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Podcast - Webinar: Assessing Data and Content Readiness for Your Digital Transformation Journey

Preparing content for the digital shelf, or in truth, all the digital shelves, is a process, organizational, and technical challenge. Not for the faint of heart. THis is a podcast presentation of a recent Digital Shelf Playbook series webinar, featuring two experts who are deeply experienced in driving this process across multiple organizations. Lauren Livak, who ran North American Digital shelf strategy at Johnson and Johnson and is now the Director of the Digital Shelf Institute and Barbara Jenny-Wilson, Director of Digital Content Programs at Coty. Peter is on board as emcee.


Peter (00:00):

Welcome to unpacking the digital shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.

Speaker 2 (00:16):


Peter (00:18):

Hey everyone, Peter Crosby, executive director of the digital shelf Institute here preparing content for the digital shelf or in truth. All the digital shelves is a process organizational and technical challenge, not for the faint of heart. This is a podcast presentation of a recent digital shelf playbook series webinar, featuring two experts who are deeply experienced in driving this process across multiple organizations, Lauren Livak, who ran north American digital shelf strategy at Johnson and Johnson. And is now the director of the digital shelf Institute and Barbara Jenny Wilson, director of digital content programs at Cody I'm on board as your genial yet curious MC

Peter (01:02):

All right, that is a Tapper. The man, are you ready for this? And that is the big question as we start this webinar today, just so delighted to have everyone with us. I, again, I'm Peter Crosby executive director of the digital shelf Institute here and welcome to the fifth webinar halfway through our 10 episode digital shelf playbook series. So before we start a reminder that throughout the session, please feel free to drop your questions or comments into the Q and a window, and we will get to as many as we can. And we'll be sending out a recording to all of you in a couple of days following to share with your colleagues. So with that, I just want to remind you that the digital shell playbook webinar series is really this 10 pillars series that said about all of the functions that we all need to get good at over time in order to advance through the digital shelf maturity curve in order to get better and better at what we're doing, driving more growth, more market share, and a better customer experience and consumer experience. And so we've been through process people and team structure, executive mentality. We also, the, the sort of the first webinar has been the, the outline of the digital maturity curve itself that we've laid out in partnership with Salsify. But today is all about data and content readiness. And so Lauren would that I'll hand it off to you.

Lauren (02:23):

Perfect. Thank you, Peter. And thank you everyone for joining, very excited to kick off data and content readiness with Barbara. So in terms of what we're going to talk about today, we're going to talk about what is data and content readiness. What do we mean by that? Why does it actually matter? What does re readiness entails? So when you think about your organization, writing is can mean a lot of different things, depending on what you're talking about. And then what are some common content challenges and some solutions and great stories from Barbara about how you might be able to implement different or work with things within your organization. So to start off, why does it matter at the end of the day, the data and the content that you have is the backbone of the digital shelf, because your customers are going to your product detail page.

Lauren (03:16):

They are looking at the images, they are reading the specs, they are reading the description and they're using all of that data and all of that content to inform their decisions about making a purchase. So it really is critical that you not only have that data and content visible to the consumer, but that you also have a process internally and you know, what teams to talk to and which systems have that data and content so that you can get it live. And for those of you who have been a part of the series so far, we've talked a bit about process and when it comes to data and content readiness, that really ties into your overall process and making sure you're working cross-functionally. So we will talk a bit about that as well. And content is really an iceberg. If you think about it, and it's about uncovering, what are the pieces kind of under the water that you need to identify from a content perspective, because what you see and what the customer sees is the product detail page.

Lauren (04:21):

What are they seeing on the page? What images, what copy, how is that helping to drive, search and conversion? That's everything at that top that you see on Amazon or Walmart or home Depot, but what you don't see, and all the wheels that are turning internally within an organization is what content powers that digital self shelf process, what systems does it live in, potentially, what gaps are there, how are you working internally within silos to get that data? Are there any issues with it? What is the level of complexity of your taxonomy? Is there a governance process? So that's really what we're going to talk about today. All of that, those things that happen kind of under that iceberg, getting that content ready to go so that all of the consumers can see it on that product detail page and Barbara. And I love this visual here in this topic when we're talking about product data, life cycle.

