Our second annual survey

Our relationship to content has been transformed. So many aspects of our lives, big and small, are lived online. From education to recreation, one is hard-pressed to identify aspects of modern life not changed by digital content. This second annual study from Accenture Interactive surveyed over 1,000 executives from 14 countries and 18 industries to understand this shifting paradigm, and to help organizations respond.

Content must be a vital expression of an organization's purpose, and true to its lifeblood. Content is how the organization expresses itself. In this hyper-connected age, You Are Your Content, it is the voice of your organization. And so, it is no surprise that organizations are beginning to want to own that voice, building new in-house capabilities, innovating in distribution channels, focusing on quality and establishing stewardship at the most senior levels of the organization in order to be everywhere for their audience.


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You Are Your Content




The era of liquid expectations means that the content delivered as part of those experiences competes for customer attention like never before, and the distinction between content for external or customer consumption versus content for internal or employee and stakeholder consumption has begun to disappear.


The net effect of these trends—combined with an increase in number and importance of social channels, and the impact of personalization—means that companies need to create extraordinary amounts of content at higher and higher levels of quality.


Donna Tuths

Global Digital Content Lead
Accenture Interactive


Identity and culture

Content revolutionized marketing, now it's reinventing everything else


Content-first Companies

Content-first companies are disrupting industries from travel to eyewear and athletics to entertainment.

Once a fringe movement, now over 76 percent of companies we surveyed are exploring content marketing.

A rule-of-thumb: what separates content marketing from traditional advertising is a shift from transactional topics of product and service to topics of interest and audience delight.

CEO imperative

This year, we specifically surveyed CEOs to understand their attitudes.

  • Nearly all reaffirmed their commitment to content, seeing it as the primary way to articulate their organization's missions.

  • CEOs were twice as likely as members of their senior management teams to find that content meets their goals.

  • Meanwhile, fewer than a third of employees strongly agree that the content their organizations produce accurately reflects the culture and character of their organizations.

Own your voice

The rise of the in-house studio model points to the need to build and control a company's voice internally.

When asked to explain the reason they are able to create high quality content, respondents consistently cited talent: having both the right level of creative talent aligned to content creation, and having that talent reside in-house. What did respondents cite as the #1 barrier to creating high quality content? Lack of in-house talent.

In past years, business leaders could be expected to cite barriers of budget or technology. Today, creating effective content requires investing in an internal team. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they will be increasingly leveraging in-house talent in the next two years. Successful content is most often rooted in a common culture that can only be lived by an organization's members.



New questions, new answers

The virtualized world is presenting opportunities for alternative models


"The burgeoning demand for content has led it to be identified as having potential to be the 'great limiter' in the next phase of digital transformation, unless companies can find a way to solve for their staggering need while reducing complexity, along with associated costs and quality and delivery issues. The demand side is clear. At the same time, digital technology has been disrupting the supply side. Agencies, which were already struggling to address the technical demands of web development and online media, have been stymied by the technical intricacies of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which are adding new features all the time, as well as new channels like Periscope and Snapchat."

Donna Tuths


How are companies responding?

High-performing companies are transforming themselves, looking for new sources, inspiration and partners to address the transforming landscape.



Content-led models

77% agree that the most innovative companies are investing in content rich activities


70% consider themselves to be a content-driven organization



Taking back the message

76% say they are increasingly leveraging in-house talent to create content in the next 2 years


77% believe the quality of their content is directly correlated to their brief



Reasons why companies are able consistently create high-quality content?

having both the right level of creative talent aligned to content creation



having the right in-house talent


Seeking new forms of creation

74% leverage existing content
72% content templates
62% user generated content
55% content automation
47% crowdsourcing
19% robo-writers


What challenges remain?

With new models come challenges that organizations will have to overcome over time.



Driving adoption

1/4 only a quarter of respondents are committed to change management, education, and gaining buy-in when rolling out transformational changes to content creation.



25% less than 25% feel accountable for the quality of the creative brief


29% only 29% strongly agree that their content is consistent in style and tone across channels


Strategy and governance


27% only 27% strongly agree that their organization has a fully functioning governance model with forums, policies, and procedures under which all content activities and resources are managed


1/3 less than 1/3 strongly agree that their content strategy is inclusive of both marketing and non-marketing content (i.e., sales, customer service, learning, communication, collaboration)


About the research

Accenture Interactive surveyed 1,082 senior leaders among digital, media and communications from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, United States, United Kingdom and from the following industries: Automotive, Banking, Capital Markets, Chemicals, Consumer Packaged Goods, Electronic and High Tech, Health Payers, Health Providers, Life Insurance, Life Sciences/Medical Products, Media and Entertainment, Pharmaceutical/Biotech, Property & Casualty Insurance, Retail, Technology, Telecommunication, Transportation and Travel, and Utilities. The survey was fielded in July 2016.