How Altavia Unite helped Rabobank orchestrate its content creation

Altavia Unite is part of the Altavia Group, an independent international group specializing in communication and content creation, particularly for the retail, FMCG and financial sectors.


How Altavia Unite helped Rabobank orchestrate its content creation

Recently, Altavia Unite reactivated an existing relationship with Rabobank, one of the largest cooperatives in the Netherlands with almost two million members, to take on the production of its member magazine Rabo & Co.

The challenge

The bureau recently reactivated an existing relationship with Rabobank, one of the largest cooperatives in the Netherlands with almost two million members, by taking on the production of its member magazine Rabo & Co.


With 3,740 pages, 1,500 layouts, 85 editions and 300+ users creating four issues a year, there is an intensive creative production process. We spoke to Robbert Jan Blekemolen, product owner of customer-centric IT tools, and talked to him about this particular project, how content orchestration helps the agency stay competitive and how agencies need to think about technology to win new clients.


Welcome, Robert Jan. Can you tell us something about your project at Rabobank?


Yes of course. This is a particularly interesting client because of the scale and complexity of the project. The magazine is a crucial touchpoint for communication with members and being locally relevant is one of Rabobank’s most important initiatives. So there are three levels of each quarterly edition. One third of the content is national, one third is regional and one third is local for each bank branch. In total, about 300 people work in WoodWing Studio to create the content. And the circulation is between 1.2 and 1.5 million copies.


That sounds like a complex workflow!


Yes, it is indeed quite complex – 3,740 pages in ten weeks, with a tight deadline. We create the magazine in three steps: national, regional and local content. Some of our content creators – writers and people responsible for images all work with Rabobank, and we do a final check on all pages to make sure they are complete, image quality is high enough, and so on. We also have a live ticketing system to help content creators with any issues. The content creators are not specialists in magazine creation, but do this in addition to their final work. We therefore keep it as simple as possible in terms of layout and editing choices to avoid confusion.

Can you explain to us how you won Rabobank, in terms of what pain points you solved?


Before we started working for Rabo, there was an agency that made the magazine in a traditional desk structure with minimal use of automation. This involved a large number of people, with much more communication, and as a result processes were inefficient and expensive. We’ve been working with Rabobank for over 20 years, so they asked us if we could help them.

Content orchestrating

In partnership with Qonqord, we have offered WoodWing Studio as a place to create content and get started right away.


There was a high level of learning on the job with a very complex production run, but ultimately very successful. For example, with their old way of working, it would take weeks to change a template, but now we can change templates in a matter of minutes.

There was another big benefit to the technology solution and the new workflow: it meant that we are much more efficient with our processes, and because we can do more with less, we are also more competitive.


We have a much smarter solution, and being smarter means being competitive with your rates.


How does an organization such as a bank view the technology you offer? Are things like UX important considerations for them?


The live preview of the edited pages and the configurable user rights are convincing. Since banks generally don’t know much about content creation and publishing technology, it helped a lot when we could show them the benefits. We explained the platform and they experienced that it is user-friendly, has an easy search function, is cloud-based and users can log in with a personal password and username, so that all changes are recorded individually. Building trust by explaining and demonstrating was helpful.


In that regard, how important do you think it is for agencies to innovate in technology?


We are in a competitive industry, especially with the retail side of our business. The pricing models we used to work with, where we added a surcharge on the purchase prices, are no longer future-proof. Other agencies face the same problem. They used to be able to charge a margin on top of media purchases, but that no longer works. So we all need to find smarter ways to help customers. With this very complex and large-scale collaboration with Rabobank, we manage this account with only a small group of people. This is possible because we are able to adapt technology solutions and scale the workflows to help us work smarter. It’s the only right way to follow..

And do you think it helps to bring in new customers?


Despite the Covid situation in 2020, we believe this case is a changemaker. While most customers are still used to working in a more traditional workflow, we believe the power of Woodwing Studio.


Last question; how is the relationship with Rabobank going?


The current process of Rabo & Co is going very well, but there is much more efficiency gains to be made. Currently they are publishing 85 different PDFs online, which is time consuming and obviously not ideal for the reader. Since it is a very important communication channel for members, they really want the experience to be a good one. We are now discussing using WoodWing with them to publish the content on digital channels.

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