Lauren (05:23):

And the purpose of this is to think about the product in the center, which for this example is a cover girl makeup product and understanding the content that feeds that as well as the questions that the consumers are asking about the product and why you need that content. So when you think about a product, no matter what it is, you need your supply chain information. You need the specs, the weight, the dimensions that comes from the ERP. You might have a PLM where it has materials, text backs, and then a PIM, which has the merchandising details and all of your channel needs. But what the consumer is asking is what color is it? What shade is it? Where do I buy it? How do I use it? Where is it sold? Those are the questions that they are asking, and that's matching up to the systems and the data that you have. So making sure that you're identifying for your specific category for your specific types of product, what are people asking if it's makeup, they're asking for shade, if it's food they're asking for flavor, is it gluten-free, is it beacon? So making sure you understand what are those questions your customers are asking and do you have the data that matches up with it and where is it so that you can get it out onto that product detail page?

Lauren (06:50):


Barbara Jenny-Wilson (06:52):

Thank you indeed. It's we love that circle, right? Because it actually, it's quite a busy slide, but it illustrates how many stars essentially need to align to make that virtual product experience come to life. And this slide also, they've seen a little bit deeper into this, right? So the, the visible part is, is, is what you see. And this is often actually what brand people like to think about when they think about product content, they look at some images and some key information but they sometimes lack the visibility of a lot of other data elements that are needed for the product to be actually sellable both online and in a store. Right. And, and also understand how some of these data elements are being used. And like, we think about the core product data being that, you know, the dimensions, the height and the width or, you know, the categorization, which is so essential when it comes to find the ability online, right.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (07:52):

In terms of searches search criteria. And there's more than one way of classifying a product. So that's also something that is often a bit misleading you know, or just some basic ingredient, like information for marketing, like ingredients. And, you know, they are some embarrassing, but true stories where, you know, we have a brand people saying yes when it comes to ingredients. So instead of writing out ingredients and this almost ended up on our target site right before somebody managed to put the plug into that and say like, hold on a second. That's probably not an ingredient copy that needs to be there. But all of that highlights really that there is actually that disconnect, you know, the visible part of the iceberg and the invisible one is often also because the organization is actually not the same working across these data points, but also because they don't always talk to each other or don't have line of sight and visibility to everything that needs to come together. And

Lauren (08:55):

Barbara, you make a really valid point, but the content that you're creating is not only for the digital shelf, it's also for in-store set up meeting those specifications and the supply chain data. You need to know what size of the product is for the planogramming process. So all of this content and data readiness is critical for both in store and online. And so it's also important to think about it holistically and not do it in two separate ways so that you have the same content for each of those different,

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (09:26):

Very, very true. Right. and so degree, you could almost argue that, you know, in most companies, the digital team is the newer kid on the block because we've been selling into a brick and mortar stores for a lot longer than we've been selling online. But it does create these new organizational tendencies, right, where people are need to be talking to each other. And so moving and looking about how can we bring, you know, align all the stores together. How can you make sure that all this content comes together? The way we think about it right, is, is that first we need to really start with a definition about what is the data that you need and where does it sit today in your organization, in your, in your, in the company. And then you want to run some tests with that.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (10:12):

And the reason why it's important to run tests early is so that you understand if that is actually truly, truly the right source system or source place for that data. And if it's actually really maintained. So if you run some tests to see if this is actually a valid element of source otherwise you can potentially bet on the wrong horse, right. But once you know, that that kind of let's take ingredients, you have a, you have a PLM system and it's well-maintained, and it works. You really want to invest in automating how that information comes forward into, into the payment PX solution that is being used to stop that copy pasting and download and re-upload and all the errors that come with that. And to enable ways to identify when something doesn't come. So the gaps to, to work on that.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (11:04):

And once you've done that effort, because that is heavy effort, right? Integrating source systems is not something that just takes a click of the fingers. You also want to scale that, right? You really want to make sure that you drive leverage of that new data point to as much retailers and endpoints as possible to, to create highest efficiency and ROI on that investment, essentially. So then you have now a stream of content that comes from the source systems over all the way to the, to the retailers. An important reason why there's audit in there is, is that you want to check, but it really shows up the way that each book with the end consumer, right. Nods her head, because we've all been there, you send it. And it doesn't, it doesn't transgress through the retailer systems because they have a complicated system set up as well.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (11:54):

