Real Time Content Development

"The biggest challenge I have is I can't create content fast enough."

These words come from Bough Bonin, Global Head of Media for Mondelez, the company responsible for Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Honey Maid, Ritz, and undoubtedly the best of them all, Nutter Butter. In the digital marketing world, Mondelez has been on a tear the past couple of years, evidenced by both the year-end round of advertising awards that are shipping off to Bonin's team and the ample coverage of Oreo's Dunk in the Dark tweet during last year's Super Bowl blackout. 

In the latest Fast Company feature, Bonin riffs on the current state of digital, of which there are several industry wide problems (audience fragmentation, multi-screen attribution, to name a few). Bonin presents his take on one of these problems - programmatic - and while programmatic is not a new conversation, what's refreshing about Bonin's take is that he's started to anticipate problems that seem to be two or three steps down the line from where the industry is now.

By and large, the industry conversation on programmatic is focused on real-time buying. Marketers are looking to understand different inventory pools across networks and exchanges, by video and display formats. Programmatic, based on the current conversation, is entirely synonymous with the buying process of advertising. The advent of real time content creation is likely one or two years down into the future. The Fast Company feature continues:

'Imagine if at that moment we had been able to programmatically change every piece of media that we were buying to turn on the Oreo ad,' [Bonin] explains, using a recent buzzword - programmatic - to describe the trend of automated real-time ad buying.

...'People look at programmatic as cost savings right now. It's way more strategic. Imagine a marketer who can create video in real time and buy ad space in real time. It was at that moment we realized that there was a bigger game that we weren't prepared to play.'

My guess is that as programmatic video buying grows into the mainstream, programmatic content development will become more of a focus. Looking at today's eMarketer projections we expect only 40% of digital video ads to be purchased programmatically compared to 75% of display ads. 

The closest analog I've seen to real time content development recently is Honey Maid's This is Wholesome campaign. After receiving a number of criticisms for including a gay family in it's commercial, Honey Made responded quickly by developing another commercial responding to haters with love. The result was a real time reaction that involved the rapid deployment of a creative team to develop the idea and the flexibility of distribution channels to provide the message to the right audience.

And all of this matters perhaps because content itself is becoming shorter and more snackable (And believe me, when 8 second Vine videos are getting the same reach as a highly rated TV network show then you know content is becoming shorter and condensed). As that content becomes shorter, we should expect the demand for producing content quicker to grow and the real time buying and real time content development conversations to advance in parallel.