A saga: the rise and fall of content

Much like a living being, marketing and communication content is born, lives out its life and then dies. However, its life cycle can be rather more complex than that! Let me explain.

In vitro fertilisation!

Content rarely comes into this world by chance. What is worse, its creators like to plan the time of its birth to the very second, or at least the time of its presentation to the world. Mini-content will have already begun its existence in its parents’ reverse planning schedule, sometimes several months beforehand. Moreover, everyone wants to add their two cents’ worth, conception being a collaborative event within a Marketing Resource Management (MRM) solution.


New content makes its way into the media world through a multimedia library (one of the MRM “services”). Its life is already mapped out, because it was conceived for a very specific purpose. Before being launched, it will be given a name, indexed, examined, approved, tagged and introduced to its new little friends (because you can’t choose your own friends in the world of content!).

Life’s great big marketplace

All’s fair in love and war! The aristocracy of marketing content, where we find Sir “Corporate Film” and Prince “e-Book”, or even Earl “Photos of the CEO in front of the Factory”, are quickly sent into battle, at the risk of an untimely death. At the end of the day, however, Mr. Blue-collar content does not do too badly: a product photo can even expect to be used for several years. Although they come from different sides of the tracks, these creations have an equal footing on two fronts. First, there is the tough law of the marketplace: this is only called upon when it suits the marketing teams. Then there is the sacred “rights management”, which alone is responsible for determining its application: geographical area, medium, duration, etc.

Programmed obsolescence

Retirement to a place in the sun is rare for content. It is more often programmed to end up as a sacrifice on the “Altar of Rights”. Every day, as a matter of course and without mercy, Digital Asset Management (DAM) deletes content that is unlucky enough to have reached the end of its administrative use – with no exceptions. Other content is un-published due to visual fatigue, or is captured by the data police, who always get their man. Moreover, quaking with fear before an epidemic that will surely lead to total photographic genocide, there is the “change of logo”!

Teacher’s pets

Just like any other society, there are special favours and privileges. In some cases, un-published content is fished out at the very last minute. These lucky little ones may be offered the chance of a new life in another country or in a new market, sometimes with a “totally new look”, theirs for the taking. Others are merely offered a reprieve: they will be cloned, albeit with enhancements, because “the idea was good, but this photo is really too dated”. Finally, the faded stars end up in that twilight home for content: the “Company History & Archives” section of the group’s corporate website, although they will not get many visitors.

Archaeology 2.0

Now that you have some idea of the fate of your marketing content, go and rummage in your computer amongst your department’s shared files, or even in some of the paper files. You are sure to find a few gems, which will either bring a tear to your eye or make you laugh out loud. What is more, there is a strong chance that they will spark off a few good ideas and provide inspiration for future marketing and communication campaigns. Perhaps you will even look at your content in a new light.

If you have any question, contact us!


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