Contentful Speakers Elevate the Importance of Digital Content
As the world has moved online, digital content has become more important than ever, speakers urged at Contentful's annual Blueprints event. The event, which took place virtually, brought together more than 1,000 digital creators from around the world.
Contentful's chief marketing officer, Bridget Perry, highlighted the accelerating pace of change in the digital world. Perry noted that "we're now in the midst of the digital-first era, where digital is the front door to every business in the world. In 2020 in fact, for a period of time, digital was the only door."
Perry emphasized how important it is for businesses to adapt right away, noting that the landscape is already shifting. "it's so amazing to see right in front of our eyes… the pace of this disruption. Driven by a global pandemic, it's accelerating and unfolding right in front of us," she said.
Perry cited multiple examples of companies shifting their strategies for the digital world. Volvo, for example, has vowed to produce 100 percent electric vehicles by 2030 and said those vehicles will all be sold online. Another example was Disney's decision to cut 30 percent of its retail business to focus instead on its new streaming service, Disney+, which Perry called Disney's growth engine.
Constellation Research founder and chief analyst Ray Wang emphasized the need for content in the digital world, stating emphatically that content is king. According to Wang, today everybody is both a content creator and a content consumer. Because of this , Wang posits that businesses must "move out of content management and into content orchestration."
Later in the day, Apply Digital's trio of Jocelyn Wong, head of client strategy, Wells Stringham, head of experience, and Gayan Pathirana, tech lead, presented a human-centric argument for a digital world. "A successful digital solution means more than just the right technology. I requires an understanding of other parts of a business, including its vision, people, and processes," Stringham said.
Wong focused on the need for companies to have a vision, and how vital content is to executing the vision. "Content needs to be more multifaceted; it needs to knit together all aspects of the brand experience the customer has come to know," she said.
While the team placed importance on process and vision, Stringham made it clear that people are the linchpin. "People and communication are critical every step of the way. Without them, you'll lose track of the vision, have a harder time generating internal support, and your entire project will lose steam."
Contentful also used the event to introduce several features and partner-built apps, most notably the Tags and Permissions features that will provide content teams greater flexibility and control over how they organize, find, and edit content and manage permissions.
"Tags and Permissions are a part of our ongoing commitment to advancing the native capabilities of the Contentful platform and supporting builders as they create digital experiences," said Benjamin Keyser, vice president of engineering at Contentful.
Keyser also unveiled Embargoed Assets, allowing teams to secure assets with a digitally signed authentication layer, ensuring only creators have access to their assets.
These platform enhancements build on the recent release of Compose and Launch, two Contentful apps that allow content creators to adapt and publish content independently, without having to rely on developer resources.
Contentful Product Manager Andrew Martinez-Fonts described Compose as an app that gives editors "a familiar page-based interface to manage their web content." Launch, he said, "groups the content for large projects into releases that can be scheduled for publishing together" and also includes planning tools like a calendar view.
Martinez-Fonts said the new products are "as flexible and scalable as everything else in Contentful."
Contentful also introduced several partner-built apps in the Contentful Marketplace. This includes an app built by digital services provider Reply that connects Contentful with SAP Commerce Cloud (formerly Hybris) to help businesses adapt quickly to changing market conditions with direct-to-consumer and omnichannel experiences.
Other partner-built apps for Contentful extend the capabilities of the platform across personalization, ecommerce, translations, and video, including Uniform Optimize, Saleor Commerce, GlobalLink Connect by Translations.com, and Qencode Video Transcoding.
"Our partner ecosystem is incredibly strong and continues to thrive," said Kevin Zellmer, vice president of partnerships at Contentful. "We are excited to strengthen our existing partnerships while growing the ecosystem, which ultimately will bring even more valuable integrations and implementations for our customers."