Creative Zoo – a leading branding agency in Denmark – an example of an agency focusing on sustainable revenue streams. Thomas Brovst, Digital Transformation Specialist, and Hans-Georg Hansen, Senior Adviser on Communications, explain how Creative Zoo meets challenges and thrives in a competitive environment.
RECENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN SOME INTERESTING INNOVATIONS IN BUSINESS MODELS FOR CREATIVE AND MARKETING AGENTS.
Drivers include the evolving media landscape and the distribution of content on new channels. In the short term, this evolution has been accelerated by the consequences of Covid-19; marketing budgets have taken a hit. Building sustainable competitive advantages is now more important than ever.
WELCOME, THOMAS AND HANS-GEORG! GET STARTED TELL US ABOUT CREATIVE ZOO, WHAT YOU DO AND WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMERS YOU WORK WITH?
Hans-Georg: Yes, certainly. Previously, we were a traditional brand agency, helping clients with their visual identity and design challenges. We have won a number of awards and have been quite successful. It remains an important part of our business today. But we also diversify. We work with clients such as membership organizations, manufacturers, and a few other segments to help with their content needs – especially mainstream, highly designed content, such as magazines, product brochures, and so on. Although they come from different companies, the common thread in this audience is that they have to produce some sort of regular content to tell their stories to their audience.
WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC PROBLEMS YOU SOLVE FOR THESE NEW CUSTOMERS?
Thomas: Many of the new prospects we speak to have common issues. They usually work with many different tools; social, web and print, and so on, are silos and lack a large overview. They also do a lot of copying and pasting and get lost in the workflow, with large numbers of images and files flying around – what WoodWing calls ‘content spaghetti’. So one of the main issues we solve from a technical standpoint is how we can simplify and streamline their tooling, automate their workflows and do as much work as possible in one interface.
HOW DO YOU CONTACT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Hans-Georg: We’re trying to get hold of the people who make the content, whether they’re in communications, marketing or another team. In most cases, we already know what problems they are experiencing and where their pain is, and we show them how we can help them. We try to understand the purpose and audience of the content, and once we understand that, we can start discussing channels and what kind of formats we will be marketing – print, podcast, video or anything else. Thomas: At this point we also start talking about tooling. We open their eyes to the possibilities of what they can achieve with the right tool, rather than with five different tools. That quickly becomes very interesting for them, because they can do away with those copy-paste processes where five or ten versions are made and nobody knows which one is approved. Hans-Georg: Yes, the summary of it all is really about working closely with the client to learn how to orchestrate their content, from the strategic, workflow and tooling perspective.
WOODWING AS A CENTRAL SOLUTION
You use WoodWing as a central solution for some of these customers – WoodWing Assets for content management and WoodWing Studio for content creation and workflow. At what point do you involve WoodWing in the conversation? Thomas: An important thing to note is that we are a creative agency – not an IT provider. We co-create content with our customers and are fully focused on solving their problems and making their day easier, not on selling IT functionality.
SO WOODWING IS NEVER THE START OF THE CONVERSATION
In the beginning we demonstrate our creativity and knowledge, supported by useful tools. However, as the conversation progresses, we use WoodWing as evidence to convince the customer that we’re worth talking to. Coming back to an earlier point about streamlining tools, let’s show that WoodWing can be the single most important interface to work in, and it’s very valuable in automating processes and managing workflows. That makes them very interested in working with us. Hans Georg: Again, it helps for us to show content creators that WoodWing is the most important tool they will use every day and to show that it makes their lives easier, giving them more time to spend on things that are more productive and fun.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH CONTENT ORCHESTRATING FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Thomas: For magazine content, we have found that in some cases we have offered a platform too late. We were too focused on making content beautiful. However, to be effective, we will now start with an editorial meeting with the communications or marketing team, and ideally some of the content creators or designers as well, as the people who have the product in their hands often have good ideas about how processes can be improved. In these meetings we mainly try to dig under the surface and ask stupid questions about processes, and challenge them to come up with new ways of working. We then create collections in WoodWing Assets and share them with external contributors through upload links. Then there is some sort of selection process that is handled through statuses. We usually have an internal process with the editors where they review articles and make suggestions about the images, then hand over files and assets to our creative people. Then it goes into production at WoodWing Studio.
We have structured by
- Savings on DTP production costs
- Consistent brand image
- Efficient process for digital publishing
- Integration of data and files
- Lower process costs
- Multi-channel publishing
- Online collaboration in workflow
- Shortened creation and production cycles
- Accelerate the time to market