And so auditing is actually an important element to understand that the effort that you put in is something that actually materializes on the retailer side as well. And then you're not done. You just start over again through optimization because that is a continuous stream. And I think we have another slide on that. Right. Talk, what does optimization mean? One thing that I like to look at regularly is understand kind of like what kind of content and data elements are actually being populated by local teams and local teams. And really understand if either, you know, does it fulfill its potential or not? So that's a, that's one big thing to look at as a w what is being used. Retailers are obviously the ones who drive a lot of the new requirements, or find a way of listening to them and hearing what they need, and then build that into the definition stream.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (12:49):

Right. So that you can find so latest things, right? It's like, what are the concerns? Is it Newton, cruelty-free vegan? What have you you know, in some cases that is you know, that needs to go back to the more R and D type of teams to, to be able to determine these things. So it does sometimes take time to identify the right sources for these pieces of information. And the last thing that is really, really important right, is that this stuff is only to become bigger and more, and we really need to find ways of governing how we're doing all of this and leveraging you know, core data governance exists on the enterprise side for a long time. I think on the marketing side, we need to apply the same kind of principles and help educate people on what's available, how it should be used and make sure that we're not creating this, you know, there's going to be more and more data points, but they should essentially be a unique data point for your specific needs and not three times the same things for, for the same thing.

Peter (13:52):

Hey, Barbara, can I ask you a quick question? What, when I was looking at your prior slide where you were talking about that stage, where you really start to scale to specialize by retailer experience, how do you think about how you scale your people for that? Is, are there, do you have folks on your team that are specializing in retailers, or how does that, how does that work? Is that a useful question? It's just my curiosity.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (14:15):

No, absolutely. I think so. And in, in Coty, right. Global local. So the scale actually happens at the local level, but define an automate is still a very global thing, right? So there is this concept of a handoff between a global organization and then the scale to send it all out to the, to the retailers is at the local level. And then there are the local teams and you know, we want to develop you know, super users who can kind of like stay connected closer to the, to the, to the retailer requirements and really maintain that syndication work.

Peter (14:50):

So is about expanding the abilities and the capabilities to work within the system out, into, across the globe

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (14:59):

So that you have capacity to be able to, to meet the needs of every particular locality and retailer. Yeah. Right. So system support is there is essential, right? Because you can't to syndicate to my end points, you shouldn't be adding more hands, you should be working smarter. Right. So yeah, using system it like, so the, the channel mappings and things like that are essential to be able to.

Peter (15:24):

That's great. Sorry to interrupt. I was just, just curious how you think about those sort of capacity things as you grow. And that makes a ton of sense.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (15:32):

We can talk maybe a bit more about when we talk global to local, because that's where capacity also comes in.

Lauren (15:39):

And Barbara, when you talk about retailers as well, can you speak a bit to how to meet all of the retailer requirements since every single retailer is different and how you think about meeting, maybe the smaller retailer who doesn't have as many requirements and then the, the larger retailer that has so many different requirements.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (15:57):

Yes. It's it's a challenge, right? And again, this is really where we need to partner with the key accounts and really understand what can we do, what needs to be done now, or what can be done later. You know, there's, there's always wishes to do more everywhere, right? For me, the things that I've always liked to kind of push back a bit and be careful about is things can be, haven't really defined the source correctly. So there could be an urgent need to give something to Walmart as an example, right. Then Walmart really wants it, and we can put the bandaid on it by providing a property that somebody manually fills out. But without being extra clear internally on, you know, where, where does this information come from and what system holds it today? This is a very, for me, it's a bit of a risky business, right? Because you're never sure if it actually gets maintained intelligent correctly or intelligently. So this is where you really want to work with the retailer account teams to understand, you know, what, what can we do easily now? What we'll come a bit later and almost develop a roadmap of the things that are coming through as we look into integrating your source systems. So the source system, automation is a, is a big piece of work. And something that I've been working for the last two years on and keep working on it

Lauren (17:16):

Is a continuous process, right?

