That’s one of the key takeaways of “The Content Holy Grail,” a June 9 webinar (available to watch on-demand), hosted by Lydda Vasquez, dentsu’s global director of Content Symphony, and James Morris, CEO UK and & President EMEA, Creative Global Head of Content at dentsu.
According to Lydda, brands are now being challenged to accelerate their digital transformation efforts coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. She cited a recent dentsu survey of 200+ marketing leaders globally. 85 percent of brands surveyed said they are looking to transform their business for the long-term to meet the needs of audiences around the world. That transformation includes changing how businesses build relationships with people through content and experiences.
“With in-person activity restricted during the pandemic, digital became the primary means of engaging people,” she said. “The demand increased for highly personalized content, brand authenticity, and the agility to quickly adapt to changing circumstances, all the time while providing a consistent, high-quality brand experience.” In fact, 75 percent of marketers have faced a change in their content production requirements, according to the dentsu survey.
But brands are facing new challenges as they adapt to digital transformation. More than eight out of 10 marketers believe seeing content generation in the current environment as a challenge, and three quarters have seen it get more demanding over the last 12 months. Those challenges include maintaining brand consistency across all touchpoints (a focus for 88 percent of marketers surveyed) and creating high-quality content from a more centralized source to improve efficiency (a focus for 85 percent of marketers surveyed).
“Global content production at scale is not easy,” she said. “It creates new challenges. Brands face challenges meeting their needs for efficiency such as inconsistency look and feel. This creates an opportunity for dynamic content.”
James Morris elaborated on the importance of dynamic content to reach consumers who are “distracted, overwhelmed, and overloaded,” in his words. “Brands need to act faster, stand apart, and deliver the right content at the right time on the right platform to connect with audiences everywhere,” he said.
He indicated that dynamic content is about supporting the demand of higher volumes of content at a global scale by delivering cross-channel personalization for media, delivery, and the customer experience. Delivering dynamic content requires that brands coordinate four elements: data, media, strategy, and creative/experience through a single platform, as depicted here:
Dynamic content is important because it has helped brands understand how rapidly they can create content in an agile way to meet the needs of customers online. dentsu has built upon dynamic content to develop Content Symphony.
According to Lydda, “The content Holy Grail is creating end-to-end content that uses technology and data to optimize every single marketing activity.” She stressed how important it is for brands to create a volume of high-quality content at scale, optimized for every channel. And yet most brands are struggling to do that, which is why this kind of agile content development does indeed seem like a Holy Grail. But for dentsu, the Holy Grail is an everyday reality because of Content Symphony.
She said Content Symphony consists of:
These two images provide more insight into these essential building blocks of Content Symphony:
She said, “Today, many brands are looking to a global-first approach, and it is extremely difficult from them to pivot in this way. Content Symphony was built for a centralized model from the outset. With Content Symphony, dentsu can embed production thinking from the start to enable scale, brand consistency, and efficiencies for all content production, management and distribution needs.”
She identified three ways Content Symphony stands apart from other alternatives:
“Content Symphony stands out from the crowd as a unique and innovative solution that is integrated by design with a data and technology first approach to production — unlike the people-based models of the past,” she said. “This enables us to align our people, processes, and technology in a smarter way than our competitors. We seamlessly connect dentsu’s capabilities in creative, media, and customer experience management to offer our clients a truly integrated cross-channel solution enabled by unmatched data aggregation.”
To date, Content Symphony has delivered 75,000 project files, handles 4,000 library assets with 47,000 deliveries via ad stream across 36 markets globally.
One Content Symphony client, Generali, operates in 60+ countries, via 450+ companies and with 80,000+ employees. According to James, Generali saw the need to have a
more centralized approach to its communications, to help create more efficiency, consistencies and cost saving across markets. Local markets are using different platforms, with various levels of technology that may or may not have been capturing data. Visibility was lacking, particularly when seeking a holistic overview of the content solutions. The result was marketing inefficiencies and inconsistent messaging, that, in turn, led to missed opportunities to further scale the business and attract new customers. A platform was needed to offer a consistent approach to marketing, to reduce inefficiencies, scale their business and attract new customers.
Content Symphony provided a fully integrated solution across the entire lifecycle of the client’s content requirement, bringing together creative, content production, and media buying on one platform. From the platform, we created the master campaign strategy and then localized and adapted across different markets.
Content Symphony’s production model of Theme (the globally consistent master idea) and Variation (localized market nuances) were embedded from the start. We approached the global master tool kits with a modular production mindset. We then took the modular content and generated adaptation assets across 22 markets. Included were all the assets for local markets to use as building blocks to create their own local versions of the content. The master assets provided consistency in approach with the flexibility to select the most appropriate content set for relevance in each local market.
With Content Symphony allowing for a single source of truth, all global markets can be accessed in one place. In post-Covid times, secure global access to toolkits and assets, anywhere at any time, is proving extremely valuable. Assets can be created and AI-tagged, using comprehensive data that support easy retrieval by different markets as and when required. With approvals, tracking and annotation all actioned from the platform, there is a centralized management and version control over the assets for correct and timely delivery. The integrated workflow, and visibility it provides, allows for a tracking of project status and key milestones hit for each market from a holistic dashboard view to ensure everything is always on track.
Distribution of assets from the platform completes the end-to-end visibility. Intelligence on the usage and performance of the assets can be accessed via real-time data reporting, and, with an integration of finance data, the ROI can also be measured. The tracking of usage rights solves a key challenge faced by global industries, avoiding breaches and subsequent hefty fines.
Lydda and James closed the webinar by each identifying the single-most important way that Content Symphony stands apart. For Lydda, “Automated data aggregation is a key benefit. It is unique in the market. Many businesses are manually aggregating data and reporting it, which slows them down. Automating data aggregation helps us reach the right audience at the right time.” And, according to James, “Content Symphony is built to deliver high-quality content at scale. We are achieving the Holy Grail of creating both quantity and quality.”
This article was originally published by Isobar's The Squeeze.
1 December 2021
Prepared by leading strategists, creatives and technologists from across dentsu’s global creative offering – including experts from DentsuMB, Isobar, 360i and dentsu agencies – the report demonstrates a profound shift away from conventional centres of congregation, community and ownership towards new, decentralised and radically democratised models.