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How smart production is driving change in India

Smart production offers an efficient way to align processes across the digital journey, optimise budget efficiency and elevate the customer experience through visual consistency across channels and audiences, writes Gayatri Sethi, Vice-President, Growth and Operations, MediaMonks India

Gayatri Sethi

With restricted protocols, smaller budgets and social distancing measures in place, the last few months were no paradise for content production. And while not all industries were equally impacted by the pandemic, most brands in India and worldwide were urged back to the drawing board with one thing in common: the need to make do with fewer resources.

In order to continue showing up for consumers digitally, brands had to shift their mindset in how they produced content. In that sense, smart production—an approach to creating a high volume of assets at record speed and efficiency—offers a strategic way to optimise budgets and build fit-for-format content that resonates with audiences across channels.

The need to populate these channels with an always-on volume of content has accelerated under the pandemic, but it’s not new. ​Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends​ report predicted that outdated workflows would be a top barrier to creating successful digital experiences for 53% of large organisations. But considering how the rest of 2020 played out, developing new, more efficient production processes became table stakes, and it requires brands to adapt their strategy—one that breaks down internal silos to build relevant content at speed. 

An Integrated Production Makes Integrated Content

During the pandemic, the need for production increased significantly. For many, the immediate response was to tackle this by working with small teams and freelancers that could cover each need separately, but siloed production processes can often result in disjointed content. When agencies and production hubs involve two different teams working separately, brand identity can be lost. 

As a company that does both, MediaMonks is actively fighting this through a unitary structure integrated across continents, time zones and mergers. This approach can help brands balance content and maintain a holistic ecosystem — especially in countries as diverse as India, where assets must be adapted across regions, languages and cultural differences to resonate with specific audiences.

But, to get there, brands need to eliminate the unnecessary division between agencies and production houses and reassess the concept of the ‘big idea’ ​that doesn’t respond to today’s digital needs. It is important to rely on partners that can provide a larger number of digital-first assets that drive engagement across many channels rather than only one big thing that may offer wide reach but limited relevancy.

Balancing Quality, Time and Budget

When the final goal is to outshine and capture those 1.7 seconds of attention that consumers spend with a piece of content, it is crucial to start ​producing around the consumer journey​—understanding the value of high-quality assets, plugging in data and tailoring creative content that speaks to the audience. Smart production is about finding that balance and reducing total costs by producing many assets simultaneously for the long term.

Making 200 assets in a two-day shoot gives brands the possibility to build a content library to fall back on, with reusable, adaptable content for different formats, sizes and languages—something that was especially proven useful during lockdown restrictions. And this fit-for-purpose approach does not sacrifice quality. In fact, it helps brands create content that is better suited for each digital platform and drives higher conversion rates.

The pandemic put brands in a dilemma: budgetary restrictions made it more difficult to produce the volume of evolving content needed to keep in touch with audiences digitally—they can’t be neglected. Instead, improving ROI through smart production becomes a better approach. And even for brands that are not budget-strapped, a significant investment doesn’t guarantee success if it’s not strategically allocated. Format-ready assets built for each channel have the power to reach audiences with greater impact than putting your entire budget behind a big-idea TVC and ​cutting it down​ to fit a growing number of different formats.

On that note, ​virtual production​ can also help increase flexibility and customisation in a cost-effective way. Through the development of 3D assets, brands can keep up with the demand for content by shooting product images in their different forms in real-time, such as variations in lighting, environment, color and more. By avoiding costly shootings that must be repeated with each new product or feature, virtual production enhances the delivery of powerful, cohesive experiences across a range of consumer touchpoints and markets. In fact, MediaMonks India has served as a central hub to power virtual production for brands all over the world.

This is possible because we are organised to offer an agile solution under one P&L, a multidisciplinary, artist-first production house catering to every relevant channel, not just one. Digital has become a decisive component for every marketing strategy, and connecting with the consumer in the virtual ecosystem requires an integrated mindset across all platforms.

In general, smart production offers an efficient way to align processes across the entire digital journey, optimise budget efficiency and elevate the customer experience through visual consistency across channels and audiences. Eliminating silos and working with partners that provide holistic, end-to-end solutions is the first step toward digital success.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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