The Marketing Factory - Part 1

13 January 2020

Exploring the role of centralising and scaling content production in a world where thousands of assets have to be built

This article discusses the disruption of digital and its effect on the entire marketing ecosystem. Part 1, Recognising and succeeding in a changing landscape, looks at how marketing channels have evolved and the requirement of marketers to adapt. While Part 2, The Marketing Factory approach for data-driven success, explores how companies are winning big by adopting a centralised approach to the ideation of marketing campaigns, the creation of master assets and a structured process that allows for scalable productions.


Firstly, what is the Marketing Factory? The eBusiness Institute defines this as: a department, area or dedicated group of people in an organisation who are solely responsible for the production, management and distribution of all master content assets (articles, images, infographics, videos, webinars, etc.).



Part 1 - Recognising and succeeding in a changing landscape


Long gone are the days when marketers had only a handful of channels to focus on. Now, alongside the advent of digital disruption, marketing channels have evolved from a few distinctive channels such as TV and periodicals, to a multitude of web, social media, mobile and video channels. Where once marketing channels were manageable locally with bespoke content and images, the challenge is now a huge one; satisfying the specific content requirements of each channel with thousands of assets, while achieving mass data-driven personalised campaigns.


A Changing Landscape


An evolving channel landscape requires marketers to adapt from a few channels to a multitude of channels used by consumers along their journey.


The marketing landscape has been constantly evolving during the last 20 years, but over the last 5 years there's been a transformation beyond recognition. Not only marketing channels, but the content marketing landscape. There are now a multitude of marketing channels, each one requiring specific content (asset images, videos, webinars, articles, etc.). The complexity of the marketing ecosystem requires the consumer experience to be at the very centre of everything. This mass personalised communication challenge requires customised assets for each and every channel - and a huge rethink of how marketing functions.


Consumers require personalisation and are becoming more demanding and sophisticated in their interaction with digital content.


As Kevin Lindsay from SEJ highlights, "Consumers are obsessed with content. They’re so obsessed that they’re spending nearly one-third of their days engaging with digital content. However, consumers aren’t just willing to engage with any old content. They require content that is personalized to them and delivered on the channel they want, at the moment they want it. For brands, this means creating new content that’s specific to every product, every customer segment and every screen size during every step of the customer journey."[1]


In order to move into mass personalised communications, marketers have to deliver customised assets for each channel.


As mentioned, each channel requires specific and customised assets. Assets cannot just be used randomly, this is a typical mistake when using scripts originally created for TV commercials in a YouTube advertising campaign – TV scripts usually build up to the drama in the second half while YouTube videos need to capture the consumer's attention in the first 3-5 seconds. This random, non-strategic use of assets at a local level leads to proliferation with a consequent lack of creative and production quality, driving up costs, resources and increasing inefficiencies, as well as diluting the brand identity. This results in fragmentation throughout the marketing ecosystem and therefore an inability to implement effective and efficient campaigns – this is something the eBusiness Institute observes first hand in their day to day practice.

Succeeding in the new landscape


      How can companies adapt and align themselves to these new demands?


While solutions may vary depending on a company’s structure, culture and objectives, local marketing teams do not possess the holistic focus, resources or knowledge to create personalised campaigns that run seamlessly through the consumer journey, whilst also paying attention to the bigger picture of brand building. Marketing campaigns and their content act as a vital expression of a brand's voice. Moreover, a higher purchase intent is achieved when communicating with consumers at multi-touchpoints using the same consistent message. This cannot be achieved without a centralised approach to the ideation of personalised marketing campaigns and the creation of assets.


Today, technology allows companies to collect and use data from their campaigns to create more personalised campaigns in the future and to test different scenarios, but this requires local marketing teams to have the right assets available and be able to use them.


The solution of centralisation and personalisation lies in the ability of the organisation to restructure its marketing function.


For organisations that have a multi-market approach, re-designing marketing roles and streamlining functions is key in creating a centralised approach to marketing campaigns and their content. This requires the creation of a future-ready marketing operations centre with an infrastructure that will drive marketing excellence.


"90% of brands will practice at least one form of marketing personalization, but content will be the bottleneck and cause of failure by 2020."[2]

- Gartner, Top 5 Marketing Predictions, April 2018.


The solution is to centralise and structure the process of creating master assets to allow for scalable productions that will fulfil local requirements, save costs and resources, maintain consistency and brand image, while achieving maximum efficiency and effectiveness on a global scale.


An example of successful centralisation can be seen in the successful digital transformation of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) who have undergone a fully automated and streamlined digital content production and distribution at scale across all their markets. In an interview with Accenture, Raakhi Sippy, GSK’s Global Head of Marketing Operations & Third-Party Partnerships, commented on the importance of overcoming fears and unifying different areas of the business: "Accenture helped us create an entirely new content hub and spoke marketing operating model for select markets. At the same time, they helped us overcome our fear that a more centralized model would reduce local market relevance. And, what we’ve found is that magic happens when you have the right capability, technology and business working toward the same vision at the same pace."[3]


A strong channel and content marketing strategy can create a virtuous circle of feedback that can benefit new campaigns and feed personalisation.


It is inevitable that, with the evolution of so many marketing channels, companies must increase their level of digital content production to remain a forerunner. Mastering a content strategy that will convey your brand message powerfully and consistently, amplified through many channels, will produce more high quality content.


When considering restructuring for centralised marketing content, there are pillars that need to form the basis of a company's business model. Accenture’s 5 Pillar Model encompasses all elements:


  1. Content & Channel Strategy
    Define a unified methodology for strategy setting. Let content drive your channel strategy, categorise your content by theme and channel aligned with audience personas, and phase your content to fit your marketing objectives and brand story, to deliver at scale.
  2. Content Creation and Production
    Optimise production at scale of images, multimedia, infographics and print assets on a global and localised basis in line with the content and channel strategy.
  3. Content Management
    Providing the tools to store, organise and analyse digital assets, including classification, protective rights and quality measurement processes.
  4. Content Distribution
    Ensuring technology platforms are capable of efficiently distributing assets to the relevant channels on a global and local level, in line with the needs of the content and channel strategy.
  5. Content Performance
    Track, measure and evaluate content operations and digital assets. Technology ecosystems need to be structured in order to store and organise digital assets. They must also efficiently capture a significant amount of ongoing data from local campaigns and gather consumer insights to feed back to the central marketing teams for new campaign ideas and to evaluate asset relevance, as well as feeding personalisation.[4]

In conclusion

The mass one-to-one communication challenge seems a huge one, but it can be won. Companies must recognise and accept the change and understand their situation within this landscape. They must adopt a centralised approach for iterative marketing campaigns and content assets, and Part 2 of this article, The Marketing Factory approach for data-driven success, will explore this solution further and look at how companies are already winning big with this approach.


This article was created and written by Luigi Matrone - CEO & Founder of the eBusiness Institute. It was originally published on the eBusiness Institute Blog on July 2.








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