Lilacs, daffodils, and other spring flowers are blooming, and the moss between the rocks under the old magnolia tree is verdant and bright green. Similarly, change is in the air for content strategy.

I found myself ruminating about content strategy while admiring the flowers in my yard upon my return from Adobe’s annual Summit in Las Vegas last week. The company released a slew of Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Creative Cloud announcements. With generative AI the featured tech, these content, data, and customer journey innovations claim to promise one-to-one personalization at scale. Yes, we’ve heard that promise before, but with Adobe’s announcements and the abundance of other generative AI-related announcements in the market, it’s becoming more believable.

Garden flower

According to Adobe, its GenStudio-integrated products and genAI-first offerings will supercharge the content supply chain: “ … organizations will create, manage, activate, and measure on-brand content.” The company also announced unified experimentation in Adobe Experience Platform and Adobe Journey Optimizer (AJO), which will prove key to scale testing. The B2B edition of AJO focuses on buyer group journey orchestration, linking audience-centric campaigns with real-time customer signals. Adobe Experience Platform AI Assistant provides a conversational interface that is intended to “ … answer tech questions, automate tasks, simulate outcomes, and generate audiences and journeys” within the Adobe apps.

Together, these announcements portend big changes to the way we do B2B content strategy … eventually.

Let me set the stage for why I believe this: Step into the shoes of Jane, the B2B content strategist. She has got her hands on this fully integrated Adobe product suite, working with largely clean data in the Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, and she’s able to federate audiences and data from her company’s enterprise data warehouse to fuel campaigns. Sure, this is assuming a lot, but take a step with me into that future when this all gels together. Jane is just a humble, unassuming, not-too-technical content strategist, but now, with AI Assistant, she can ask questions and get meaningful answers. For example, which content assets (or even asset components) worked best to engage which buying group members at a specific stage in their journey? What other assets did these buying group members engage with and when? What else have they purchased from Jane’s company in the last 12 months? Which accounts progressed more quickly through their journey, and what was different about their engagement from their less-engaged peer group?

The answers to these questions tell Jane much of what she needs to know to craft a content strategy. Now, I have spent my years at Forrester advising clients on just that. Has everything I’ve written on content strategy to date just been rendered obsolete?

Not so fast! Today, I stand by my advice to develop a methodical, insights-driven content strategy that depends upon a holistic understanding of prioritized audience members, their questions, and their preferences, supported by any data you can glean from past campaigns and programs. But at some point in the future, Jane’s level of content intelligence will be available, and it will update everything you think you know about your audience, in real time, with far greater accuracy. Plus, you’ll be able to respond with content generated specifically to meet an audience member’s need. You’ll test this content against similar audience members, tuning it as you go, auto-tagging assets at an atomic level, creating even more data about what works, when, and through which delivery channels.

When that happens, your content strategy will be an AI-led content strategy. The trick will be deriving insights at the right level to move beyond continual tuning to net-new creative thinking for campaigns and programs. Exactly how we will do that remains to be seen.

To be clear, this scenario requires what today seems like a Rube Goldberg-machine-level of AI-supported application interoperability coupled with massive data improvements. Adobe has perhaps the most complete vision, but the market is replete with other vendors working on a variety of approaches.

So what should B2B businesses do now? First of all, pay attention not just to what genAI can do for you at a tactical level but to how it will spark fundamental change. Ari Sheinkin, vice president of performance marketing and analytics at IBM and a featured customer at Forrester’s B2B Summit, said that the Adobe announcements set the stage for rethinking the way we do B2B marketing overall, challenging the audience to “imagine if you could remake B2B marketing and content delivery from the ground up … that’s what we all have to think about now.”

What’s the action item for content leaders? First, lean in and test genAI capabilities added to the software you already own to support governed content generation and automation. Next, look at ways you can integrate technologies to create your own content supply chain, or shed technology debt, and begin adding capabilities that support that vision. Meanwhile, work on your customer data model — its fitness is the key to gaining content intelligence and a reflexive, real-time understanding of your audience.

As for me, I’ll be working on new approaches to content strategy, keeping a close eye on how its definition and execution requirements are evolving. We have some distance to go, but the spring shoots are already starting to appear.

If you need help with content strategy and you’re a Forrester client, please reach out through your account manager.