MAD Consulting Agency Creates a Modern E-Commerce Content Hub for Consumer Packaged Goods

MAD

About MAD Creative Production Agency

The MAD Creative Production Agency is a marketing consultancy firm based out of New York City. Founded and run by Chief Marketing Technologist Ken Madsen, the firm specializes in global marketing process design and digital transformation strategies for retail and e-commerce businesses.

With over 25 years leading one of the largest independent production agencies in New York, Madsen is an expert in optimizing martech solutions that can quickly repurpose legacy product assets for new media formats.

In his consultancy role, Madsen and his team at MAD apply this knowledge to assist global CPG brands in the Cosmetic, Furniture, Electronic, Fashion, Food, and Auto Parts industries build modern marketing operations and technology infrastructure for more efficient packaging and product design creation and distribution. Madsen’s team helps global corporations identify gaps in their marketing systems of record for and recommends best-in-breed martech solutions like Ziflow that achieve digital transformation from analog to digital CPG retail strategies.

 

The Challenge: Modernizing CPG Marketing Catalogs for E-Commerce

CPG retailers have a martech evolution on their hands when it comes to effectively marketing and selling their product lines online. With digital native brands such as Wayfair, Warby Parker, and other e-commerce retailers pushing the envelope for digital optimization, a product page with one or two product images simply won’t cut it anymore. Consumers now expect high-quality, interactive product assets that show the nuance and unique selling points of each item.

To stay competitive, traditional CPG manufacturers and retailers need to implement modern marketing models that can transform the vast, static marketing catalogs housed in their PIM systems into e-commerce content assets. That requires:

  • Capturing, reviewing, and staging high-quality, 360-degree images of all product packaging designs and SKUs.
  • Processing those assets for use across digital selling, mobile, and social channels with clear review workstreams for each format.
  • Easily sharing marketing data between proofing, CRM, DAM, and PIM systems.

With millions of physical product SKUs in their PIM systems, it’s a huge undertaking. Turning each part into a product 360 requires taking at least 24 images that need to be stitched together for HTML and mobile usage. Efficiently capturing and processing all of those assets requires complex routing flows that the brand’s existing martech systems don’t easily support.

“Many traditional consumer packaged goods brands and companies are often dealing with older technology that is slow, cumbersome, and disconnected. That makes it harder to compete with newer, private label e-commerce and mobile retailers,” explained Madsen. “They are looking at how they can implement a modern marketing model that can promote and get products to shelf, both in e-commerce and physical stores, much faster.”

Although consumer brands have long used markup tools like ProofHQ, most online proofing systems on the market can’t handle dynamic assets like product 360s. Without a seamless way to review and approve marketing assets in a live staging environment and push approved content into DAM, PIM, and CRM systems, CPG retailers risk falling behind.

Many traditional consumer packaged goods brands and companies are often dealing with older technology that is slow, cumbersome, and disconnected. They are looking at how they can implement a modern marketing model that can promote and get products to shelf, both in e-commerce and physical stores, much faster.

Ken Madsen, Founder / Chief Marketing Technologist

The Solution: Integrated Capture and Live Staging Approval for 360s and 3D objects

Leveraging product catalogs for usage in an interactive e-commerce strategy requires a much more dynamic marketing infrastructure—and that’s just what Madsen and his team have crafted for the agency’s retail clients.

Madsen recently configured a new digital process for an auto parts manufacturer that wanted to overhaul its e-commerce marketing production. The retailer had invested in allocating thousands of square feet of space in their distribution centers for on-site photo capture for each part, but needed to link this investment to the rest of the marketing supply chain.

He augmented the retailer's on-site media capture by connecting it to the retailer’s Ziflow live proofing environment, PIM system, DAM, and CRM systems. The result is an end-to-end content hub that made it possible for the auto parts manufacturer to connect its physical inventory to live staging and real-time approval workflows that route and repurpose product assets for digital marketing.

