Cannes perspectives: Content - the lost King

What's the point in investing time and money in reams of content if it can't be found and, therefore, isn't seen by the very people you want to place it in front of?

Edmonds...“if you drill into the data on wasted content, 28% of it is unused because  it is ‘unfindable’”
Edmonds...“if you drill into the data on wasted content, 28% of it is unused because it is ‘unfindable’”

f you were in the widget-making business, and discovered that more than six out of every ten widgets you made never found their way in front of a potential widget-buyer, you’d probably have a word with your logistics manager.

Yet a recent study ("SiriusDecisions 2015") discovered that big enterprise companies, which may or may not be making widgets, waste more than 60% of their total content-creation budgets on unused or underused content. Moreover, most of these companies have no plans to do anything different in the future.

If you drill down into the data on wasted content, you soon discover that 28% of it is unused because it’s "unfindable". The TV commercial or video is produced, but stored somewhere that no one can locate it. Anybody looked behind the sofa yet?

That’s about £1.6m per enterprise company, per year, of lost "stuff". If that were my £1.6m, I’d make sure that straight after I shot the ad, or video, it was put somewhere I could find it – maybe write a Post-it note, so I wouldn’t forget, and stick it on the ad.

That’s all very well, but most marketing departments now create vast amounts of content, so the odd Post-it doesn’t really cut it. Soon, it will become impractical for them to pore over every piece of content, log it, understand the topic, and remember to use it across multiple digital channels.

They need to create different content for different products and sub-products that appeal to different consumers, all of whom will view this content across different channels – that’s a lot of different stuff.

So it’s not a big surprise that some of it goes missing; you can’t really keep track of it, let alone get it in front of consumers, by manual methods any more. It needs to be automated. That’s right, bring in the computers. 

And we don’t mean store it on your laptop; that won’t be very useful when you’re out on the road or working from home. No, we’re talking about storing your content, especially the heavyweight video content, on cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) systems. That’s a step in the right direction – at least you can now find your content (assuming you’ve put the right Post-it notes on it in the form of detailed metadata). 

But that’s only the beginning of the story. It’s all very well having all your content stored nice and tidily on your shiny new DAM, but how are you going to get it in front of the right consumer (don’t forget, if you show your lovely new trainers ad to my grandmother, it won’t do much good).

That’s why you need to pick a DAM that’s part of the new generation of content management platforms – a dynamic, rather than static, DAM (dDAM). These new dDAMs allow you to label and store all your content in one place, neatly filed in searchable folders with explicit tags (metadata) enabling you to link this content to all your social-media channels, websites and broadcast channels (including VOD) automatically.

This means if you have all your easy-to-find, high-quality content correctly labelled and stored on your dDAM platform, it magically appears across all the relevant channels in front of all your relevant consumers.

Better still, the detailed analytical feedback from dDAMs can determine which piece of content performs best, to make it easy to swap content in and out of these channels automatically.

So, before you know it, you have an automatic optimisation feedback loop that picks up all your new content as it is produced, ensuring the best-received videos are those that are played most frequently. Ultimately, you can deliver meaningful campaigns that will achieve improved customer engagement and ROI.

And who doesn’t want to watch better videos about widgets more often?

Most underrated Cannes experience? Waking up without a hangover.
Most useful app in Cannes? What 3 Words
I have an hour in Cannes, I must… get some sleep.
Most memorable Cannes experience? Riding the Croisette in the Fireflies peloton.

Phil Edmonds is general manager, Europe, at Adstream