Brands ‘wasting over $100bn a year on unseen content’

online video 2Marketers might be on a mission to get ever more content, investing millions of pounds each year and pushing their agencies to constantly refresh their activity, but more than half of this content – worth an estimated $100bn – never sees the light of day.

So says a damning analysis of the market by CreativeX, which maintains that the lack of concrete data across the content lifecycle, from creation to activation, means marketers have limited visibility into whether and how their core assets are localised, versioned, and repurposed across markets, brands, channels, and agencies.

CreativeX estimates that the average Fortune 500 company could be wasting at least $25m (£19.8m) a year on unused creative assets, translating to more than $100bn (£79bn) worth of content across the industry that is never activated.

In the current marketing landscape, brands are under increasing pressure to drive marketing efficiencies, but the report claims they are investing in content production without visibility as to how it is used, by who, and where.

This leads to inefficiencies in the content production lifecycle, with CreativeX’s analysis showing that 52% of core assets created by brands were never activated across their markets. This means paid-for creative work was never given an opportunity to drive business value or exposed to the consumer.

As marketing budgets continue to come under strain, advertisers should not just look to cut costs but they should examine where there are opportunities to make efficiency gains in their creative lifecycle. Reallocating budget towards activities that will drive further value might mean more investment in content that is activated, or upping investment into research or media.

While GenAI might cut production costs and time, this investment is wasted if the content is never deployed at all. Without the visibility to track content from creation to activation, and guardrails in place to ensure creative quality, marketers will not reap the full benefits of AI, CreativeX warns.

Ironically, AI can help provide this visibility by employing asset-matching technology that unlocks a view of where and how core assets are localised, and activated, and the extent to which they are reused.

One such system is CreativeX’s Creative Lifecycle application, which has been developed in collaboration with The Brandtech Group, Oliver and client companies, including Bayer, whose marketing team insist the system has enabled unprecedented visibility into their content production process.

Brandtech Group founder and CEO David Jones said: “When I hear all the talk about artificial intelligence and how it’s going to revolutionise marketing, my response is that it’s already here. It’s already happening, and has been for some years, not just since ChatGPT exploded onto the scene.

“AI is disrupting all aspects of marketing. Creative Lifecycle is a fantastic example of an application that pushes way beyond content production, which many brands are now doing.

“It gives global brands access to information they have never had before and our teams are in a position to drive a step-change in efficiency, to truly elevate the use of our clients’ best marketing assets, at scale.”

CreativeX maintains that gaining visibility into an asset’s creative lifecycle allows brands to answer other pressing questions, specifically how content is being used and repurposed, which in turn facilitates a data-driven conversation between global and local teams.

CreativeX CEO and founder Anastasia Leng added: “CreativeX has been using technology to measure inefficiencies in our content production cycle for years now, but this is probably one of the most wasteful patterns we’ve uncovered to date.

“The industry dedicates much air-time to the notion that content is wearing out, but the data shows that more than half of ads we create never reach the consumer, let alone get a chance to wear in.

“Creative Lifecycle allows brands to track how their content is used end-to-end, providing some much-needed transparency on our creative assets’ activation and re-usage rates.”

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