Thanks to the myriad of communication channels open to us, everyone wants to be everywhere. But that comes at a cost. Spreading yourself too thin waters down your message and doesn’t necessarily reach the right audience. The content challenge is how to balance true presence with omnipresence.


AND IT DOESN’T STOP THERE…

Not only do we need to create more content, but quality content that maximizes the potential of each channel while staying true to each unique brand voice. In addition to navigating different languages, cultures and formats, there’s also a need to process all the incoming data to provide a more human user experience, rather than segmenting people into boxes that no longer fit.

Considering the Metaverse and its elusive– almost endless - opportunities to create new brand experiences, we must familiarize ourselves with a new set of tools, capitalize on data-gathering and heed the gurus rightfully claiming their share of an already stretched budget – all in the name of not falling behind.

Going from global to local to personal is in essence about going from exclusive segmentation of people to more inclusive communication that focuses on the individual. That’s where we want to be.


ATTEMPTS WERE MADE…

So far, brands have tried to solve these issues by bringing in teams of experts to create channel driven strategies and stretching budgets through cost reduction and centralization.

But budgets can only stretch so far, and the price we pay for centralization is often at the expense of local relevancy. What’s worse, multiple channel- teams result in higher coordination costs and lack of agility. Ultimately, our inability to bring it all together, using data as the underlining current to enable cross-channel customer-centric content, will have us moving further away from the consumers.

Quick fixes no longer do the trick and are becoming more difficult than they’re worth. The only responsible course of action is going back to basics.


THE BASICS

The future is in hyper-personalization and the model brands need to embrace uses real, data-driven content. For that to happen we need to take five not-so-easy steps towards transformation:

1. Start with data

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Ideally, you use your first-party data to influence media spend. And, if you are buying media from Google or Facebook, which you probably are, you already have access to rich third-party, audience, and contextual data. But all of this amounts to nothing, if it’s not made accessible to the creatives.

Long gone are the days of the big idea. The best creative is now one that works as a platform that can capture the interest of multiple audiences through multiple channels, and in that way, optimize the FULL customer experience.

It’s simple really. Start by briefing your media and creative teams together and ensure everything is aligned under one end goal.

2. Create a modular content platform

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It’s time to stop thinking about assets. Instead, think of content as processes that allow big ideas to be delivered to diverse audiences - even individuals - through multiple channels and formats. This means shooting videos with interchangeable sections, avoiding audio and visual elements that only work in some markets. It means creating templatized banners, emails and posts that dynamically create thousands of variations.

Of course, this requires strategy and investing more time up front, but building modular content will pay off in the long run – creating a library of content that works, operating as a vehicle for locally-relevant messaging.

Ultimately, this process of going from global to local to personal is about creating more inclusive communication that narrows in on what matters and breaks down segmentation barriers. That’s where we want to be.

3. Bring it together and keep it going

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Hopefully, you briefed your agencies together so by now you would have a good idea of how to best distribute and optimize this content. Whatever the platform, everything ends up in one or multiple spreadsheets ruled by algorithms trained to deliver the best message possible to each consumer. But once you press GO that’s when the magic really happens.

With access to live data, you can track how each combination of elements performs with specific audiences. Media agencies will do their best to successfully optimize based on performance defined by a bespoke attribution model, but what about content? Most likely the creative and production team has already moved on to the next campaign, and nobody has allocated budget to capitalize on the feedback from the consumers.

We need to challenge our notion of campaigns and invest more in evolving the conversations into a two-way street. Only when we have developed a data-driven system that can truly help us track content performance, can we create better client-agency partnerships based on value and deliverables.

4. Partner on value, not cost

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This way of working is not only more exciting, but also opens a whole new conversation that will naturally trigger improvements in the way you operate. It will also enable you to track content performance and measure what works and what doesn’t. And by doing so, you can start testing different commercial models that guide not only your media, but also your creative and production teams, not based on assets, or campaigns, but on true value. After this pivotal shift, you’ll have a success case on your hands.

5. Change from within

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It’s time to bring down siloes so data can flow across systems and power the content configuration process. This is easier said than done, because it involves changing incentive models, aligning KPIs across different departments and finding ways for agency partners to really collaborate. But change only happens when the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of the unknown.

Disruption can be scary but necessary, and the good news is that we’ve gotten good at disruption over the past two years. It has pushed our industry out of its comfort zone and forced structural changes into place that will hopefully help untap the real power of data and create a new way of thinking about content.

The fact of the matter is that the need for content will only continue to increase exponentially. As consumers raise their demands for personal interactions and tailored experiences, brands will then have to evolve beyond hyper-personalization to full humanization. And we’ll be ready for that change too.

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