The standard response to increasing content and creative demands has been to throw more people at it. And sure enough, many companies are doing just that. In our “State of Creativity in Business” survey in 2017, 15 percent of creatives said they were outsourcing more to agencies to handle the increase in content, while 19 percent said they were creating in-house agencies.
But as important as headcount can be, it’s not a cure-all for retailers looking to create all the content necessary for effective personalization at scale. Here are a few other things to consider.
Think of all the workflow requirements involved in your content creation — channels, devices, reviews, approvals, cross-department collaboration, and distribution, to name a few. Now multiply that by everything needed for personalization at scale — all the variations based on context, the specific messages for each micro-segment, and devices. Using the standard collection of disconnected processes and tools to do all that can be like trying to build a high-rise with hammers and screwdrivers. It’s just not right for the job.
The right tools for the job start with a shared content library. If your product photos are centralized, content creators will have no problem finding and using them. Plus, when an image is changed, it will be automatically updated across all channels and locations where it resides — reducing production work and ensuring brand consistency.
Tumi, the premium luggage brand, knows the advantages of high-performance content management first-hand. With nearly 1,500 new products introduced every year on Tumi.com, Tumi requires high-speed content creation for its e-commerce experience. When they shifted to our content management solution, Adobe Experience Manager, it cut about four weeks off asset production time. This allowed them to quickly start selling new inventory that, in the past, had sat in the warehouse waiting for the website to be updated. It also significantly streamlined global website updates, a critical capability since Tumi has sites around the world in multiple languages.
But retail is invariably about more than just web properties. The saying “create once, publish everywhere” might sound trite, but its impact is anything but. When a single piece of content can be put to use in mobile apps, in-store displays, paid channels, and sales associate tools all at once — with appropriate adjustments automatically made for each — retailers are in a much better place to handle personalization at scale.
Automate the dirty work.
Although content creation depends to a large degree on human touch, there’s a lot about it that humans generally want to avoid and aren’t always great at doing — the repetitive production work, the nitty-gritty details, and the tracking, to name a few examples. So it’s no surprise that automation is already an important part of content creation for many retailers. It’s often fairly simple and behind the scenes — automatic file naming, for example.