Product eContent drives consumer engagement and sales. But is your organisation set up to create high performing Product eContent assets across markets on a consistent basis?
With so many marketing channels to consider, how can brands consistently create high volumes of quality Product eContent to scale across international markets?
This is a complex, multi-faceted challenge that many organisations are struggling to overcome. But there are solutions to the problem.
In brief – what is Product eContent?
Product eContent refers to images, video, digital assets, product descriptions and other content that explain what a specific product is and why it’s worth purchasing.
Its purpose is to give consumers key information about your product, its features, benefits and unique traits – and to influence them into making a purchase.
It follows, then, that brands need organisational structures and processes in place to produce these assets to a consistently high standard.
A challenging but critical brand marketing pillar
There are more glamorous and enticing creative activities than creating Product eContent assets for the online channel. It’s fairly mundane and laborious in comparison with creating a script for a new TV ad or shooting a YouTube campaign.
As a result, Product eContent is often bounced between Brand Owners, Trade Marketers, eCommerce experts – and just about anyone else that’s willing or able to reluctantly take it on.
But we firmly believe that Product eContent is a critical and foundational pillar of brand marketing.
It needs to be of a consistently high standard at all times – if not, the uneven quality of your content could act as an obstacle to a potential customer and sale.
Our expertise in this area
Since eBusiness Institute was founded in 2013, we have – among our other expert offerings – been helping brands to consistently create Product eContent that converts casual shoppers into active buyers of their products.
For instance, over the last three years, we have been helping one of the world’s best known FMCG brands and the brands under its umbrella to transform the way they approach Product-related Content across myriad communication channels.
Our methods have played a key role in significantly reducing their production costs, moving the organisation into a CGI factory approach and measuring success with increased sales at online retailers.
We are the people to come to if you’re looking for a world-class partner to create Product eContent assets – but also if you are looking for a step change in the way your organisation produces these vital brand assets internally.
A short-term solution
It’s not always necessary to make wholesale changes to your organisation in order to create high performing content that gives your brand a competitive edge. Not in the short-term, at least.
There is a highly pragmatic short-term solution that we have successfully helped brands introduce to their content creation approach.
eBusiness Institute’s Product eContent methodology allows us to understand where the content gaps are, evaluate what is available internally and then develop or repurpose only what is needed.
The goal in this short-term scenario is to only implement changes or create content where necessary, thereby saving time and costs.
But this is only a short-term ‘fix’ that is unlikely to be sustainable in the long-run.
The long-term approach – redesigning the organisation
Longer term, organisations must bite the bullet to develop an approach that results in all content assets being built following a rigorous process, standards and guidelines that help give your brand a competitive edge online.
This may well mean having to re-design the organisation.
As a starting point, it’s critically important to understand which people in your organisation do ‘What’, ‘When’ and ‘How’ in relation to the management and creation of Product eContent assets.
But identifying who is responsible for producing Product eContent in your organisation will depend on a series of factors.
eBusiness Assessment and Profiling
We and our clients need to understand what it is about their current Product eContent production process or approach that isn’t working, and how it can be fixed.
This requires ‘eBusiness Assessment and Profiling’ – in other words, the process we use to measure the maturity level of the identified global eBusiness assets.
eBusiness Profiling uses a mix of quantitative and qualitative inputs that help all parties understand important factors such as market or category background, and what successful or best-in-class Product eContent looks like in this space, where the client currently stands when benchmarked against the competition.
Critically, this assessment will give clarity in regards to how the organisation is currently set up to create Product eContent, what processes are in place, and where there are roadblocks that prevent progress.
Overall, this assessment puts us in a position to recommend ways to build capability tailored to specific needs, know how to drive synergies at a regional or global level and advise on how to maximise local market engagement.
What needs to change to achieve the end goal?
What is it that the client wants to achieve through its Product eContent, and how can we help them get into a position to be able to get there?
Firstly, it’s important to define the organisation’s end goal – what is the desired outcome of reorganising the business so that it is able to produce Product eContent of a consistently high standard at scale?
What needs to change in your organisation for it to be able to achieve goals? We need to understand the current organisational structure, who does what in relation to Product eContent, what the challenges are, and what restrictions there might be.
Using this insight, we can begin to work with the client to draft a new organisational structure. What processes, workflows and technology might need to be introduced to help them get where they need to be?
The next stage is the all-important implementation, when the new organisational structure is introduced and teams are coached throughout the change management process.
As with all change management and organisational change, people come first, and it’s vital that the organisation in question defines upskilling programs for internal teams in order to be up and running with the knowledge needed to succeed.
Creating your ‘content factory’
Giving a piece of the puzzle to multiple stakeholders might not be the fastest and most effective way to create Product eContent.
For truly global – or, as is more often the case, regional brands – the need to produce assets is now greater than ever. Hundreds – if not thousands – of assets need to be produced for every new launch or campaign.
This requires a structured approach that’s often referred to as a ‘content factory’.
The raw materials of this factory are what we call ‘Regional Master – Assets’: assets that incorporate the creative thinking, consumer insights and layers needed to be localised following a specific briefing process from the markets with clear roles and responsibilities.
The concerted ‘factory’ approach to creating master assets at regional level – with the highest level of creativity and leveraging synergies to create other top product assets – also serves the purpose of giving local teams the ability to perfectly implement them too.
Producing other assets in harmony
We’re often asked by brands whether their organisation should create other content at the same time as Product eContent assets.
The answer to this question is ‘yes’. Absolutely. There are important synergies to leverage here.
There is no reason to separate production. In fact, doubling up is a key cost-saving and brand building opportunity in most companies.
Marketers that own their brand need to realise that all assets should be built simultaneously, following the same rigorous process, standards and guidelines, and be subject to measurement that can inform future creation.
In conclusion – we are Product eContent experts
eBusiness Institute has recently launched its Mastering Online Retailing Capability Building program to help upskill organisations and their teams so that they are primed for the new digital landscape. And we have been training and successfully guiding clients through transformations for many years.
We are also Product eContent experts. We create best-in-class creative assets for some of the world’s biggest FMCG brands on an ongoing basis. And we have also had considerable success in giving organisations the methodologies to shape their own ‘content factories’ so that they can achieve their brand goals.
This article was created and written by Luigi Matrone – CEO & Founder of the eBusiness Institute.
Would you like to benefit from eBusiness Institute’s expertise?
eBusiness Institute focuses on the integration between marketing and sales to drive business results online and offline.
Our team has considerable experience and expertise in successfully delivering strategies, capability building and creative assets for brands that understand the importance of Digital Transformation, Product eContent, Data & Analytics, Retail Search and Retail Digital Media (RDM) to eCommerce sales success.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how the eBusiness Institute could help your organisation gain a competitive edge through these activities.