Peter (17:18):

Again, just the marathon, it's both the marathon and the sprint.

Lauren (17:24):

Exactly. And before I get to this slide, I do want to say one thing about context. So our GRA mentioned context a few times, and I think that's very important to highlight that when you're working cross-functionally and you're asking teams for data, they need to understand why you are asking for it and providing that context just smooth, the transition and the working together, because everybody understands what goal you are trying to get to and why and how the ask will support that end goal. So always providing that context is, is very, very important. And we'll just help everyone as you work together to meet your overarching digital goals. And in terms of cross functional alignment, this is a very common thread through every session that we're doing as a part of this webinar series, and specifically for data and content readiness. These two questions are critical to help you think about where to start.

Lauren (18:30):

So the first one being, and Barbara mentioned this already, what is the source of your data? Where does it live? Is it in an Excel or SharePoint today? Where should it be tomorrow? And does it live regionally? Does it live globally? Is it different by country? So asking those questions to first understand what is the source of the data, and then who is the internal customer, as well as the external customer of that data. So internally who owns it, who owns the system who owns to Barbara's point updating the data, which internal functions are also consuming it, and where are they going to consume it? Because if it's inconsistent and people are going to different systems or using outdated Excel sheets, that causes a lot of problems. So making sure that the internal teams also know where to go to for the data. So that it's also clear when it's shared externally, like example, the ingredients that are shared, it's consistent. So making sure internally teams know where to find that content and then making sure that it shows up externally and mapping that out and clearly communicating that is a really great way to have that cross functional alignment across the board. And Barbara, I don't know if you have anything

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (19:50):

Indeed. And to the point they're actually starting to become a lot more specific to tell people who owns which property, right. Is it a global field? Is it, is it with the master data team? Is it with market brand global brand teams, et cetera, to be there it's very granular, right. But it's important for people to know who's accountable. And then who do they, can they go to, if it's not right, or if it's missing. And as you said, right, also talking about very sick going to end up, it's also important for them to know whatever your type here is, what shows up somewhere on the website.

Lauren (20:24):

Exactly. And I think my slide skipped, sorry about that. So we would love to do a poll when we're talking about global and local here to better understand the group on the phone. And if you have teams that are creating content at a global or local level, so this is a poll that's going to pop up on your screen momentarily, but we'd love to, if you create content at a local level, at a global level or at a global and local level, which is also possible as well. So it looks like we have some results here. And it's saying that about 67,

Peter (21:04):

We are still, it's still running Lauren, hold your, hold, your polling horses. They are, although really the numbers aren't changing a lot. So out, we just got, I have a global team. All right, I'm going to end the poll in 3, 2, 1, and here are the results.

Lauren (21:26):

Perfect. Okay. So that 62% have both a local and a global team and 31% have a local team. And I think Barbara, we were expecting it to be local and global. Right. That's what we were thinking would be the case.

Peter (21:42):

And Lauren, is that a, is that a recommendation like, or are there stages where an organization might only have a global team? Like what would be the situation that would not want you to be local and global because of the complexities that Barb was talking about?

Lauren (21:57):

I think it depends on the size of the company and also to your point, Peter, the maturity. So a lot of times you begin at a local level and that's where you're executing and you're making sure you can figure everything out at a local level. And then as you expand and you brought in within your organization, you create some sort of governance at a global level that can then support the local teams as you're trying to grow. So usually I would say the norm would be a global and local team of some sort, whether it's a COE or some sort of global support. And, and to that point about the, the kind of handoff and some of the things you need to think about when you're thinking about global and local, and Barbara mentioned this a bit already, timeline is incredibly critical. And the reason for that is because the retailers at the end of the day define the time home Depot, Kroger, Walmart, Amazon.

