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The (Retail) Content-Powered
PREPARED FOR THE DIGIDAY RETAIL SUMMIT
JULY 29, 2014
Hello, I’m Ian Fitzpatrick.
Chief Strategy Officer, Almighty
Patrick Cassidy, in absentia.
Global Digital Strategy, New Balance
I’m here because our teams build (a lot of) content-
powered experiences together. Increasingly, those
experiences are tied to specific retail sales efforts.
6 things that we’ve learned (together and from one
another) about making the content we develop more
effective at selling footwear and apparel:
THE FIRST THING WE’VE LEARNED:
Content management is an
operational retail imperative,
not just a marketing or
We have to solve this at the technology stack level.
How is the content that we create going to flow
(globally) across online channels, retail outlets and
event displays from a single, manageable source?
Centralized content is an asset, not a threat, to the
role of the agency. We view it as a wellspring for new
ideas, and new experiences into which our ideas can
THE SECOND THING WE’VE LEARNED:
Be very valuable to a few
rather than loosely relevant to
We have to fight the urge to find scale in
everything. Determining how we’re going to measure
the success of content upfront is key to having small
From scale limitations, content value. The cost
constraints of niche markets allow agencies to flex their
strategic and media thinking in exciting ways.
THE THIRD THING WE’VE LEARNED:
Don’t forsake community as a
(still) great driver of
We have to think about engagement on a business
goal level. What kinds of interactions can we connect
to conversion, and what sorts of ongoing interactions
will that require of us?
Seek out the voices they don’t point you toward.
Sometimes, our best role is in helping to identify the
interesting (and interested) inside the organization.
THE FOURTH THING WE’VE LEARNED:
The retail customer remains an
under-utilized resource for
both content creation and
Iterate doesn’t mean anything if we’re not prepared
to listen. We can improve conversion if we are willing
to do the legwork to find out why people aren’t buying a
product (and then develop content to address it).
Listen without prejudice. Our greatest asset in
content for new markets is our objectivity. We are
THE FIFTH THING WE’VE LEARNED:
There’s still plenty of room for
improvement in the content
We have to mind the gap between the features and
specs we care about, and those that drive relevance
and conversion. For all of the talk about ‘adding value’
with content, are we sure that the value we’re adding is
Don’t subordinate the basics. Sometimes, the long
money is in passing on the shiny new object and
diverting it to fixing the rusty old pipes.
THE SIXTH, AND LAST, THING WE’VE LEARNED:
specifically to cement great
Shared content development is a path to lighting
lots of fires. Building a small program together is the
best possible path to building something larger
Be the broker. Treat a channel partner as an extension
of your client — and a great opportunity, not chum.
TO REPEAT OURSELVES
Figure out YOUR content technology stack
Focus on the small and highly relevant
Start saying ‘community’ again
Go back to retail for insights
Cover the basics
Give it away to create new channels