Why streamlining creativity is key to word-class customer experiences
Creative excellence is central to developing transformative customer experiences, and energy brand SSE found freeing creative teams from the burden of administration meant they could direct their energy into high-value areas
The creative process is not the first place most brands look when considering how to create world-class customer experiences, but according to Richard Farquhar, head of marketing transformation at energy company SSE, it should be.
Speaking at the Festival of Marketing, Farquhar explained that creative teams were once held back by a lack of insight and too much administration, and this was hindering the brand’s ability to engage with its customers. The brand’s creative strategy and customer communication were being harmed by too many friction points.
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watch ‘Creating the spark to deliver world-class customer experiences by optimising the creative process’ at the Festival of Marketing on demand
Find out more about how to free your creatives. Watch Workfront’s session, ‘Creating the spark to deliver world-class customer experiences by optimising the creative process’, at the Festival of Marketing on demand now.
When he started his role in January 2020 he was determined to bring in more marketing automation to transform inefficient processes.
“We did a piece of work to stabilise the situation because there was a strategy disconnect between delivery and execution. We needed to rebalance things because the creatives were spending about 70% of their time on administration including meetings and calls.”
“We had siloed teams and people were unclear about their roles and responsibilities,” says Farquhar. “The barriers were originally put in place for good reason, but it was hard for creatives to break through them. People were unsure about the value each person or team was bringing, where the control points were and what different teams needed from each other to succeed.”
Automating admin tasks
Using the Workfront platform, the company worked closely with customer and business transformation consultants Optima Partners to free up its creatives’ time, so they could thrive and create personalised customer experiences that would benefit the SSE business.
Farquhar says the transformation process means more administrative tasks are now automated and creatives are provided with additional insight when handed briefs.
“We give people the fuel to be creative, with briefs packed with all the right data learnings,” he said. “We did have all that information but it was in patches and not connected, because there was no collaboration and the insight did not come into one place. We also had to develop the right framework and make sure people understood the brand and being creative in a regulatory environment.”
The company also began to tier its tasks. “This means every piece of work is not burdened by the same overheads in terms of process. We now have templates for easy and quick-turnaround creative work so teams can focus on the high-end and higher-value pieces,” says Farquhar.
SSE has also adopted more agile approaches and principles using the functionality of Workfront. This has empowered individuals to take decisions rather than wait for numerous people to sign off pieces of work.
“The work that people are delivering is now visible and this has promoted trust,” says Farquhar. “Previously people’s work was invisible and went under the radar, but now individuals in different teams can see what is needed. People empathise with each other because they understand what everyone’s role is in the overall system.” SSE says it has seen between 40% and 50% improvement in creative throughput and effectiveness by transforming and optimising its processes.
“We have removed friction points and created lot of new behaviours so that people feel more empowered and have more space. It is important to measure the impact of a transformation like this on the difference it makes to individuals as well as to the business.”
Optima Partners’ business transformation director Alasdair Crawley said adoption levels of the Workfront technology at SSE have been high because a collaborative approach has been taken to implementing the change programme. “Everyone has had co-ownership of where we are heading so there is a common purpose. We want people to enjoy their work as well as making transformation a commercial success.” ■