WRITTEN BY Thomas Dohm
Sr. Producer at MediaMonks
Many brands worry about how to produce top-quality, scalable content at an ever-quickening pace. The challenge in achieving this is two-fold. First, brands require the ability to produce a staggering volume of content to tailor their messaging to specific segments of their audience. Second, producing this content often requires navigating through several parties and vendors across markets—each with their own particular requirements or nuanced understanding of their audience.
In my time at MediaMonks, we’ve helped clients plug into the resources and talent they need to remain relevant. But every so often a unique situation comes along that challenges all stakeholders involved, pushing us to go further in finding ways to achieve better creative, faster.
Recently, we worked with a global automotive brand and their dedicated agency to develop and animate dynamic banner ads across three of their markets. The brief was simple enough on paper: animate banners with 15 variations, which would scale up with each successive phase of the campaign. We put our nose to the grind and sent the deliverables off for review.
But there was a snag: one market required a legal disclaimer on the banners, which hadn’t been mentioned beforehand. This is a common situation for global brands in particular, whose regional offices have their own guidelines and unique legal requirements. Still, they must meet global brand standards. This careful balancing act between local market relevance and global brand consistency often makes it difficult to gather everyone on the same page, just as it had with this project.
Regional offices have their own guidelines, but must meet global brand standards—a careful balancing act.
We successfully reworked the deliverables, but the miscommunication resulted in a longer time to delivery—not an ideal solution for the agency or their client. And this situation arose just from 15 variations! Seeing the potential of dynamic creative, the client decided to ramp up to… over 65,000 variations, across 8 markets and languages. It became obvious that we needed to make a change to accommodate such a massive jump.
This scenario may sound all too familiar to many brands, especially given the increasingly fractured partner landscape. In this case, the primary problem wasn’t our clients, but the communication and delivery methods through which each stakeholder collaborated. This inspired us to instead develop a dedicated CMS platform that would empower the client to create, review and approve banners by themselves, working more efficiently in the process.
Didn’t this move make our role in the project obsolete? Not really—even as vendors, the promise of partnership isn’t lip service that we tell clients in sales meetings; it’s a concept that helps us produce work better quality of work, faster. In implementing the CMS, we achieved this by effectively trading in our banner-builder hat for a platform-building one, giving control of production back to our clients.
The right partner must adapt to production problems with creative solutions the moment they arise.
In developing the new platform, our rich media team continued supporting the client’s ongoing requests, while the platforms team worked out the asset requirements and designing the best flow for their delivery. Throughout our involvement with their campaigns, we gained a clear understanding of how the client worked, and could apply those insights to build a frictionless user experience on the platform. The traditional production process involved close collaboration among all stakeholders: the banner creators, review from the client and the media agency. Our platform sought to streamline these steps into a series of low-complexity tasks that were not only faster, but cost-effective.
To meet the critical need for diverse and always-on content, the right partner must be able to adapt to production problems the moment they arise by implementing creative solutions. Without being able to draw upon extensive experience in designing and executing platforms, we likely wouldn’t have been as successful in making such a pivot.
It’s important that brands have the tools and resources they need to retain greater control over creative production—especially when so many brands seek to take their creative in-house as efficiently as possible. The old adage of “If you teach a man to fish…” certainly applies here, and this platform serves as one small step within a greater initiative for our client to build up their capabilities in-house.
Grown organically from a specific client need, our platform is tailor-made to support the client’s unique workflow. For example, we’re working toward adding commenting and tagging features to augment the way we communicate to the team in banner creation. It goes to show how a nimble partner can provide brands with the tools they need to shift gears and get their network of vendors on the same page. Stumbling upon an unexpected need that challenges habitual ways of working can become a daunting task—but with the right talent and tools, brands can activate new solutions with ease.