Storytelling in the era of AI & automation presents new possibilities: Shailja Saraswati

Storytelling in the era of AI & automation presents new possibilities: Shailja Saraswati

In the dynamic realm of content material advertising and marketing, the place innovation meets technique, Shailja Saraswati, the Chief Content Officer at Omnicom Media Group, India, stands as a beacon of experience. In this in-depth dialog, Saraswati shares insights into the pivotal position of storytelling, the influence of cutting-edge applied sciences, and the intricate steadiness between human creativity and synthetic intelligence. 

What in your opinion makes for compelling and fascinating content material in as we speak’s digital age?

Content creation in the digital age is a multifaceted course of. To make profitable content material options in as we speak’s age, one must delve deeper and perceive the model’s viewers, goals, shopper passions, journey, and different important metrics. There are cases the place, in a single marketing campaign, we’d must create, collaborate on, or curate content material that provides actual worth whereas aligning with the model’s strategic targets. This consists of amplifying content material throughout completely different platforms, particularly in opposition to the backdrop of as we speak’s ever-evolving social media panorama.
Arresting audiences’ consideration and piquing their curiosity successfully entails a range of approaches that contain genuine storytelling, emotional and visible enchantment, humour, interactivity, personalization, and data-driven insights. To generate partaking and related subjects, it’s equally essential to associate with influencers, conduct authentic analysis, and make the most of numerous codecs and mediums. Ultimately, I imagine these type the key parts for crafting compelling and fascinating content material in the age of digital.
How does the company keep forward of content material developments and technological developments to maintain the content material technique progressive and related?
At Omnicom Media Group, we’ve got all the time made it a precedence to remain forward of the curve in the case of content material developments and technological developments to maintain our technique progressive and related. Through our Omnicom Group Content and activation practices, we harness our obtainable assets – know-how, commerce, digital experience, and inventive capabilities to supply purchasers with modernized content material options. These embrace strategic steerage, digital activation, and superior evaluation, all with a deal with delivering a optimistic return on funding (ROI).
We have had the pleasure of collaborating with distinctive forward-leaning world and native manufacturers like Apple, Mercedes, Diageo, Royal Enfield, Volkswagen Group, Nissan, Renault, Nivea, Philips and Acko – serving to craft impactful content material options throughout numerous channels and platforms, with a pointy deal with attaining tangible enterprise outcomes.
At each stage of the journey, our strategy is grounded in three core principles-
Adaptability: We reply with tempo to evolving consumer and viewers wants, leveraging information and insights to repeatedly optimize marketing campaign efficiency.
Integration: As a globally built-in follow, we harness the scale and native experience inside Omnicom Media Group. Collaborating with companies and companions, we ship holistic options spanning media, content material, inventive, digital, social, experiential, and commerce.
Innovation: Our steadfast dedication to driving innovation ensures we search new methods to create worth and stand out from the competitors. Embracing rising applied sciences resembling Artificial Intelligence (AI), Anamorphic, 3D Projection Mapping, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Blockchain permits us to reinforce our choices.
Can you share a selected instance of a profitable content material marketing campaign the company has run and the technique behind it?
The ethos of Omnicom Group’s Content Practice is seated in driving innovation and content material methods that domesticate resonance for manufacturers in as we speak’s dynamic advertising and marketing atmosphere, and a testomony to this are some of the latest award-winning campaigns delivered to life for our roster of purchasers. These activations and partnerships have been strategically executed to bolster model values and create impactful experiences. Some notable examples embrace:
Škoda Auto India celebrated its journey of 20 wonderful years in India with an progressive ‘Conquering the Unconquerable’ marketing campaign. To spotlight the model’s dedication to shoppers, we created a never-seen-before 3D projection for the model at the iconic Rohtang-La at a staggering altitude of 10,942 toes. Besides the spectacular execution, we succeeded in rising the UBA by 100 BPS. 
The grand launch of HSBC Global Private Banking referred to as for a tapestry of resonant experiences and so we curated an occasion centred round a non-public backyard idea, fostering progress and progress. It featured the famend chef, Julien Royer, of the three Michelin-starred trendy French restaurant – Odette, cocktails curated by Masque, and a mesmerizing efficiency by the Blue Journey from Amsterdam involving projection mapping and choreography. This immersive expertise showcased pure parts and left an enduring influence.