Lauren (22:51):

They tell us when they want their content. And so from there, we, as an organization would need to backtrack and say, okay, how much time does the local team need to customize it for whether it be the region or country, depending on how you define local within your organization. And then how long does the global team need to create that upfront content that is then handed off to the local team. And that handoff is incredibly critical. It needs to be very clear. It needs to be communicated consistently. You need to make sure that you have the right type of content in the right format for the local team to then go activate it so that you can get to the launch phase and continue to optimize it. And the really critical part about this and an exercise that would be great to perform if you haven't already within your organization is to time out these pieces. How long does that global piece take? How long does the local piece take and how are you accounting for holidays or large sales cycles or new launches and mapping out that time? So then handoff is very easy when it comes time to do that hand up and you understand how long it will take. And I know Barbara, you live this every day. So

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (24:12):

1000% content on time is the biggest driver of success at the local level. Absolutely. And because I think it's not quite the fair representation, global content creation. Usually it takes a lot longer than the local markets have. And I think one of the elements that we're focusing a lot more on is keeping the global teams a bit more accountable because we've seen, you know, global teams are late, but that red line doesn't move. So there is a true, real crunch that is hurting the business potential of your launches. When you, when the teams just don't have enough time, right. Or even worse, right. They go away and create new content because they can't rely on the global team giving it on time, which is just waste from from organization perspective. So this is it's huge, right? In terms of making that easy and smooth and keeping global teams accountable.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (25:10):

And we understand why, right? The creative process is, is still a creative process and does take time and to a degree it's also still critically obstruct still, right? For, for awhile. And then thousand things can happen while things delay. This is a very complicated piece that even if it's, what did we have recently, we needed to create a, you know, lifestyle imagery for the product launch. But we had supply issues that the product wasn't on time in the photo studio for the shoot, and then, you know, you reschedule everything and then your celebrity's not available and these things happen, right. They happen all the time. So the reality at the local level is, is that they often get stuff not on time. And then their work is, is seriously crunched. And that's why we're also investing in AI, making them as efficient as possible, but also really putting a readiness readiness a bit more on the visible visibility map.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (26:11):

And I think somebody actually asked, how are we using Salsify to measure to track content readiness? So indeed so from our perspective, what we've started to implement this is that we want to be very, very clear what's expected from global teams to deliver, right, in terms of what kind of content and when and then you track that and you make it incredibly visible. There's somebody who wants to talk me that in order to drive change, you need to make it visible and you need to make it painful. In terms of a pure competition kind of set up to really help illustrate that some teams can actually do it and others don't and then why, why don't they there's there's reasons, but ultimately I think the ultimate goal needs to be that the markets are enabled to do their job as well because otherwise sales suffer, we're here to sell products.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (27:04):

And then the visibility across all the teams, right? It's about making sure that the global teams know what they're supposed to deliver, but then also have visibility for the local team of when, if they're late, when are they coming? So there, it can be a lot can be done with, I know we're not here today, but we have a timeline and it's next week, right? So then the team can decide if they want to wait, or if they want to go run off already. So creating this visibility at both levels is very important. And one other thing that I find you know, I've seen, worked really well, is this that when you do particularly for product launches, right, you don't only develop content and texts. You also produce a product. And there is an entire organization, usually in a company who manages the technical readiness and the planning and the production of this product.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (27:56):

And they have usually an incredibly rigorous stage gating process in place to manage that. And piggybacking on that, as it comes to what kind of content needs to be ready when I can be a very helpful thing to do to help with the kind of a bit more drum beat. And you have to be on time kind of a session by just leaning that more creative brand work against a very deadline driven usually supply chain. I think it's usually the organization that does this. So that can be a few ways of driving on time.

Lauren (28:35):

And another thing to think about is the local team is activating within their market. And so they're boots on the ground and they're understanding the trends and the changes and the retailer requirements and what might be needed. So you need to have that streamlined communication from local to global and from global to local. So what is that consistent cadence that you're speaking that you're making sure that you're both informed of each other's needs. I've seen that to be the most successful in the global to local model, is that really clear, consistent, and, and very timely communication that needs to happen to make sure that those handoffs work in both the local and the global team are getting what they need.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (29:20):

Okay. Yeah. And now we talked about the elusiveness of readiness. What does ready actually mean? And so I think ultimately is what you want is you want to make sure that the right people have the right content when they need it. Right. but this can take lots of different forms. And so, you know, also coming to the question of how do you measure it you know, in some cases it's about making sure that we have a way to measure what kind of content do we have so that we can run refreshes. So kind of like, you know, you can imagine a workflow that basically says this was a product that was recently, that was syndicated. We were published three months ago. Let's take it as an example. And then it goes through a workflow where then it basically prompts somebody to say, Hey, go find more content and update and send out again.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (30:10):

