GET CLOSER TO YOUR CUSTOMER

Is there anyone out there in the marketing world who is feeling the pinch? Anyone who is being asked to go faster? Do more with less? Are people wondering where the time has gone? Are any creatives upset with the time allotted for being creative? Are teams frustrated with approval delays, and fragmentation of platforms?

Things are changing…We are entering an era in marketing where messaging needs to be deployed at a much faster rate, but our systems, platforms, and practices are holding us back. The consumer has set new stakes in the ground and we as marketers need better tools to communicate effectively to them.

As we enter this new era in marketing we believe there are new table stakes that are relevant to success:

NEW TABLE STAKES

Consumer tech is today’s great democratizer — for us as marketers, it flipped the ecosystem and put your consumer in control. The consumer now lives in Mobile, this is where we as marketers get their attention. The content processes we have used in the past do not support this new environment, the cycles are too slow and expensive, and the type of content these cycles produce do not perform well in mobile. Mobile is quick bite, constant drip, relevant and NOW…

Move at the speed of the consumer, or get left behind. These are the new table stakes. All efforts need to go towards creating an agile operations infrastructure which can keep pace with today’s environment. As mobile becomes the new platform and volume of visual content creation almost incomprehensible, management and deployment of digital assets becomes paramount.

INEFFICIENT CONTENT ENGINES

As organizations are faced with these new realities it is paramount that technology plays a role in uniting systems to enable brands to move at the speed of the consumer.

“If marketing’s not embracing technology, it’s going to fall behind, It needs to have technology as one of the centerpieces of how it’s working across an organization.” — Kobie Fuller / Accel

When we think about a brand and its content engine there are certain aspects that can drastically improve the efficiency and output of the product, which is your message. The consumer has driven us to communicate in a different way, much like I mentioned above in the “New Table Stakes.” Our production windows and timelines are getting shorter by the day, and the modern CMO is being asked to do more with less. How are organizations supposed to move faster? By uniting teams and systems, and creating a system of record for visual media.

The reality is this: A brand’s TEAMS ultimately create ASSETS for a PROJECT. They are inherently related. Fragmentation happens when brands try to manage all three with multiple platforms for each stage. The more platforms and people added to the mix, the less efficient a brand becomes. As marketers are asked to create more with less and are becoming beholden to an ROI, we need to make changes in the way media flows through an organization to enable speed and efficiencies. If you think about the lifecycle of a project from ingest to publish, and think about how many systems and platforms teams use to accomplish this, you can see why we are having problems.

THE MISSING LINK FOR THE CMO

As visual content becomes the heart of messaging and the amount created is compounding, it is vital that content pipeline architectures are implemented into organizations to ensure they can handle the sheer volume of visual assets. Our marketing assets need to be treated the same way as financial data, we need better systems that ensure security and speed to deployment. The same way in which great agile companies have CEOs implementing communication architecture that ensures swift decision making, planning and goal setting, the modern CMO needs to implement a system of record for visual media, enabling efficiencies across teams, fewer bottlenecks, and speed to deployment with marketing assets.

SIMPLE VS CUMBERSOME

When it comes to visual media we need to re-think our current process and flows as it relates to technology. Because our production processes are outdated, inherently so are the tools we are using to ingest, curate, approve and publish content. Because of the consumer and channel shift, we now need to shift our thinking and use technology that helps organizations move up the tech stack, while keeping pace with the ever changing consumer behavior. Cumbersome clunky technology now takes a back seat to simple streamlined approaches.

BREAKING DOWN SILOS

Silos still exist within every organization. Marketing, Digital, Social, Community, Content. We need to activate systems that can help media flow across these environments quickly and effortlessly. As these teams work together on integrated campaigns they need to push and pull, share, approve, and publish media. This process touches all these silos. Gone are the days of walking images down to someone’s office for approval, we need better systems that enable seamless collaboration and workflow around visual assets. The approval process itself can be the big bottleneck in organizations. This is typically one of the blocks that holds up the process of publishing marketing assets. Think of systems as a node and spoke relationship. The more silos running the same platform the faster teams can move. No more links, loose files, or lack of tracking and accountability.

AGILITY=EFFICIENCY=SAVINGS

“A brand’s teams ultimately create assets for projects. We need to unite processes and systems to create efficiency and speed needed to succeed in todays world of marketing.”

As visual content becomes the medium for brands to disseminate their message, with channel fragmentation spiking, it is vital that organizations wrap their arms around the content creation and organization process. The overall process from ingestion to publish/distribution is complex, and organizations are bolting together a myriad of platforms to get the job done. The problem is that these platforms do not talk to each other. Every time there is a jump off point, there is a data connection loss. Brands use ingestion platforms, organization/curation platforms, project management platforms, campaign management platforms, communication platforms, and finally distribution/publishing and analytic platforms. Brands need to adopt a single system of record for visual media, they need to be able to quantify and track visual content from start to finish, and have the ability to react to the market, find assets, and deploy rapidly. It has been reported that 95% of brands that miss deadlines miss them due to approval delays…. By doing this brands can break down silos as well as save their organization valuable time which equals $.

SPEED

“If mobile is the new platform then speed is the new currency.”

This is something we say a lot over here at ZPPR. We as marketers are so concerned with the details around content. In this new world, content has to be good enough for today. Let me ask you a question: why would you read a newspaper that is 4 months old? You wouldn’t, that’s called campfire starter…. So why do we treat content like that? I’m not sure…We don’t need to change the narrative, we need to change the length and distribution cadence, and we need to embrace technology to drive the engine.

TAKEAWAY

Observing what’s broken doesn’t add any value. We need to look to solutions, and measure our success through change in two key areas:

First, by creating a system of record for your visual media flow. One system that breaks down the silos, creates massive efficiency, and gives you the transparency that is needed to move at the speed of the consumer. Enabling real-time access to media so organizations can react, and deploy at light speed. Second, by creating what we call the “network effect.” Harness the power of your employees, ambassadors, athletes, influencers, consumers, to tell your story. Every brand has a network, the problem is lack of infrastructure underneath that network to enable content push and pull and communication.

  1. Organize your overall content processes
  2. Optimize your network

By unifying processes and systems organizations can see a direct correlation to savings in non-working spend, employee efficiency, as well as speed to deployment of assets, which equates to being heard NOW.

Creating a network effect enables organizations to tell more, real, relevant stories by harnessing the power of their communities.

SUMMARY

So yes things are getting bonkers, but in chaos comes some of humanity’s best work. In times like these we are forced to think differently, which in turn creates better, more engaging work. Our job at ZPPR is to create tools that will enable people to focus on what matters most: creativity. Great creativity= better stories, and better stories will bring you closer to your customer.