Being closed was once an option for B2C businesses. Not today.
A troubled sleeper goes online at 2 a.m. to buy an anniversary gift. An early riser orders summer swimsuits for her kids before heading to work. A storm forecast sends a homeowner shopping websites to get a generator overnight.
Consumers today shop any time, on their own schedules, and companies cannot afford to be unavailable—or closed—ever. The most successful companies and brands develop content quickly, to meet consumers where and when they want information.
The volume of content marketers must generate just to answer current consumer demands is staggering:
120+ content delivery & communication channels
6,800+ available marketing technologies solutions
Brad Jakeman, former president of Pepsi’s Global Beverage Group and now a marketing consultant, described the new marketing landscape.
“For a brand like Pepsi, it was once sufficient for us to produce four pieces of content a year – mainly TV – and we could spend about six to eight months developing that one piece of content and spend $1 million on each piece of film,” Jakeman said. “Now that four pieces has turned into 4,000. Eight months has changed to eight days and eight hours, and budgets have not gone up.”
On the one hand, that’s an opportunity. The more a consumer interacts with your brand, the more likely they will remember, buy and become loyal brand champions.
But it’s also a challenge, because consumers want a consistent experience. According to Google research, 63% of people expect a brand to deliver a consistent experience every time they interact with it, but only 42% feel brands actually do. (Source: Google/Greenberg, U.S., March 2018)
Why is brand consistency so challenging?
It’s hard to do for several reasons.
Consumer expectations have never been higher. More than 50% of people abandon a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load. (Source: Google Analytics Data, March 2016)
Mountains of content
Cross-device searching over a wide variety of channels is the norm. And it requires an almost infinite quantity of high-quality content that consumers can interact with, remember and purchase/support.
Redundant organizational structures and processes
Over the last few decades, companies have added to marketing departments for specific needs, and bent workflows to accommodate poorly matched tools and systems. This creates communication gaps, complicates accountability, increases the nonworking marketing spend and, most important, leaves marketers unable to produce consistent, quality content fast enough.
Companies usually have a brand strategy, the story they want to tell consumers, but marketers charged with delivering on it struggle, always asked to do more with less.
A better way forward
There are significant rewards that come from untangling this knot. A study published in Inc. magazine estimated that presenting a brand consistently led to an average 23% increase in revenue. (Source: Inc., “If You Want to Make 23% More Money, Then Get Consistent,” June 20, 2017) Here are the steps that will get you there.
- Define the content you need.
Figure out what assets you need, for which channels.
Document your current state.
Expose how your marketing processes really work. Diagram functions with process maps and identify where there are bottlenecks, gaps, overlaps and loop-backs.
Calculate your non-working spend.
Pull together comprehensive numbers for talent, tools and systems. It’s the first step to figuring out how to reduce it.
Map your new workflow.
Consider what’s best-in-class for producing content at scale. What would these look like for your operations? Identify the right tools and the best use of talent.
Determine how to measure success.
Your new process should make it easier to measure the ROI for different marketing activities.
What does success look like?
Not only does brand consistency increase revenues, it improves profitability. Companies that prioritized process optimization saw, on average, non-working spend fall by 20%. (Source: Percolate, 2016 Non-Working Spend Report.)
How about these real-world examples.
Saving millions with more efficient production
A large international publisher wanted to cut expenses for advertising, design and editorial content. The company decided to work with a process optimization partner to document all the steps involved in publishing content, from start to finish. That understanding allowed them to define all roles and responsibilities and map the content production current state.
Next, the process optimization experts worked with the publisher’s IT department to build a shared, centralized space for collaboration and asset management, with no handoffs across departments or agencies. The experts also supplied an onsite production services team.
With these changes the publisher saved $2.4 million in the first year and cut 35 days from its production schedule.
Rescued by workflow automation
A national retailer whose success was rooted in print catalogs had evolved to accommodate increasing numbers of online shoppers. But the initial evolution involved creating a parallel workflow for digital channels, disconnected from print.
After a discovery audit, an outside process optimization team consolidated redundant steps and responsibilities in creative operations. It standardized best practices and introduced workflow automation technology for pre-media and photography. This put content at the center of the process, and gave marketers easy access to the assets, insuring a consistent look and feel.
Results included a 40% reduction in cycle time, a 33% increase in photography throughput, and $1.4 million in cost savings per year.
Content-driven engagement rules today’s marketplace. Creating multichannel content assets one time and then deploying them where a marketing strategy dictates is essential. Organizations that prioritize an infrastructure to seamlessly deliver content and information when and where the customer wants it will win every time.
Learn more about producing content efficiently with Quad solutions.