For Audi, we introduced the model’s world digital IP – A Story of Progress to life, by celebrating people like Virat Kohli, Nayantara Jain, Dia Mirza, and Prateek Sadhu, who embody Audi’s deal with luxurious, design, sustainability, and know-how.
To showcase Apple’s product options; notably its digital camera know-how, we partnered with India’s visionary filmmaker, Vishal Bhardwaj, to shoot a whole movie, Fursat, with an iPhone, highlighting the gadget’s extraordinary capabilities. This progressive strategy introduced know-how to the forefront and was amplified by way of hoardings.
For Mercedes-Benz, we aligned influencer advertising and marketing with the model’s picture by way of the collaboration between Haute Wheels and designer Gaurav Gupta. The extravagant occasion celebrated the grand launch of the All-New E 53i Cabriolet, that includes stars and making a memorable expertise.
Last however not least, to increase HSBC’s model attain and set up an enduring presence, we welcomed Virat Kohli as the model ambassador for HSBC India, each nationally and globally – a strategic transfer that considerably contributed to increasing the model’s consciousness and affinity amongst Indian shoppers.
How do you determine and perceive the audience for various content material campaigns?
We are identified to make use of a spread of custom-made methods to totally perceive our audience’s particular necessities. These embrace conducting in-depth market analysis to assemble beneficial information on their traits and behaviours, collaborating intently with our purchasers to obtain detailed product and viewers briefs, leveraging information analytics and social listening instruments to research which content material codecs join with our viewers and the way we will enhance it and conducting competitor evaluation to unlock new alternatives and keep on prime of rising developments.
We additionally  construct purchaser personas with the assist of surveys and suggestions collected from clients to craft efficient content material methods, marking our dedication to ship customized content material that delivers outcomes by frequently monitoring consumer behaviours on numerous digital platforms and staying up to date on cultural and {industry} developments to make sure our content material stays related and fascinating.
What methods does the company make use of to reinforce viewers engagement and interplay with the content material?
Our content material and activation practices at Omnicom Group Content deal with creating memorable content material that not solely captures the viewers’s consideration but in addition retains them totally engaged. Our technique blends a mix of techniques, that embrace: Focusing on producing high-quality, well-researched and value-driven content material tailor-made to particular viewers segments and using attention-grabbing headlines, multi-media parts, applied sciences and storytelling strategies, to craft visually interesting and relatable content material.
We additionally encourage viewers interplay which stays a significant precedence for us. We obtain this with strategically positioned calls-to-action and interactive parts (AI, AR, VR, 3D, and CGI) to maintain shoppers engaged.
Additionally, we actively promote our content material on social media platforms and preserve a constant publishing schedule with numerous content material codecs. Our dedication to steady enchancment ensures we ship top-notch, industry-first, progressive but well timed outcomes for our purchasers.
In your expertise, what position does storytelling play in capturing and sustaining viewers consideration?
I may by no means stress sufficient about the significance of storytelling and what a pivotal position it performs in creating actually compelling campaigns as we speak. Storytelling encompasses a number of key parts that contribute to capturing and retaining viewers consideration. Firstly, sudden twists are
important for sustaining engagement. A charming story thrives on shocking plot developments and sudden turns. When we persistently problem viewers expectations, we’re in a position to leverage storytelling on a complete completely different stage, protecting them intrigued and keen to find what occurs subsequent.
Furthermore, relevance and relatability are important facets of efficient storytelling. Crafting a story that connects with the viewers’s wants, aspirations, and desires permits them to resonate and empathize with the characters and their struggles. This connection fosters a way of funding and real care, making the content material extra impactful and memorable. The use of wealthy detailing is one other highly effective software in storytelling.
Employing particular and vivid language to explain settings, actions, and feelings, helps content material creators transport the viewers into the narrative. This immersive expertise permits the viewers to visualise and emotionally join with the story on a deeper stage. Emotional depth is the cornerstone of compelling storytelling. By evoking a heady concoction of potent feelings, resembling pleasure, worry, amusement, or real emotional engagement, tales have the energy to depart an enduring influence on the viewers. Emotionally resonant content material creates a memorable and significant connection, enhancing the total influence of the marketing campaign.
What are some widespread challenges confronted by media companies relating to content material creation, and the way do you deal with them?
