergence of the internet, leading to the inception of digital content (mostly text-based with limited interactivity) and its eventual breakout from traditional media.

The dawn of Web 2.0 brought dynamic and user-generated content. This coincided with the rising popularity of blogging platforms in the 2000s, the proliferation of smartphones, and the dominance of social media platforms in the 2010s. These factors significantly boosted the content ecosystem.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic provided further fuel to accelerate into the next generation of content preference – short-form, engaging, and snackable content.

In this multi-form content phase, ranging from text and videos to virtual/augmented reality (AR/VR) content, the ever-changing ecosystem dynamics continue to redefine content consumption behavioral shifts.

As we step into the connected future, consistent omnichannel content might not only define which form survives but also lead to the emergence of newer and more engaging content formats.

Content supply chain – another jargon in the marketing world?

One might question the need to adopt a content supply chain when the current content ecosystem seems to function smoothly. However, the demand is driven by the ever-evolving content lifecycle with fast-changing consumer preferences and demands. The need to create personalized omnichannel experiences that can grab customers’ eyeballs in today’s crowded internet adds to the challenge.

A content supply chain is essentially a process to streamline content ideation, creation, management, and distribution in a structured and efficient manner. It ensures a seamless workflow, from ideation to delivery, optimizing collaboration, maintaining quality, and meeting diverse content delivery platform demands.

Effectively managing the content supply chain enhances productivity, enables scalability, and ultimately allows organizations to consistently produce and deliver impactful content in today’s dynamic digital landscape.

Exhibit 1: Defining a content supply chain lifecycle


While the term “content supply chain” might be new and gaining traction, consolidating multiple components of the content ecosystem lifecycle has become increasingly important over the past few years.

Enterprises and marketers also face technology and internal enterprise challenges beyond content. These include the lack of quality content, plagiarism, siloed communication, high manual involvement, omnichannel inconsistencies, and a fast-evolving landscape. To adopt a content supply chain at scale, the inefficiencies surrounding the fragmented content landscape need quick resolution.

The absence of a content supply chain greatly impacts content developers, marketers, enterprises, consumers, and other stakeholders involved in the content lifecycle. Without key performance indicators (KPIs), developers lack sufficient information and feedback on content to gauge effectiveness. Similarly, marketers are unable to precisely target their desired audiences due to a lack of relevant content. Enterprises also cannot tap into potential leads and manage content quickly at scale. Ultimately, without a content supply chain, end consumers would be barraged with an excess of irrelevant and annoying information, leading to a reduced experience.

Exhibit 2: Benefits of adopting a content supply chain


Generative AI and the content supply chain – reshaping the content ecosystem lifecycle

Generative AI (gen AI) has brought about a technology revolution. Touted as the next chapter in human-machine interaction, its impact on the content supply chain is extraordinary.

Gen AI can potentially revolutionize the content supply chain by assisting humans across the proposal, development, activation, and insights stages. It also can automate many manual tasks involved in creating and distributing content.

This technology could significantly reduce costs, improve efficiency, and produce better content quality and consistency. As a result, many enterprises have already invested in gen AI tools and solutions to supplement their workforce across the lifecycle stages.

Exhibit 3: Optimizing the content at scale for increased efficiency of marketing teams


Almost 50% of marketers either use or experiment with gen AI during their work according to our report, Content Supply Chain – Revolutionizing the Content Development Lifecycle. With the increasing adoption of gen AI in the content ecosystem, analyzing its degree of adoption and complexity provides deep insights into its usefulness as illustrated below.

Exhibit 4: Comparison of the complexity with the adoption of creative use cases


It is not just about the content supply chain platform, but how it must be implemented

The content supply chain product market is heating up, with newer entrants joining well-established tech vendors, offering organizations many new options. However, it becomes imperative to ensure any new products enterprises adopt can be seamlessly integrated into their existing infrastructure and content pipeline.

With very few major tech vendors providing professional services for content supply chain product offerings, Global System Integrators (GSIs) have become essential. While GSIs offer consulting, implementation, or managed services for individual content supply chain components, the fragmented nature often can lead to integration issues. Thus, GSIs must develop end-to-end capabilities across the content supply chain ecosystem to meet growing enterprise needs and preferences.

GSIs must adhere to a strict framework that will enable them to offer strategy planning, design and implementation, run and operate, and manage services across the four content supply chain layers. This will enable GSIs to partner with enterprises to transform their content workflow process. A detailed framework can be found in the report, Content Supply Chain – Revolutionizing the Content Development Lifecycle.

What does the future hold?

Connected experiences will power the future. Overall, the personalization and interactive experience landscape has become increasingly complex and diverse. This requires brands to constantly adapt and stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies to reach and engage customers. Content is key to achieving connected experiences.

Having a predefined clear vision and strategy before adopting a content supply chain is essential to avoid wasting organizational resources. A thoroughly defined content strategy, optimized activation and delivery pipelines, and investment in proper content creation solutions and business KPIs are crucial for success.

Overall, a well-designed content supply chain can help enterprises stay ahead of the curve and break down internal siloes between different teams. This promotes consistency and responsiveness to changing market conditions. By implementing a content supply chain, enterprises can reduce duplication of efforts and meet KPIs in a standardized manner.

For questions about selecting the right content supply chain platform or to learn more about personalization, interactive experiences, or developments in this space, contact the Everest Group team at [email protected], or [email protected].

Register for our webinar, The Generative AI Odyssey: A Year in Review and What’s Ahead in 2024, to learn more about future themes across gen AI.

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