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3 Pillars of a Radically Transparent Digital Media Supply Chain

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Do you know what your creative teams are up to? Do you have any idea how well your marketing teams are directing your ad dollars and measuring ROI? You’re likely asking these teams to create richer, more personalized digital marketing content across an ever-increasing number of channels. And it’s also likely you’re giving them more money to work with in order to make it happen. But are you giving them the marketing technology they need to succeed?

If your answer is no to any of these questions, you’re not alone. But as content marketing has evolved, so has the digital media supply chain. The 360-view into content that’s been demanded for so long is finally coming into its own.

The Tipping Point

The need for more content faster is raising the stakes for marketing teams. CMO reports that even enterprises with $500 million or more in revenue rely on only a 10-person creative team to support the demands of 50-plus stakeholders, for example. Aging marketing technology systems don’t help. They require substantial investments to maintain and upgrade but are insufficient to keep up with the new age of digital marketing. Teams remain siloed and transparency remains nearly impossible to achieve.

It all comes together to form what P&G’s Marc Pritchard once described as a digital media supply chain that’s “murky at best and fraudulent at worst.” David Billings, UK Ad Tech Lead for Accenture Interactive UK, adds that “increased complexity has radically reduced advertiser understanding of where their budget is going and how their ROI is generated at exactly the same time as their digital investment has exploded. This has created a dangerous situation. Billions of dollars have flooded into systems that the investors themselves do not understand.”

Those reality-hitting comments were made two years ago and, unfortunately, change hasn’t been fast. Most enterprises are still dealing with:

  • Conventional implementations that lack scalability. Integrations patched together to eliminate these deficiencies only compound the issue, ironically making it even harder to keep up with increased demand for content efficiency.
  • Decentralized creative operations across global teams and agencies that make current systems ineffective at team accountability, traceability, and governance. There’s simply no consistency or transparency when it comes to ad spend.
  • An abundance of data from multiple systems, but no way to correlate and use it to automatically drive marketing decisions and generate better performing content.

It’s gotten to the point in which the largest marketers in the world—enterprises like P&G and Walmart—are not just requesting but demanding more visibility into their ad spend. Agencies, media buyers, and other intermediaries that aren’t proving their worth or allowing that visibility, are being eliminated from the digital media supply chain.

Emerging Solutions

Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company concluded a recent study with the finding that “bold, tightly integrated digital strategies will be the biggest differentiator between companies that win and companies that don’t, and the biggest payouts will go to those that initiate digital disruptions.”

The good news is these solutions within the digital marketing realm have finally evolved, and they’re available and affordable to more than the top-tier marketers alone. When considering a bold move to radically efficient and transparent marketing technology, look for the following three strengths:

  1. It’s content marketing focused. Enterprises and agencies once needed to piece together business-focused platforms for content creation and delivery, but not anymore. Content-focused technologies that work together can achieve the agility, productivity, speed and scalability desired within the digital media supply chain. Only these specialized digital marketing technologies are designed to help automate tasks like personalizing ads and content marketing messages on a global scale.
  2. It’s cloud-native. The evolution of cloud computing enables companies to integrate best-of-breed technology solutions for content, data analytics, and processes into a unified digital ecosystem. And with a cloud-native solution, a full 360-degree view of content is available without pooling in-house resources for security, disaster recovery, updates, scalability, and other necessities.
  3. It uses artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML). These tools help enable marketing teams to aggregate and analyze content performance data from multiple channels, correlate it to individual digital assets, and automatically generate new or repeat/reissue content for in-flight campaign optimization. This is critically important to ROI. The Content Marketing Institute recently discovered more than half of effective content marketers credit their increased success to improved data efficiency including better targeting and the ability to identify and eliminate activities that aren’t yielding results.

Simply investing more into a digital media supply chain that isn’t yielding results is a thing of the past. Smart, efficient and, yes, even transparent digital marketing platforms are now catching up to marketers’ expectations. These systems aren’t proprietary: You don’t need to build or manage them on your own. And they come with the sophistication of AI/ML technology. So instead of focusing on obstacles standing in your way or on answers you don’t have, you can put that time, energy and carefully crafted budget into captivating each and every consumer you target.

Interested in furthering the conversation? Let’s talk.

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