September 22, 2023

What is a Content Supply Chain (and Why Does it Matter)?

Creating engaging and high-quality content at scale has become a crucial aspect for almost every business. 47% of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson, and 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.

Yet according to Adobe’s 2023 State of Work Research study, 87% of respondents say they struggle with managing content through the lifecycle.

Enter the content supply chain – a set of processes and tools that help businesses manage their content creation, from ideation to promotion. In this blog, we’ll break down content supply chain, explore its business benefits, and explain why it matters for your business.

What is a Content Supply Chain?

A content supply chain is the end-to-end process, workflows, and tools a business leverages to create, manage, and distribute content. It begins with ideation, then moves into an actual request, followed by drafting, editing, and designing. The content is then checked for quality, optimized, and scheduled for publishing. And of course, don’t forget tracking and reporting on results. This entire process is referred to as the content supply chain and includes everyone – and every tool – involved in creation and distribution.

Why is a Content Supply Chain Important?

You might be thinking: “My organization already has a process for getting content to market.” And while that might be true, the statistic above proves that most content supply chains are underperforming.

Content is slow to get to market.

There’s internal misalignment that causes confusion and leads to poor employee morale.

There’s a lot of duplicative effort.

And arguably most importantly, there’s no way to effectively track the performance and results of your efforts.

So why build a high-functioning content supply chain?

Business Benefits of a Content Supply Chain

  • It allows for better planning and resourcing. Have you ever finalized a piece of content and wondered, what was the intended purpose? Or come across two very similar assets created by two different teams? For enterprise marketing teams that are creating thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of assets on an annual basis, duplication is insupportable and prioritization is critical. Having a work management solution at the heart of your content supply chain can help you ensure that the right teams are working on the right projects tied to the right business outcomes, and that everyone has full visibility throughout the process.
  • It helps streamline content production. A high-functioning content supply chain ties together the various technology platforms teams use to plan, budget, create, promote, and track content, making reviews and approvals a breeze. Creatives can stay focused in the tools where they work best, while still receiving feedback and updating task statuses along the way. And when final assets are ready, they can be stored and shared with key stakeholders in a central location automatically.
  • It makes storing and sharing assets easy. Speaking of storing assets, a critical component of any high-functioning content supply chain is a digital asset management (DAM) platform. A DAM provides ready access to all final materials, catalogued and tagged appropriately to improve searchability. The best DAMs also make resizing images, managing version control, and eliminating duplication across geographies a breeze.
  • It allows for closed-loop reporting. What assets are the highest performing? Are there any enhancements or optimizations creative teams can use to improve engagement? If performance metrics aren’t tracked and shared, changes are made based on “gut” versus the facts.

How to Build a Best-in-Class Content Supply Chain

Start with strategy and process.

Implementing technology without considering the impact to people and process is a recipe for disaster (more on that here). If your processes or workflows are broken, even the best software isn’t going to help you succeed. Before jumping into the technology, consider hosting strategy sessions and process workshops that look at things like:

How do we operate today? Where are our major roadblocks or areas for improvement? What metrics are we already tracking / what metrics do we need to track? How do our teams collaborate and work together cross-functionally? The list goes on…

The results of this deep work will help you chart a roadmap to building a content supply chain that meets the specific needs of your organization.

But this work can be hard to do alone given the daily pressures marketers already face and the emotions typically involved. Working with a trusted partner that can provide an impartial, holistic view (plus lessons learned from similar organizations) will ensure the roadmap you build will stick for the long-term.

Leverage award-winning technology.

Enterprise marketing teams are already widely using Adobe tools on the creative side of the house. But by integrating the rest of the Adobe suite – with Adobe Workfront at the center of content orchestration – teams can manage the end-to-end process more seamlessly. This integrated solution from Adobe is known as Adobe GenStudio.

We’ve put together an example of how a high-functioning content supply chain works using a fictitious company, LeapFit. Check out the short video below:

In conclusion, building a high-functioning content supply chain is something that all businesses need to embrace. It allows you to produce high-quality content faster, and develop more meaningful, personalized connections with your customers. It also provides a better experience for the employee doing the work behind the scenes. A win-win all around.

Ready to get started building a content supply chain for your organization? Let’s chat.

Blog Author:
Megan Cacioppo, Director of Marketing
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