In the media and communication business, the definition of content has traditionally been restricted to the conventions and popular formats of consumption. In the digital age however, these definitions have become more inclusive, essentially begging the question whether content needs to redefined for the new consumers. This along with how the new age content can serve brands in better connecting with its target audience is an area of passion for Dimitri Papadimitriou, Head of LiquidThread MENA. In an conversation with Arabian Marketer, Mr Papadimitriou stated that content can be anything today – from a picture, a tweet, a video, a movie or even gaming, because each of these offer opportunities to embed messaging in interesting ways.
“The way content is changing is going to be defined by the way technology advances. We have around 1.7 devices per person today, and in around four to five years time, this is going to increase to five, so it will be a combination of how people are consuming content and staying ahead of the conversation,” stated Mr Papadimitriou.
By his own admission, one of the biggest challenges that professionals in the business face today is the constant question on the formula that makes content go viral instead of seeking a more strategic approach. “At LiquidThread, we have solutions that are agile, that allow us to be real time, pulling in different sources and pushing it across in a scalable way across multiple platforms. This keeps us at par with the speed of conversations,” Mr Papadimitriou informed.
The more important aspect is getting the right talent, and according to Mr Papadimitriou, this is coming in the rise of an ‘advertising editor’. “It is creative writing at the end of the day, and the need is for skillsets that are used to writing snackable content. We need people who know how to write for social, because that’s where all these conversations are taking place. Especially today, when the attention span is dropping from 30 seconds to seven seconds,” Mr Papadimitriou observed.
Of Performance Content
For agencies such as LiquidThread, while the challenge is how to get the message across in an authentic and memorable way on the one hand, on the other hand, it is also about addressing specific business needs for its clients, and that is where ‘performance content’ comes in play.
Despite the emergence of new kinds of formats in advertising and communication, at the end of it, marketers are interested in knowing what helps in achieving business objectives. “Performance content essentially means putting KPIs such as awareness or consideration or clicks and impressions, against content initiatives. If we are able to go back and observe what kind of content people are viewing, and base a framework around that, it will help marketers in achieving results that will make a difference to them. This is essentially marrying technology with content,” elaborated Mr Papadimitriou.
Bringing Valleywood To MENA
The technology-meets-content thought process is also the idea behind a large scale initiative from the agency in the form of Valleywood. Valleywood, a global event that has been in markets such as US and the UK, is all set to take place with a MENA lens. As the name suggests, the event about Silicon Valley meeting Hollywood. “The day will have these two key pillars around how we create great content and how we used technology to amplify it,” Mr Papadimitriou informed.
He added, “We have an interesting set of panelists that also include start ups and investors along with the main line to give the complete picture. It is designed in a short and concise format. We are hoping that attendees are able to take back the benefits of being in a room with some great content creators from across the world. The discussion looks to bring in local and international insights.”
The event will take place on May 14, 2015 in Dubai.
Four Questions to Dimitri Papadimitriou On The LiquidThread Offer
At a time when content is becoming important for even mainline agencies, and marketers are looking for a more integrated than fragmented approach, how do you see the place for an offer like LiquidThread?
Integration is a core element for LiquidThread. We have teams that look at big pieces of branded content and integration, and then we have a social team that is doing content on a daily basis. We have merged the two together now to bring the two capabilities together. We go to clients with a fully integrated content solution.
What is the LiquidThread operating relationship with other Publicis Groupe agencies?
We work with all kind of clients, and we have very close relationships with our current set of clients. We have great synergy between the LiquidThread team and the media agency teams. We aim for a collective and collaborative effort, where the media minds can work with creative and social minds and brainstorm new ideas and initiatives.
What are some of the content solutions that you see most consumed by your clients?
Other products like Confident Scale enable brands to activate content at the speed of conversation. For example, for one of our brands, we pulled in content real time from World Cup and pushed it on different sites that we had partnered with. There are a few products we deliver overall as the solution for each client is different, depending on their needs. Sometimes, it could be small branded content on TV or web series, or initiatives that could be done in partnership also.
From a MENA perspective, which specific markets are of importance to you?
All markets are important, as each offer something different, and pose a different challenge and opportunity. That being said, Saudi Arabia is a market of focus this year because there is fantastic work that is being done there. The Saudi culture is very interesting and has its own niche environment. If you can crack that, it represents a great opportunity. The UAE is home to many different nationalities, so you see how one piece of content can strike a chord with all these communities. MENA is a region of such diversity.