Optimizing your content supply chain to deliver exceptional experiences
Marketing organizations operating their global websites find themselves in the midst of content chaos, and they struggle to keep their webpages up to date and accurate. Business teams march forward with their aggressive plans, and marketing organizations scramble to cope with the mounting demands of creating digital experiences.
The situation gets aggravated in the context of multi-region, multi-brand operations with multiple languages and decentralized teams. Adding commerce and regulatory requirements into the mix, the content supply chain becomes complex, crossing internal teams, regional borders, and enterprise boundaries.
Global teams follow their own fragmented workflows that decrease transparency into work activities. Teams use multiple disconnected technologies, which prohibit data exchange and collaboration. Business processes required in managing web operations are executed in ad hoc fashion, which doesn’t help repeatability. Webpage authoring happens within a web CMS, and marketing managers usually lack visibility into the progress of work creating a gap. Webpage updates are not tracked. Activities are not tracked. No performance indicators are captured. And as a result, there are no opportunities to improve.
Imagine a global product business planning a series of product launches to meet their new aggressive business strategy. Building digital experiences is the key to product launches. Their teams work in silos and struggle to meet the challenge. The marketing manager in charge of the product launch programs wants to have visibility into the progress of launch efforts. The product manager would want to ensure that product information embedded in the experiences is accurate. Experience development teams want to avoid repeating work and cut down the review cycles. Content authors want to reduce the overhead activities impeding the work progress.
Addressing all these concerns and achieving content velocity for your websites at scale requires optimizing your content supply chain. In this article, we’ll talk through four strategies to help you do just that.
Strategy 1 — Incorporate work management into your website operations
Modelling activities in work management systems
Work management continues to be a challenge affecting organizations’ ability to scale their web operations, and it’s often overlooked when managing websites. We suggest onboarding work management tools like Adobe Workfront to help you model web activities into web projects.
Modelling activities into tasks and converting them into project templates improves repeatability. Integrating a work management system with web content and delivery systems helps smoother operation. Work management bridges the visibility gap and brings transparency and accountability into the activities. It also helps onboard everyone — including external agencies — in the marketing organization into a single platform and makes collaboration easy. Plus, a content project activities archive could be used as audit trails for regulatory compliance.
Strategy 2 — Identify and optimize content workflows for your website
Content workflows for websites
According to our 2023 Digital Trends report, 43% of content practitioners consider workflow issues to be a critical barrier holding back their marketing organization. Content workflows for websites are intertwined with marketing asset production and experience development workflows involving marketers, designers, content authors, and developers.
Optimizing asset production workflow is more than just a part of achieving content velocity — it’s a crucial step. Experience development entails UX design and front-end development. Interrelated workflows need to be identified and optimized. Review each of the workflows and align them with industry best practices. Determine manual, laborious activities and automate them. Integrate systems for a smoother flow of content across systems.
Strategy 3 — Measure and drive content operations
Dashboard showing web operational analytics
Data-driven operation is the practice of using data analytics to optimize the planning, creation, distribution, and delivery of web experiences. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and identify the data points that make up those KPIs. Trap those data points from systems across the supply chain, then collate and move them into a dashboard to obtain insights.
Driving operations with data has the benefit of determining the benchmarks and the current state achieving continuous optimization. The dashboard provides early warning when the current state is not in line with the expectation.
Strategy 4 — Tap into the power of AI
AI use cases across content supply chain for websites
We are seeing a rise in AI across marketing. Gartner predicts that by 2025, organizations that use artificial intelligence across the marketing function will shift 75% of their staff’s operations from production to more strategic activities. Web experience management products are getting filled with AI capabilities.
With all that said, it’s time for organizations to embrace the AI wave. AI models can be trained with organization-specific datasets to suit their taxonomy and optimize operations. AI can help in all phases of the content supply chain. It can generate content ideas, create content variations, adapt content to regions, change the tone of textual content, optimize content for search, improve content recommendations, and more.
Start your website optimization journey
If you’re looking to scale your web operation, you should work toward optimizing your content supply chain. The first step in that direction is to orchestrate the work activities. We recommend onboarding a work management solution like Adobe Workfront and modelling your activities as projects in it. In this roadmap, you should have plans to optimize your business workflows, drive operational analytics, and fuel continuous optimization.
At Adobe Professional Services, we can help get you started on this journey of optimizing your content supply chain. Our team is helping global organizations realize content velocity by making their content supply chain lean and efficient.
Sivaram Thangam is a principal technical architect with Adobe Experience Cloud expertise, driving large-scale marketing technology projects for Adobe’s customers from discovery to delivery.