The state of content operations in 2023 across organizations is much like the state of content overall: the best and worst of times.

On one hand, artificial intelligence can assist with everything from personalizing content to actually generating it.

On the other hand, trends such as digital disruption and recession can stop the maturity of content operations before it starts. Aspirations for a digital-forward organization clash with legacy systems and thinking to cause daunting challenges like poor communication, vague objectives, and lack of resources.

Related: What Is Content Operations?

How do we know? The Content Science team just completed the latest iteration of our research into what makes content operations successful (or not). Here, we’re sharing highlights from insights gained in surveying and talking to more than 125 content leaders and professionals with organizations such as Mayo Clinic, Capital One, Amazon, Abbott,, Dolby, American Lung Association, and Zillow.

How Mature Are Most Organizations’ Content Operations? 

If you haven’t checked out our content operations maturity model, you can explore the model here. We developed this model in the spirit of all models are wrong, but some are useful. Overall, we’re seeing less maturity since our last report. The number of organizations at levels 1 and 2 has increased slightly, with a 2% uptick at level 1 and a 10% jump at level 2. But, far fewer organizations operate at level 4.

Current State: 58% of organizations are at levels 1 or 2 of content operations maturity.


To gain first-hand perspective on the realities of content operations maturity, check out our interview on the subject with Lymari Morales, the Associate Dean of Communications and Marketing at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Do Organizations Care About Maturing Content Operations? 

It’s a fair question. If everyone is satisfied with being at levels 1,2, and 3, then we can carry on happily and don’t need to change. But our research participants were not satisfied with lower levels of maturity, as you can see here.

ASPIRATION: Most organizations aspire to reach a higher level of content ops maturity.


Participants at lower levels of maturity were more likely to report that all kinds of challenges are holding them back, ranging from lack of data to problems communicating across silos to lack of strategy.

In an increasingly volatile digital and business world, Content Science President Colleen Jones notes the increasing value of a content maturity model:

When we first started this research in 2015, we thought assessing an organization’s content operations maturity level would be a highly useful but infrequent activity. But, today, we see organizations needing to articulate their level of content operations rather often. For instance, every time a company changes or adds a business model in the name of digital transformation, content operations is an issue. So, having a way to quickly assess and discuss content operations maturity brings repeatable value to everyone involved.

Do Organizations With Mature and Successful Operations Do Things Differently?

Yes. We continue to uncover activities and attitudes that correlate strongly with success. One of those success factors is actually quite straightforward to act on: Offer content-specific training. 

As you can see in the chart below, we found a strong correlation between higher maturity levels and training teams in content specifically.

SUCCESS FACTOR: Content-specific training correlates strongly with higher levels of content operations maturity


How Can I Get Reports and More Details About the Research? 

We’re sharing the insights from examining the state of content operations in 2023 including more data, quotes from content leaders, and commentary from the Content Science team in two main ways.

1. Executive Summary

You can view the executive summary of What Makes Content Operations Successful? below. We’ll also make the slides available as a download for Content Science Review subscribers.

2. Full Report (Premium)

The full report digs deep into content operations success factors such as use of artificial intelligence, evaluating content effectiveness, value of content vision, modern content roles, use of center of content excellence, and much more. The report includes more data, commentary, and quotes from leaders at organizations ranging from ServiceNow to The Home Depot to Dell Technologies. The report is available to Content Science Review subscribers.

Related Webinar Recording: 5 Secrets of Successful Content Operations 

We’ll also include relevant findings in our webinars , The Content Advantage workshop, and our on-demand certifications like Content Leadership.

Curious about your organization’s content maturity level? Take the Content Operations Assessment and for immediate feedback and a PDF of our latest executive summary report. 

The Author

Content Science partners with the world’s leading organizations to close the content gap in digital business. We bring together the complete capabilities you need to transform or scale your content approach. Through proprietary data, smart strategy, expert consulting, creative production, and one-of-a-kind products like ContentWRX and Content Science Academy, we turn insight into impact. Don’t simply compete on content. Win.

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