Given the immense competitive pressures in the agency world, differentiation is key in growing a business. It used to be that track record, customer roster and deep industry expertise were “enough” to create distance between you and others competing for the business. One often-overlooked opportunity for differentiation lies in the technology used within the agency to deliver better client (and end-consumer) experiences. Not the never-ending spider web of AdTech DSP and SSPs, rather, the technology the agency itself uses to help them create speed, scale, and quality for their clients.
One Ziflow customer in particular, Splash Worldwide, has successfully created a unique value proposition that extends beyond their creative storytelling capabilities - and that’s their innovative use of their internal technology stack. This unique approach has allowed them to work with the world’s best-known companies and brands, as well as their creative and media agency partners.
We recently sat down with Ben Terry, CTO at Splash Worldwide and discussed how technology came to be part of the Splash DNA early on, and the “why” and “how” they use it to create differentiation for themselves in a highly competitive agency world.
How long has technology been at the heart of Splash’s offerings?
It’s what Splash has been, from day one really. We’ve always led with technology and creativity in our pitches. Simplifying workflow and approvals of global campaigns across channels and borders is still something we do really well after 14 years in the industry, and we continue to lead with that.
You’re not the only agency using tech internally. How have you weaved it together to create a tangible advantage?
It’s important to understand that every client need is unique, driving different requirements. Our breadth allows us to cover a wide range of use cases, such as in-store support, automation, studio facilities, multi-location, e-commerce, dynamic digital content campaigns, and language versioning.
It’s critical to be able to offer these services and technologies as part of a user-friendly platform, with a predictable workflow, getting assets working together and critical decisions out of confusing email threads and into a single, unified process. This allows us to be more flexible than most, as well as more cost-effective.
How does this create differentiation in your client’s and agency partner’s eyes?
Deploying a production platform is critical to driving efficiency, globally at scale and our clients recognize that. It helps to drive better collaboration, allowing us to engage with clients in real time on important points. It also helps us manage high volumes of activity (literally hundreds of proofs per day), especially for clients with multi-brand businesses.
Our clients and partners engage with this platform on a daily basis. Providing this critical infrastructure, either as a tech-only solution or as a wider strategic illustrates how all the elements of Splash’s business come together. That differentiates us.
Do you use your tech leadership as part of your pitches to clients?
Yes, in fact sometimes a pitch can be purely about our technology. In other cases, it’s the mechanism to show that Splash can deliver a much wider business impact than ‘just’ great asset creation.
What is your relationship with your technology vendors? Is it a simple vendor/customer relationship, or more like a partnership?
We have an excellent relationship with our vendors and use best-in-class partners in our stack. We find suppliers such as Ziflow are committed to driving the development of their technology which in turn delivers enhancements to our own ecosystem, making them true partners of Splash.
Ziflow and Splash
Splash Worldwide has been developing client-focused technology solutions over many years. Today, the creative technology platform they have developed enables Splash to originate, adapt and deliver effective creative communications globally across all channels for some of the world’s best-known businesses and brands.
The platform allows Splash to offer efficiency, velocity and scalability for multi-channel campaigns. Specifically, for the online proofing component of the platform, Splash has chosen Ziflow to offer enhanced capabilities for the review of creative content. Ziflow’s flexible architecture allows Splash to meet client needs with far greater agility than other online proofing systems. It can be deployed containing self-service elements for retail teams; with the automated creation of templated assets; as a pure studio management system and as an end-to-end workflow management tool.
This technology underpins the creation of all marketing collateral for BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce’s UK dealer network; allows automated delivery of marketing collateral for leading real-estate company Barratt Homes’ 27 operational teams; provides all-format production and delivery for Norwegian Airlines, including their internal studio team in Spain and the airline’s global marketing team; delivers asset production for Innocent Smoothies; drives efficient management of image creation for PVH amongst many, many others.