Published on LinkedIn (xx April 2022)
This morning Rock Content announced the acquisition of WriterAccess, in a content marketing consolidation move. But what does exactly mean? And where is the market going? Here is my take.
First, probably incorrect to talk about a single content tech space/category. Content suffered different waves of fragmentation and consolidation in the last 10 years. Content creation, content lifecycle management, collaboration, asset management/DAM, publishing & distribution are all part of the same pie.
Time ago the content space was wrongly identified with the content marketing platforms (CMPs) category. That category never properly worked out as players (and investors) were expecting. Mostly because CMPs addressed only the needs of the content marketers as if they were a separated professional category; content marketers are marketers instead and this wasn’t properly understood. Packaging and offering strategies were incorrect too. CMPs were not decoupled from other elements like content creation; this forced marketer to buy a SaaS when they only needed to create transactional content.
The failure of CMPs brought a wave of dismissals and acquisitions. This 2nd phase of content martech clearly demonstrated that while brands found challenging to integrate CMPs with their existing tech stacks, it made sense to integrate them upfront with adjacent martech solutions. Adding upstream content life-cycle management or content creation capabilities to sales enablement or downstream publishing tools proved to be the right move. Kapost, Percolate, NewsCred were all acquired by companies operating in adjacent spaces.
The consolidation wave demonstrated one more time that content marketers are… marketers at all effects, and not a different kind of professionals; at the same time it created a gap in the market. The content tech category didn’t consolidate within its own boundaries, but had to leverage adjacent categories to make the consolidation happens.
This is why Rock Content plays a key role. First with the acquisition of Scribblelive (and its brands Ion, the tool for interactive experiences, and Visually, the network of creatives and designers). Second, with today’s acquisition of WriterAccess, the renowned AI-powered marketplace that well complements the already existing talent networks in Spanish & Portuguese, will give birth to the first global multi-language freelance writer community.
All these marketing solutions will be seamlessly integrated into a cloud-like offering for marketers covering for the first time the full lifecycle of content, from ideas and creation up to design of interactive experiences, from content hub design to content creation, publishing and distribution. This is really where creativity and data will meet, at service of marketing professionals.
The story isn’t over, yet. The content space is evolving and today’s acquisition represents another move toward the evolution and consolidation of the category.