Cleve Gibbon

content management, content modelling, digital ecosystems, technology evangelist.

Content Model

A content model is a formal representation of structured content as a collection of content types and their inter-relationships.


In the good old days of print and traditional marketing, broadcast was the dominant communication method. Fire and forget down a single channel. Then along came digital and its proliferation of channels to reach multiple audiences. Web sites. Mobile. Social. TV. Watches. Fridges. We could go on. Literally overnight we went from one message along one channel to multiple messages for many channels. Our traditional content was not ready for delivery along digital channels.

We know content is communication. So we needed better ways to structure content to get it everywhere. Content modelling is about designing modular communications. The content model captures the relationships between all the various communication types. For example, a content model for Netflix visualises how movies, series, episodes, actors, and documentaries inter-relate. Netflix nailed this and is able to create content once and publish it everywhere it needs to be for its viewers: tablet, phone, smart TV, watch, peleton, and desktop. Simple idea, difficult execution.

However, the value is clear. Reduce the amount of duplication of unmanaged content. Increase the reuse of well-governed content. For organisations with lots content, it’s not easy to mine, define, and refine content that exists across the entire enterprise. Going back to go forwards requires a strategic mandate with executive sponsorship. And that is where many folks have struggled. No one ways to boil the ocean. And so content modelling picks the tactical battles. Standing of past successes to increase momentum, one project at a time.

If you want more, head over to content modeling series that provides numerous resources, tutorials, and examples for designing and building a content model.

Get In Touch

About Cleve Gibbon

I'm Cleve Gibbon, CTO at Wunderman Thompson North America where we are passionate about customer experience platforms.

My sort of up-to-date cv tells you my past, linked in shows you my professional network and on twitter you can find out what I'm currently doing.