Right. something like that, where you can like you help people work on this regular content refreshes. I think in Coty as well, right? The majority of our focus is as launch items and special occasion stuff, there's tends to be a lot of commercial focus on, on, on these elements. So a content ready for launch, right? Understanding what is needed and when global handoffs and local, it can even go. So one of the things we've not recently discovered, but something that we like to scale is that there are a few markets in Cozzi that actually have developed these very strict process timeline, starting from the sales cycle and go backwards, kind of like, this is the product that's going to be in the sales cycle. And this is the needs that we need to check here, here, here, and here. And they basically have checklists that they're going to go through at, you know, week minus, minus eight, minus seven, minus five.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (31:02):

And they have workflow tools that that support them to do that. So which is, which is great, right? Kind of like really helped big launches, the big sales cycles and support that. Interestingly it comes from the markets. Obviously they have more than just two sales cycles, because then it's easy if you have two, because you've worked focused on one and then you're focused on the next one. But if you have eight, 10, you're still in one before the next one already starts. So the differentiation between what's in sales cycle eight versus sales cycle nine, and where does it need to be, requires them to be a lot more specific about their checklists and what's needed when had second.

Lauren (31:41):

I think that's a great point, Barbara, about defining that process, operationalizing it, whether it be through a workflow or some sense, some sort of management process to be able to keep track of those things. And then it provides visibility cross-functionally because you can just share that and say, okay, here's our timeline. Here's where you plug in. Here's what we need from you. And everybody's on the same page. So really documenting it and automating it where you can is very helpful to be successful overall for content and data.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (32:10):

Indeed. Absolutely.

Lauren (32:13):

And to the content refreshed question that we were just talking about, we have another poll we would love to understand from the audience. Do you have a separate team for content refreshes on your existing product line or is it the responsibility of the brand? And when we say content refreshes, we mean anything from changing an image, updating the package, changing SEO changing the description, any type of change to the existing product information. Does that happen with the brand? Is there a separate team or there isn't a content strategy, content refresh strategy today,

Peter (32:53):

Oats are coming in. Perfect. I would love to give it just a second more time because eight people have participated. I want more data. I want more data. Lauren

Lauren (33:07):

Gotta have the data.

Peter (33:12):

Here we go. All right. I am going to close in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. And here we go. Perfect.

Lauren (33:26):

Perfect. All right. So it looks like about 80% have a separate team that handles content refreshes Barbara, is that what you were expecting? I know this one was of interest to you.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (33:37):

It's sort of makes sense. And right, because if you are a brand manufacturer, you are here in the business of producing new products and that the organization structure tends to kind of like really focus on that, but then you need to really have a separate, having a separate team helps. Right? So that you're not trying to, you know, always have that trade-off between, am I going to work on the launch or am I going to work on my hero skews that sells a lot.

Lauren (34:03):

And is that how you do it today from a content refresh to implant

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (34:08):


Lauren (34:10):

Great. And I think when we think about content refresh, a lot of that has to do with the content itself and, and as Barbara and I were preparing for this, we had a lot of conversation about how can you make sure you're using the content that you already have to the best of your ability across all of your channels. And that's where the concept of creative stretch came up. And what that means is how can you stretch the content that you already have into multiple channels? So an example we have on the screen here, this is for cover girl, and it is a video that was created. And then that image was used as a banner on their website to also then link to that image. That image was also then used on e-commerce on the digital shelf. So it's one piece of content used in multiple different wins.

Lauren (34:59):

And the reason why we bring that up is because when you think about data and content readiness in the beginning, when you're developing that content, it's very important to define how and where you're going to use it. So you might only have the budget to create maybe four pieces of content, but you can use that content in 10 to 15 different ways. So how are you thinking about how you can stretch that content further than just a video or just an image and what are the different channels that you can use it on? So planning that out at the beginning of your process, when you say, okay, new launch, here's the content I'm going to create. It enables you to use that content for refreshes because you can plan out the different channels of the different ways or the different formats that you can take that content and use it online. And Barbara, have you seen that being useful at Cody today?

