By Stephen Knight, Global Accenture Sitecore Lead, Accenture

Today’s consumers are more disparate, multidimensional, and demanding of personalized experiences than ever before. This means companies now need to meet customers in a “life-centric” rather than a product-centric way. Life-centricity recognizes the different forces that are now shaping customers' lives, the complexities arising out of the economic, social, environmental, and political exigencies that are continuously causing customers to reassess their values and decisions. Brands that oversimplify consumers and ignore their multidimensionality risk missing opportunities for value creation.

What is meant by a life-centric approach?

In the past, companies have focused on product performance, and have often defined themselves within industry parameters, taking pride in being labeled an industry leader. But industry lines are blurring, and customers are increasingly expecting brands to not only meet functional needs, but to address their values, their economic, social, cultural needs, and beyond. As technology has advanced and intelligence capabilities have broadened, brands are able to develop a deeper understanding of their customers’ lives, and as such, create more dynamic, expressive customer segments that evolve as their customers do, and proactively pinpoint new opportunities for growth. A life-centric approach, however, requires not only a branding mindset makeover, but the delivery of hyper-relevant customer solutions and experiences across a myriad of channels and platforms. This can mean significant investment in time and money.

One of the most significant challenges of digital experience delivery is curating the content itself, as the majority of brands maintain much more content than they can leverage.

Brands spend 85% of their time on operations rather than on strategic content development.

Another critical challenge is maintaining brand consistency across the exploding number of channels and markets, and in the face of an ever-more demanding consumer universe, one that expects brands to deliver consistent experiences regardless of the channel or type of interaction. Adding to the challenge is the fact that the content management lifecycle, from defining the objective, to content creation, asset storing and tagging, and management and delivery, is often highly fragmented, frequently handled among multiple global and market-specific agencies. This often results in the delivery of disjointed digital experiences at the customer level, and from region to region. And with master files frequently stored on agency platforms, brands are often overly dependent on external sources, thereby limiting operational agility and the ability to control costs.

To be a leader in the context of today’s digital world, brands need to deliver customers’ expectations, react at pace and with agility, and operate cost effectively. This requires:

  • Control of the end-to-end content lifecycle – which often means taking back jurisdiction of content from creative agencies
  • Streamlining of routine tasks
  • Standardization of workflows

Accenture has developed what we term Intelligent Content Lifecycle Management, a solution which provides a strategic and operational framework, leveraging the strength of Sitecore’s Content Hub, to enable brands to own the content planning, creation, storage, management and delivery of content across all channels, and to manage the end-to-end process effectively and efficiently across the full organization, from marketing operations, digital marketing, internal and external content creation, merchandizing, and IT departments.

When the content lifecycle is managed in a strategically holistic way, underpinned by powerful technology, brands are able to focus on what’s essential: the creation of highly personalized and engaging customer experiences, while operating cost effectively, maximizing speed-to-market, and minimizing risk. In short, brands are able to create strong, hyper-relevant, and brand-consistent content faster, with more control and at lower cost.

Managing your content lifecycle with Sitecore and Accenture

Looking more closely at the technology, Sitecore’s Content Hub - comprised of a digital asset management (DAM) solution, a product content management (PCM) system and a content management platform (CMP), all based on automated workflows – combined with a composable cloud based DXP (digital experience platform), offers brands an ideal fit-for-purpose solution, able to meet any and all capability requirements. In addition to streamlining operations, the Content Hub allows for rapid scalability and facilitates efficient collaboration on content strategy, creation, and analytics. By utilizing embedded project management and collaboration tools that can be deployed to internal and external teams, it eliminates asset silos and helps ensure strong rights management, thereby reducing the risk of misuse. Strategic decision-making is enhanced thanks to streamlined processes and data sources that offer clear performance insights. Furthermore, Sitecore’s connective and API-driven technology allows for easy and flexible integration with external tools and existing tech stacks.

The bottom line? To be successful in today’s digital landscape, businesses require an Intelligent Content Lifecycle Management approach: a strong DX architecture combined with a holistic cross-channel commerce strategy that enables organizations to effectively manage the complexity of the digital ecosystem and achieve the agility required to drive sales and generate market growth at speed and scale.

Sources: Sitecore and Accenture Song

Intelligent Content Lifecycle Management is an end-to-end approach that helps brands:

  • Optimize content consistency, quality, and delivery
  • Achieve cost efficiencies through economies of scale and improved productivity
  • Accelerate content creation and launch
  • Improve strategic decision-making based on enhanced content performance insights
  • Reduce risk of misuse
  • Maintain sound digital rights management and content compliance

Find out more about how Sitecore and Accenture can help transform your content lifecycle management.

As a customer strategy, experience and transformation specialist, Stephen Knight leads Accenture's Sitecore team in delivering market-leading digital transformation solutions for the world's top brands.