In a media company, the content material perform encounters challenges throughout fronts resembling, the want to remain agile, adapting with tempo to rising developments and viewers preferences, navigating evolving platforms, decreasing buyer churn, measuring ROI, scaling content material manufacturing and streamlining workflows, amongst others. Over time, we’ve got struck a steadiness of addressing these by leveraging information and know-how whereas embracing interactive and immersive content material to ship impactful options. Furthermore, using progressive strategies resembling genuine storytelling, optimizing influencer plans, sustaining authenticity and transparency, adopting a multi-channel strategy, and persistently nurturing relationships with influencers and companions is essential to circumventing these considerations.
With the rise of applied sciences like AI and VR, how do you see them shaping the future of content material creation and consumption?
In my opinion, the future of storytelling in the era of AI and automation presents a spread of potentialities. One state of affairs includes AI-assisted innovation, the place AI instruments improve human creativity, permitting for higher velocity and effectivity in content material improvement. Collaboration between people and machines, if applied for the proper functions, gives potentialities to scale productiveness. On the different hand, there are considerations about the monopolization of creativity by machines, doubtlessly overshadowing human-generated content material and stifling real innovation.
A vital query in this state of affairs is methods to preserve genuine human creativity. We ought to do not forget that it finally boils all the way down to placing the proper steadiness between human and technological involvement, which has the potential to yield outstanding outcomes. AI can help and improve human creativity moderately than change it. Alternatively, a state of affairs emphasizes the worth of human-made content material, showcasing a societal pushback in opposition to algorithmically generated content material. It acknowledges the distinctive dynamism of human creators and locations a premium on authenticity and the human contact. These eventualities show the potential influence of AI on storytelling and spotlight the significance of balancing automation with the distinct talents of human creators.
Are there any particular progressive applied sciences the company is exploring to reinforce content material supply and consumer expertise?
Omnicom Media Group is dedicated to leveraging progressive applied sciences to reinforce content material supply and supply an distinctive consumer expertise. Among our notable applied sciences, Annalect gives in-depth information and analytics options, together with viewers segmentation and media optimization. Additionally, Omni Studio – OMG’s precision advertising and marketing and insights platform is designed to determine and outline customized shopper experiences at scale to drive superior enterprise outcomes for purchasers throughout completely different follow areas, together with inventive, CRM, and media.
Further enhancing Omnicom Media Group’s tech stack is Omnifluence, a full-stack influencer advertising and marketing platform, which helps guarantee model security, alerts on pretend accounts, measures influencer suitability by way of a rating, tracks influencers’ previous content material creation and model associations, and seamlessly facilitates communication and execution administration.
How do you analyze information and consumer suggestions to iterate and enhance content material methods for future tasks?
The key to analyzing information and consumer suggestions successfully is the means to adapt and evolve primarily based on the insights gained from information and suggestions, ensuing in methods that persistently meet viewers expectations and enterprise targets.
At Omnicom Media Group, we harness the energy of our precision advertising and marketing platform – Omni, in mixture with information evaluation and insights powered by capabilities from inside the Group – to strengthen our content material methods. As Omni excels in viewers segmentation, media optimization, and dynamic content material changes, we discover ourselves extra inclined in direction of harnessing it to ship improved content material methods for tasks. Likewise, OMG’s Annalect gives important insights, resembling model consciousness and engagement metrics, with instruments like the Content Effectiveness Index (CEI). 
Based in your expertise, what do you imagine is the future of content material advertising and marketing, and the way can companies put together for it?
The ever-changing content material panorama is accelerating towards a future outlined by personalization, immersive experiences, the ascendancy of video, voice-driven search, and a relentless pursuit of authenticity.
In anticipation of these transformative developments, manufacturers and content material practices alike must proceed to take a position and deal with information and analytics, wholeheartedly embrace rising applied sciences, coupled with a laser deal with the caliber and relevance of our content material, formulation of a multifaceted strategy, foster a powerful associate ecosystem whereas nurturing of invaluable relationships with folks of affect and of course, an unyielding spirit of agility and adaptableness to pivot to a daring new tomorrow with confidence and innovation.

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