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (35:58):

We're still working on that. This is not our strongest suit, but this is definitely what we wanted to do, right? Develop content that has this creative stretch. And it is, you know, arguably this does require a change in mindset on the creative side and the way that you breathe and, and, and the stronger connectedness over the total all the content channels, right, in the sense that we still have sometimes silos around, you know, I'm, I'm doing a shoot for TVC, I'm doing something for merchandising and doing something for digital and, and not all brands. Some brands are still very separate and others have come much closer together. And so this is really something that is not consistent yet. We obviously all want to go in that direction. But it does require a challenge like right. A culture mindset of, of how we are engaging at the very, very upstream and also understanding where is this content being used, right. It's kind of like, what's the media plan, what is going to happen with that campaign and, and design for that rather than just the creative, expressive wish essentially.

Peter (37:08):

But you've been talking a lot about how there are, you know, some brands are maybe further down the maturity curve in terms of the way they approach these things. You were just mentioning, even in this, how culturally at Cody, do you kind of share those best practices out and inspire other teams and highlight those teams that are kind of doing it well, is there a consistent way that you're doing, I know our next our next webinars on sort of education and things, but I'm just wondering how you approach that. And, and is it sort of ad hoc or do you have a process

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (37:43):

I'll attend that webinar? Peter? I think it's there, there is some, some form of sharing, but I think also what you need to understand is that Coty has a lot of fashion brands as well. So there is certain restriction that we have in terms of design, in terms of what kind of content and with whom we're developing that content. So there are some areas where we have a lot less slack and in other areas we have more. And then you know, arguably, you can also say that there is actually when there is a crunch for money, people start to talk to each other a bit more so that in some cases it's actually helped bringing people together to basically say it's smaller brands tend to actually do this a lot better than bigger brands. I feel because they really, they just like smaller markets are a lot better at activating smartly because they don't have the kind of like, you know, it's like sometimes having too many different people doing too many things, things get lost in between. And it's the same with you know, when you have a big creative budget then you have an ability to go to lots of different things. And if you don't, then it just make, you know, you bring it all together and you work together. And so I think sometimes it's external circumstances that drive more of the change then internal education systems.

Peter (39:02):

Yeah. We, we, we call it scrappy over here. Like the smaller teams are scrappier and can be a little bit more innovative and agile. And it's always the, the trick is how to sort of put that out. And a lot of it depends on, I would imagine on the right incentives and the right KPIs to sort of make sure that what's working is coming back into the organization.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (39:27):

Yes. So content performance right, is a, is a huge piece and understanding how much waste do you have and, and to sense about sensitivity making global brand teams aware of kind of like what they, what they output, how much is this used and needed by the markets and what isn't, and really enable this dialogue. And I think we're making progress there, but it's still something that we need to drive more.

Peter (39:54):

Thank you.

Lauren (39:55):

And in terms of a change of mindset, when you think of creative stretch, it's also keeping brand consistency across all your channels, right? Because you're using the same messaging, the same content, and the consumer is seeing the same type of brand on any channel that they go to. So in terms of that mindset shift, I've seen that a lot when talking to organizations and a big question is always, how do we frame this? And that's usually how brands decide to frame it, keeping the consistent messaging, keeping the same Brandon, no matter where a consumer is looking, no matter what channel,

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (40:29):

It's a very good point, actually. So this familiarity breeds confidence, right? It's that, you know, I've seen this before kind of, you know, and, but it's subconscious. We don't realize it. So yeah, absolutely. That's a good, it's a good to know. It could be

Lauren (40:42):

Exactly. And to, to close out, we wanted to highlight some things to watch out for. And I know this is a bit of a text heavy slide, but we're going to highlight just a couple of them and talk about what a solution could really be to fixing some of these watch outs. And the first one that I'm going to highlight here is it's very manual processes with multiple systems that don't speak to each other. We've talked about this a bunch in terms of identifying what those systems are, is very critical to first identify them, understand if all of them are necessary, understand how all of them talk to each other and integrate together, and then automating the processes that you can. And automation could mean notification of something that is happening. It could be automation of a task. So instead of a manual email, it's automated, how are you thinking about the ways that you can consistently repeat things so that you don't have to have one person hand something off or send out an email or do something through a manual process? So thinking about all those systems, mapping them out, seeing how they work together, that helps from a data and content readiness perspective, because then you can also define the owner and have the owner who knows the content and the data so well help with that automation piece. Barbara, do you have one that kind of stands out?

