Digital Interactive Services
Now Available at Your Nearest IT Services Firm: A Brand-New Content Studio
The past decade has seen a rather interesting phenomenon play out across IT services companies in India and elsewhere: that of acquisition and launch of content studios that offer a range of creative services. As a direct consequence of rampant digitization, especially that of marketing, an efficient content setup is now a business-enabling function.
A decade and a half ago, the tale of Johannes Guttenberg figured prominently in lessons at journalism schools. A German national and a goldsmith by profession, he had invented and built the first printing press in 1436, triggering the Printing Revolution in Europe. It was the late-2000s when popular publications in India were just establishing their online presence. Subscriptions to printed newspapers were still high and barring a few media organizations, many published just a sample of their day’s work online.
Now, a decade and a half later, anything printed is soon turning primitive. The digital revolution, especially with the arrival of social media, has ensured that neither is content the exclusive domain of the media and entertainment industry, nor is the format restricted to just text and video and sound bites. Content now is created and consumed in various forms, right from 400-charactered tweets to live video snippets.
Born at the intersection of marketing and creative writing in the late 2000s, content marketing is now a discipline to master. The 2011 Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) study by Google – highlighting the research stage in a buying cycle that informs a potential customer’s decision – only served to drive home the importance of having a good content and SEO strategy.
Creativity can be process-defined
Envision a content studio and you’d think open plan offices, quirky décor and furniture. Ideas occur when they are least expected, often thought up or worked on in isolation. The antithesis of corporate values, creative work thrives on spontaneity and is rarely contained within a defined process. That’s where IT service firms differ – with their operations largely governed by established processes.
Architecting a solution plan requires a design that is contained within the context of those trusted processes. While this can be a direct contravention to the unwritten laws of creative work, there are definite advantages to having a governance framework in place, and a clear demarcation of services in what can be a vast landscape to bridge.
Organizations are now also increasingly enhancing their creative asset production process in-house. This brings us to one of the unique selling propositions of technology firms venturing into creative work: production as well as process efficiency.
Accenture Interactive’s (AI) foray into setting up content operations is a case in point that primarily focuses on providing solutions that integrate analytics, consulting, and technology to enhance market performance. Tata Consultancy Services has also started providing digital marketing solutions under the label TCS Interactive Life Sciences, offering a range of services including clinical and scientific writing, design thinking and production, UX and customer analytics.
Meanwhile, Infosys’s first acquisition in the creative space – Wongdoody – brought with it a unique perspective to design – HX or Human Experience. From producing an advertisement that brought post-partum depression into focus for a research study to ideating a commercial to make women more comfortable on a dating app, Wongdoody has set the tone for Infosys’s offerings in the digital and content space. Infosys’s other acquisitions in the space include studios and companies that have deep domain expertise in digital transformation, CX, brand engagement and analytics – all delivered with a people-first approach. The company also has in-house design studios that specialize in content strategy and production, campaign management and a host of other creative capabilities.
Videos are the Future of Content
Finding a niche to specialize in, is only half the battle won. What matters is packaging the message in the right format. Printed flyers are now relics from an age gone by, and marketing blogs may soon follow. Blame it on the sheer amount of content vying for attention online, or just the way humans are wired, but videos are now more popular as the preferred mode of communication.
According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey 2021, 86% of marketers had responded in the affirmative to using video marketing in their strategy – a significant jump from 2016, which had recorded 61%.
Closer home, both Accenture and Cognizant have exclusive operations dedicated to video production and distribution. Infosys, via Wongdoody, focuses on visuals that aim to make a difference. Its Menprovement project for the dating platform Tinder featured comic Whitney Cummings brainstorming with the Tinder team to filter out men with an unrefined approach to flirting. The video was a hit. The success metric? The
Expectedly, the next decade is projected to be a high-stakes one, with all eyes on the new ITES-backed content studios. But the post-pandemic marketing landscape seems promising enough, and we may not have to wait another decade for a progress report.