How EA is Building Content for Our Shrinking Attention Spans

by Amelia Stucke

In the last fifteen years, the average human attention span has dropped from twelve seconds to eight seconds. This means that while marketers are tasked with building content on a more complex, more omnichannel scale, they have less and less time to capture a customer’s attention.

“The need for content creation is skyrocketing, and frankly we don’t envision it slowing down.” — Vikram Singh, Electronic Arts

This is especially challenging in the gaming industry, where the cost of producing content is astronomical. Electronic Arts, the creator of best selling games like FIFA and Battlefield, estimates that it takes their team thirty hours to create only three seconds of video graphics. So, if a big product reveal doesn’t engage or deliver within the first few moments, many viewers will click out, resulting in a huge waste of resources for their marketing team.

Vikram Singh, Senior Director, PMO (Marketing) joined EA two years ago determined to break down siloes and revolutionize the way this “fifty year old startup” planned and produced their content. At Transition 2017 in San Francisco, Vikram discussed how he was able to “break through to this audience in a highly personalized way” by changing his team’s campaign planning process.

Here are four tips from the EA marketing team that could help your brand get ahead of the rising demand for content, change processes, and make better, more engaging offers more efficiently:

  1. Many teams, one process
    Vikram implemented a standardized briefing process across the global organization. Instead of each region operating like a separate company, all teams now have an established process for planning out and executing their content. The new centralized briefing system also allows EA’s leadership to see the status of all their content creation initiatives.
  2. Standardized briefs — held to a higher standard
    When he joined EA’s marketing department, Vikram noticed that while some briefs were thorough, others were lacking strategy and detail. By creating an approval process for briefs, leaders on his team could track and approve each brief to ensure that it met the company’s standards. By removing weak briefs, EA’s marketing department could ensure that it put only the best ideas into production.
  3. Centralize content sharing
    Instead of isolating assets to one team, or attempting to keep track of them on different platforms, Vikram implemented a centralized digital asset manager (DAM)for everyone to use. There were no more repeated requests, which freed up time and resources for their creative team. It also allowed team members to use and reuse approved content on a short notice, because previously approved assets were easily accessible. This allowed for more efficient collaboration and fewer instances of releasing off-brand content.
  4. Accountability counts
    By operating out of a central system for briefing and asset management, EA’s marketing leadership could easily track who was responsible for what on each campaign. This enabled Vikram and his team to identify and preempt potential issues before they happened. In his own words, their new process made “it easy for teams across the world to say ‘we think there’s a problem, let’s huddle together, let’s find out what we can do.”

Vikram’s challenges are by no means specific to the video game industry — and neither are his solutions. Marketers across the world struggle to keep up with rise demand for engaging content and the rising cost to produce it. EA’s digital transformation is an example of how changing your team’s tools and process can truly change a brand’s success.

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