Digitalization means even more time pressure
Recently, the marketing department of a bank came up with the idea of sending a new offer to customers by email. The team drafted the text and created the design for the mailshot, checked the legal aspects, created a mailing list on the basis of a customer file, removed duplicate addresses, and obtained the approval of marketing and sales. After four weeks, the mailshot was ready to send.
In an era in which FinTechs are able to quote for a loan within 24 hours, this kind of time frame isn’t appropriate. Moreover, consumers expect a business to respond to their email within just a few hours, and to a tweet within 60 minutes. Consumers stay on a website for no more than three seconds if they are required to download, and the opt-out allows them to decide in an instant.
Digitization has changed consumers’ media use. Firstly, the speed of interaction has drastically increased as a result of “mobile first” and “always on.” Secondly, we are seeing a gradual rejection of one-sided mass communication and a move towards an individual dialogue between businesses and consumers.
Both trends are putting companies’ marketing teams under enormous time pressure. To involve your customers, it isn’t just necessary for you to communicate the value of the brand, you are also required to deliver tangible added value by effectively responding to the current information-related interests of your target group.
Involve your customers with relevance and topicality
Content marketing means the production and provision of free content for potential and current customers. Typical formats include copy texts, graphics, photos, films, and podcasts. They all have a limited scope that is easily consumable by smartphone.
The objective of content marketing is being understood and valued in digital media. It is therefore necessary for the content provided to be of interest and importance to the target group. The huge increase in content while people’s time budgets remain unchanged poses a challenge, and is the reason why most content is ignored. The content is only noticed if it is current and relevant. Both lead to resonance and coverage in the market and therefore to a higher profile for the brand, and ultimately, increased sales.
The content marketing of Lego, for example, has been very successful. Topic-appropriate building sets are sold for blockbuster films such as “Harry Potter,” adventures are published so they can be reenacted, test versions are offered before the launch, older building plans are made available, Lego blocks are provided, video and photography competitions are held and groups are hosted for sharing ideas. Lego ensures the relevance of these topics for the target group by operating trend scouting on a decisive basis (https://adexpresso/academy/blog/lego-content-marketing-experience/)
In addition to the relevance, the topicality of the content is also decisive. This requires an approach that is similar to the editorial work on daily newspapers.
For a car manufacturer, we have established a work process for effective content marketing that is both fast and supports the relevant contents. For this purpose, it is necessary for the marketing department to be reorganized (see Figure 1).
Realize your content marketing in six steps
Figure 1: Organisational structure in six steps for fast and relevant content marketing
- The new work process begins with what is known as a topic radar. In this respect, market researchers use social media monitoring to find out about the topics being discussed by consumers on the internet. The result is a selection of relevant topics. In May, for example, automotive customers researched the topic of holiday and tourist destinations in northern Italy. Related topics include Lake Garda, hotels, and restaurants.
- A brand strategist then arranges these topics according to the target groups and determines whether they’re appropriate to the values of the brand. The fact, for example, that a local person had himself buried in his car of the brand attracted a lot of attention in the topic radar, but does not match with the values of the brand.
- All of the topics are discussed at a weekly editorial meeting. This is attended by a variety of representatives from the differing departments because the topics can affect each remit of the company. These are sales, marketing, customer services, and the media – but also a lawyer. Here, the topics that are to be addressed are clarified and they are approved for production and publication.
- In the production department, the creative team starts working on formats such as text, image, film, and information graphics. An asset manager also determines whether the databases already contain content on the topic.
- The channel managers then work with the results of the creative team. They are responsible for operating and maintaining the channels. That means owned, paid, and earned media as well as the classic offline channels. The channel owners realize the digital media buying in direct agreement with the marketers.
- The channel owners also monitor the success of the media. The KPIs per channel are fed back to the strategy department. They serve the purpose of the continuous improvement of the content.
We called this project “The Content Empire.” This way of organizing the marketing significantly reduces the production of advertising means while increasing its relevance to the target group. This is also confirmed by other companies:
“We listen closely to the customer, the decision-making paths are shorter, we can measure the results of the campaigns much more precisely, and we can also try out new topics very rapidly,” explained Dr. Johannes Steegmann of Rewe Digital.
Empower your team and internalize creative execution
In our “Content Empire” project, the biggest challenge was that the objective of what one actually wanted to achieve with the content marketing was yet to have been defined. “Being faster” is not an operational objective. In detail, key figures on the quality of the processes were lacking.
Furthermore, there was no full documentation of the current processes. The roles and responsibilities were not defined clearly either. This resulted in extra work during the target process modelling.
The employees’ willingness to get involved and their sound understanding of the problems accelerated the progress of the project, however. Despite the positive attitude of the employees, change management was necessary, especially in terms of neighboring departments. A considerable amount of convincing was needed, because decision-making power was ceded to the marketing department.
Our client found it to be particularly helpful that on the basis of the descriptions of the roles, we developed competency profiles with which it was possible to derive the qualification and recruitment requirements. It turned out to be the case that many competencies were available in the team but incorrectly allocated, while certain special skills, for example those of the data scientist, had to be sought in the market. As a result, many implementation tasks previously delegated to agencies, such as computer-generated images (CGI), were brought in house because the time losses at the interface were too high.
Assess your digital maturity
Is your marketing team as fast as your digital customers? How long does it take from the idea to the finished advertisement? Is your target group demanding more speed, or do you still have time? Find out for yourself in our TRIM self-test by simply visiting www.trim-capgemini.com.