Even in Uncertain Times, Compelling Content is a Sure Thing

Two months into 2023 and it’s fair to say our world is in flux. Economic uncertainty and geopolitical change have made it difficult to predict the future, which is why leading brands are doing everything in their power to understand what customers want today and deliver experiences that speak to those needs.

According to Adobe’s 2023 Digital Trends Report, the key to capitalizing on opportunities this year is content. More specifically, the ability to create, manage, and share compelling content for a global audience across a growing number of channels and platforms.

The good news is that brands have never had a more captive audience, with 89% of senior executives agreeing that demand for content has increased significantly. The challenge is to feed the insatiable appetite quickly, convincingly, and at scale, as evidenced by the fact that only a minority of brands rate themselves as ‘good’ at creating and developing content.

Two sides of the content equation

Success comes down to a brand’s content creation and delivery workflows, which we at Adobe call the content supply chain. Leading brands have already risen to the task, rethinking, refining, and streamlining the way they work across the chain, from planning, to data analysis, to creation and campaign delivery. In fact, 62% of senior executives say they have made their content creation processes more efficient.

Which brings us to the second half of the equation: content workflows. Speed and scale are essential, but they cannot come at the expense of creativity. It might feel counterintuitive to treat workflow issues as a creative challenge, until you consider the fact that 44% of marketing practitioners cite a lack of time to be creative as a barrier to delivering excellent customer experiences.

Once again, industry leaders are tackling this challenge head-on in 2023. Forty-one per cent (41%) of senior executives have singled out work and work management as top technology priorities in 2023, and a similar percentage have prioritized automation to make their marketing and customer experience processes more efficient.

Workflow automation and integration tools like have become increasingly invaluable to content-driven organisations, especially those whose creative and marketing teams now work remotely or in a hybrid environment.

That includes Mattel, the company behind some of the world’s most loved toy brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Fischer-Price. Speaking at Adobe Summit last year, Mattel’s IT leaders explained how its organisation moved from disparate content processes and marketing systems to a single view of its project workflow. Not only did Mattel improve the way its teams collaborate and create content, it modernized its marketing approach to better meet its customers’ expectations.

Personalized, compelling content has and will always build strong customer connections -critical for short-term sales and long-term loyalty. Leading brands understand this, and at a time when they are looking to reach more people in more ways across more platforms than ever, their content supply chain has become the lifeblood of their marketing organisation. That’s why we are seeing leaders invest to get their content machine in order, and why their businesses stand out from the pack.

An opportunistic mindset

The improvements brands have made to their content creation and workflows reflect the pressures faced to attract and retain customers in the current climate. Today’s business leaders are focussed on enhancing their existing processes and technologies to succeed in 2023, with 76% of agency executives saying their clients are focused on short-term metrics and revenue goals.

It also reflects a commendable level of self-awareness, with just 7% or marketing practitioners saying their company delivers exceptional experiences that delight and surprise customers. Encouragingly, nearly half (48%) of senior executives plan to maximize the value of their existing marketing and data technologies. Some are even exploring new forms of customer engagement, with 22% saying their organisation is learning about marketing in the metaverse, for example.

Be it a simple email marketing campaign or an immersive experience in the metaverse, the reigning principle of customer success remains the same. Understand your audience, anticipate their needs, and translate those insights into experiences that connect with people at an emotional level and inspire them to take act. Looking at the results of our 2023 Digital Trends Report, the world’s leading organisations are certainly on the right track.

About the Adobe Digital Trends Report

To download the Adobe Digital Trends 2023 report, click here.

The Adobe Digital Trends Report is a global survey produced in collaboration with Econsultancy that explores how leading organisations are using cutting-edge technologies to empower individuals, transform their business, and connect with their customers. Now in its 13th year, the report draws comparisons between industry leaders and laggards to unearth the strategies, technologies, and issues brands must focus on to succeed and stand out.


The 2023 Digital Trends Report is based on an online survey fielded between September and November 2022 to select Econsultancy and Adobe lists. Our findings represent responses from 9,247 qualified respondents. Industry ‘leaders’ and ‘laggards’ are defined based on brands’ responses to a survey question relating to their company’s relative performance in 2022 versus sector competitors. This focus on leaders and laggards allows Adobe and Econsultancy to uncover what differentiates commercially successful organisations from their competitors.