Here’s how the integration process works:

  • A built-in photo studio set up within the distribution center captures 360-degree shots of each automotive part from the shelf. This typically includes 24 images from all angles of the product and may involve many different capture studios across its distribution centers.
  • As soon as the images are created and stitched together, the product shots are uploaded to a live HTML page that can be used to preview what the product images will look like on consumer websites.
  • The HTML page becomes a live web proof in Ziflow and is routed to the Marketing, e-Commerce, Digital Media, and PIM teams for feedback and approval.
  • Once approved in Ziflow, the product images and skews are added into the manufacturer's PIM system for use in various marketing channels.

By using online proofing to power this integrated content hub, retailers can implement a digital-first approach to marketing from on-site studio capture to launch. Ziflow’s live proofing not only simplifies the review of new media formats along the way but the system’s API makes it easier to share approved assets across the entire martech stack.

“The beautiful thing about Ziflow is that it fits in with the modern entire marketing ecosystem for consumer products. By focusing on the markup, annotation, and approval layer and API integrations, Ziflow can fit perfectly into project management, DAM or CRM systems. That helps us curate modern content hubs for major product packaging design review and digital commerce production,” said Madsen.

Approval Process for CPG Product 360s with Online Proofing

Online Proofing or Consumer Packaged Goods

Using online proofing with, CPG brands are able to shorten the review and approval cycle for product 360s and more easily transform & approve product assets for multiple channels and uses.

Madsen is using this same integrated proofing and production workflow for multiple types of consumer goods retailers such as furniture and electronic part manufacturers that need to advertise a huge inventory of parts and product designs while staying on top of new digital selling channels.

“The beautiful thing about Ziflow is that it fits in with the modern entire marketing ecosystem for consumer products. By focusing on the markup, annotation, and approval layer and API integrations, Ziflow can fit perfectly into project management, DAM or CRM systems."

Ken Madsen, Founder / Chief Marketing Technologist

In particular, he said that Ziflow’s visual workflow builder and live HTML staging helps him model exactly how complex routing logic and content staging can work across systems, departments, and formats to power modern e-commerce delivery.

“When I put live projects into this proofing workflow structure and demonstrate how it will work with their production environment, manufacturers and retailers are blown away,” said Madsen. “Ziflow is intuitive and user-friendly. It visually shows how to swipe left and right to compare other images. There isn’t a markup tool that can do that. The learning curve is seconds. It’s powerful and it brings a lot of value.”

Martech flexibility and integration remain key as consumer brands continue to adopt digital- and mobile-first formats and incorporate 3D images into their product advertising. To remain competitive, creative teams will not only need to implement new studio technology to capture 3D product assets but also new workflow to quickly reorganize them for use across e-commerce, mobile purchasing, social and more—and approve them at every step of the way.

Benefits

By using Ziflow to power a digital commerce martech strategy, Madsen created a modern retail content hub for CPG brands that:

  • Captures, proofs, and distributes 360 marketing assets of millions of product SKUs and packaging design comps.
  • Transforms traditional CPG marketing catalogs into dynamic marketing assets for use in e-commerce channels.
  • Provides live marketing staging in HTML formats for easier review and approval.
  • Integrates online proofing with PIM, CRM, DAM, and other marketing systems for seamless content sharing.
  • Manages multiple marketing content workstreams for e-commerce, mobile, social and more in one place. 

Madsen says that Ziflow’s ability to support live, multimedia assets and continual product iteration is the only way he’s able to construct innovative workflows for concurrent marketing workstreams and help brands get products to shelf faster.

“As a consultant in the CPG space, I touch a lot of different technologies. The amount of continual product updates that Ziflow releases places its platform ahead of the innovative curve. Mobile commerce has eclipsed the weight of traditional commerce, so we’re paying attention to how we can use Ziflow to keep packaging and design assets turn-keyed for new channels.”

Ken Madsen, Founder / Chief Marketing Technologist

 

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