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (42:06):

Yeah. So it's maintenance process for content, and we've talked a bit about content refresh, but I want to talk about phase in phase out because that is actually something that can come out of left field. You know, so you have the teams developing global content and make sure that this is associated with your products. And then, you know, the things that happens is, is that product gets changed out. And the content now is on the old skin and you need to make sure that you carry that through. So in terms of making sure that you always have the right assortment with the content and really leverage like product life cycle teams, the planning teams who have information on pipe is something that can help do that so that you can port the content over from the phase out product to the phasing product and make sure that somebody has a check and make sure that they understand, you know, what has changed, you know, is it, has it been an ingredient change or is it just a packaging change in which case we need new images or whatever it is.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (43:10):

So that is a, another one that you should pay attention to, to make sure that the, all the effort that's gone in actually continues to pay off and phase out phase in phase out, at least in our industry, we have quite a bit. So making sure that that is operationalized it's important.

Lauren (43:29):

And I think we are actually at time Peter, right?

Peter (43:34):

We, we are so, but I just, I have to ask one last question to just make sure I understand you know, what the experience is like going through this. I think it will be, it'll be useful. So when you're trying to put all this content together, Barbara, what do you find? Which content is the most challenging to find within the organization and why

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (44:02):

Technical product information? It's not stuff that's sorry that comes out really because it's at least in Coty, but I cannot speak to all other companies. But so there, there are a few information like warnings and, and certainly, you know, allergens and you know, even ingredients to the degree. We are not a food company who has a very strong connection to the formulation and, and, and specifications systems. So as such, we are not there and therefore all the technical information, I'm going to say technical information that is on product doesn't flow easily to into our systems. And again, it's also historical, right? It's this is information that marketing is exposed to that massively because it's actually not their responsibility to, to drive the development of the product packaging, the product foundation. Right.

Peter (45:02):

So, and KPIs.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (45:05):

Yeah. Right. But if you'd ask her or the known, and they wouldn't say that they would say something else probably. Right. Because as a, as a, as a food company, you know, you are a lot tighter against the, the, the, the makeup of the product itself.

Peter (45:19):

Yeah. It is interesting. We're actually working on a white paper right now around the new consumer mindset, the desire of the consumer to know what they're buying what's in it that often drives differentiation to can drive margin. And in many cases it's also being driven by regulation right. And, and compliance. And it depends on the industry, but I think that ability to be able to source that information, no, it's no it's accurate and keep it up to date across all touch points is going to be just the same as we've been working on just for the basic logistics data and things like that. So I'm very interested in, in sort of how that sort of rolls out and gets managed over the next couple of years. That's for sure.

Barbara Jenny-Wilson (46:03):

Yeah. Or like, even like how much of the packaging is in recycled plastic. It's like, oh my God, I know where the system is. You know, after working through a lot of these defining and understanding the different source systems, we know where it should be, but that tool doesn't have the capability of capturing it yet. And while there is a huge sustainability effort going on in cookie, the systems haven't really caught up with that. So some of that information sits in Excel, right. And then you need to always ask, so who maintains and how well, and who is the accountable person for this? And yeah. So this is, there are always new challenges in this.

Peter (46:39):

Hopefully, someday a lot of that will get into one system so that it's maintained the same way as every other piece of content. Thanks so much to Lauren and Barbara for allowing us this crossover episode of the digital shelf playbook series, if you would like to see or share the original source webinar, we have the link in the show notes, or go to digital shelf institute.org/digital-shelf-playbook. All the webinars of the digital shelf playbook series will be posted there over the coming months. If you have questions about any of this or hate using show notes please feel free to reach out to Lauren anytime on LinkedIn or@laurenatdigitalshelfinstitute.org. Thanks for being part of our community.