Why Should Marketers Focus on the Next vs. the Now?

April 1, 2021

Producing assets for marketing campaigns can be difficult for brands and retailers. But content production gets even more challenging when outside forces disrupt supply chains, create budget crises and force marketers to make sweeping changes to campaign strategy.

The likelihood of wide-reaching disruption and change will never disappear. Moving forward, brands must structure marketing departments and creative content production to withstand volatility.

Here are four content-creation challenges marketers face today, and how brands can overcome them.

1. Website content in high demand

Consumer shopping habits changed dramatically in 2020. And that put every retailer on notice. Ecommerce is more important than ever. Marketers need to consistently create effective website images, product descriptions, copy, customer support messaging and more.

Brands struggling to keep up with the increasing demand for website content should consider taking the following steps:

  • Implement a content-first approach, creating all marketing assets needed at once. It is the first step in scaling quickly. Channel-centric, one-off content creation eats up time and resources.
  • Audit current assets to identify deficiencies and areas where your site should be strengthened. This will determine what specific assets (videos, manuals, product information, etc.) are missing from product landing pages and other channels.
  • Complete a competitive audit of your closest competitors. Use this information to identify content priorities and opportunities.

We all know shoppers won’t revert back to old ways post 2020. Ecommerce will continue to be a top priority. Brands can stay ahead of evolving business needs and changing consumer expectations by improving content production processes.

2. Creative cycle is too slow

Modern marketing requires a ton of creative content and speed is critical. But sometimes teams are overloaded with content production and campaign execution and their core mission becomes secondary. By focusing on the here and now (production work), they lose sight of what is next for their brand (strategic vision). That is a mistake.

Brand teams must respond to what customers are telling them and implement timely changes. To do that, creating assets must be planful and efficient rather than disruptive.

To create content at scale, on time and on budget, brands should optimize in three main areas: people, processes and technology. Consider:

  • Analyzing your current workflows and processes for inefficiencies. Cut out unnecessary steps and duplication. Design the ideal future state to achieve optimal efficiency.
  • Using workflow management software and templates to help automate repetitive processes.
  • Focus people resources on the highest-value tasks and standardize, outsource, or automate routine work.

By creating a more scalable approach to the entire content production process — from creative concepting through execution — brands can shorten production timelines and reduce overall spend.

3. In-house studio can’t keep up

Few in-house studios recognize that they struggle. But running an in-house studio often takes energy and resources away from the prime mission of the organization. Overhead and production costs make it impossible to achieve the throughput and speed needed to be effective. Some businesses also struggle with brand ownership, which further complicates these issues.

If your in-house studio is struggling to meet demands, consider:

  • Implementing brand workflow management software to cut production hours while using fewer resources.
  • Leveraging onsite partnerships and instilling a culture of accountability to augment in-house capabilities.
  • Changing the physical space to build a studio that can keep up with today’s marketing demands.

Make continuous improvement a tenet of content-production and marketers will benefit from more effective studio operations.

4. Outdated operational goals, processes

Too many marketers still produce content in silos. Not sharing workflows and processes inhibits efficiency and effectiveness. This ultimately inhibits brands from launching campaigns quickly and efficiently.

If outdated systems and processes stand in the way of your brand experience, consider:

  • Using a content-first philosophy to break up channel-centric silos.
  • Connecting content production systems across the organization to create better align goals and expectations.
  • Establishing common KPIs and benchmarks to track efficiency and drive continued improvement.

By embracing change, content production will become a strength.

Proactive steps to reorganize processes and adjust workflows result in connected and streamlined content production, quicker time to market, and reduced costs and improved overall brand consistency. That leaves most bandwidth to focus on strategic vision and what’s next for your brand.

Contact us to learn more about how you can streamline your creative content production processes.