Frequently Asked Questions

Q: CONTENTI considers itself a ‘global boutique’ B2B agency. What does that mean?

A: Our agency concept is based on the insight that many B2B clients, even the largest, don’t need a large, costly and often­times inef­fi­cient adver­tis­ing network to meet their inter­na­tion­al marketing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions chal­lenges. Most global B2B projects are managed centrally then adapted to local markets. We deploy our global expertise to support the MarCom director in the delicate task of creating tools that can travel borders and maintain their impact, even after being adapted. Since we don’t need to be in all places at once, but only at the point of man­age­ment, the CONTENTI team can maintain its con­cen­trat­ed, compact profile while address­ing even the largest multi-market B2B chal­lenges.

Q: Do you position CONTENTI as a con­sult­ing firm or a full-service agency?

A: We are an agency offering strategic and creative services. The creative process includes every­thing from concept to pro­duc­tion. In some cases, prior to receiving a brief for a creative project, we design and lead posi­tion­ing workshops to collect market infor­ma­tion from the regions involved. This is a half-day or full-day event, generally at the client premises or con­fer­ence centre. This gives us first-hand infor­ma­tion that is invalu­able when we start the creative process. For many clients, we play an active role in estab­lish­ing the brief. We are also very active in the steps required to ensure the buy-in and enthu­si­asm of key stake­hold­ers. So, although we are not a con­sult­ing firm per se, there is an important component of knowledge and expe­ri­ence sharing in every project we undertake.

Q: How does a spe­cial­ized, boutique agency meet the global needs of a large company?

A: All of our clients, big and small, create a set of master com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools, generally in English, that are then adapted to meet the needs of local markets. We typically work with the client’s NAM, EMEA or global marketing team to create and develop these master tools. This can be anything from a product campaign, a company brand posi­tion­ing project, a new product launch or ongoing corporate or product com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Clients rely on CONTENTI to provide proven inter­na­tion­al expertise, native English creative skills and first-class account super­vi­sion.

Q: Why does CONTENTI focus on method­ol­o­gy and process, in addition to creating and producing marketing deliv­er­ables?

A: Developing a marketing campaign that will not just be deployed, but be effective in global markets, is a really complex endeavor. Local buy-in and enthu­si­asm is required so that regional teams push the program hard in their local markets. Building accep­tance for any new marketing concept can be tricky, even in the context of a single market. When multiple sub­sidiaries are counting on a powerful idea that can be effec­tive­ly deployed in their local market, the stakes are high, with plenty of moments when the project can derail. MarCom directors are acutely aware of this and appre­ci­ate the support of an expe­ri­enced, spe­cialised team that can avoid pitfalls and deliver the project with success. Our processes allow us to set a trans­par­ent timeline so that all steps necessary to success are respected. We also find that when the ground­work is done thor­ough­ly, the creative result benefits immensely.

Q: You state that you are located in the US, France and Sweden? What if my com­mu­ni­ca­tions needs are outside of those markets?

A: Our team is spread across several locations. It’s one of the ways that we ensure that the tools we develop work across markets. However, all of our services are cen­tral­ized and coor­di­nat­ed from our Paris location.

Q: Do I need to speak French to work with CONTENTI?

A: No. We are native English speakers. The fact that our head­quar­ters is located in Paris, France is inci­den­tal to the services we provide (although it’s a great place to live!)

Q: Where are your clients located?

A: Our clients are located primarily in the US or in Europe, often with sales offices and man­u­fac­tur­ing facil­i­ties spread around the world. Some of our clients are European sub­sidiaries of large, US-based companies. Others have their head­quar­ters in Europe.

Q: How can a boutique agency handle my global com­mu­ni­ca­tions needs?

A: The nature of B2B products and services, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the high-tech, medical tech­nol­o­gy, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, biotech and indus­tri­al sectors, means they can benefit from a cen­tral­ized marcom devel­op­ment process. In other words, you don’t need an expensive and inef­fi­cient agency network for global B2B com­mu­ni­ca­tions… You need a spe­cial­ized partner that cen­tral­izes global B2B expe­ri­ence in a single, expe­ri­enced team that’s always at your service.

Q: Are you a trans­la­tion company?

A: No. We are spe­cial­ized in creating master com­mu­ni­ca­tions tools that are sub­se­quent­ly localized to specific markets, or which remain in English if the global audience primarily interacts in English. For some of our larger clients, regional sub­sidiaries handle marketing local­iza­tion tasks, however CONTENTI can also manage and provide local language adap­ta­tions of marcom tools, if requested.

A: Do most B2B companies translate their work for local markets?

Q: That depends on internal company orga­ni­za­tion and on the nature of the audience being addressed. For certain financial or sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly oriented clients, we’ve used English to cover multiple markets as the audience was accus­tomed to working in English. But it also depends on the size and resources available in the client’s local, country-level orga­ni­za­tions. Companies with large local sub­sidiaries (often with a com­mu­ni­ca­tions function) generally take the lead in adapting the centrally developed tools to the local market. All of our materials are delivered in kit form and optimized to easily swap-out the English master text for the local language copy.

A: What if I don’t have extensive resources in local markets? Can CONTENTI help me?

B: CONTENTI creates all marcom materials for easy adap­ta­tion. All of our materials are delivered in kit form and optimized to easily swap-out the English master text with the validated local language copy. Optimization includes ensuring that all elements to be trans­lat­ed are on a single layer in the master Indesign file, and that no trans­lat­able elements are incor­po­rat­ed into image files. Once the trans­la­tion has been validated, it’s rel­a­tive­ly easy to integrate it into the Indesign file. Both trans­la­tion and inte­gra­tion into the layout can be provided by CONTENTI if requested.

Q: Can a centrally developed concept or tool really meet the needs of different local markets?

A: It depends on how the tools are developed. CONTENTI has lots of expe­ri­ence in devel­op­ing tools and concepts that cross borders easily. We insist on incor­po­rat­ing stake­hold­er input from the local markets into the briefing and final val­i­da­tion process. In addition, because our core team rep­re­sents multiple languages and cultures and is dedicated to inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions, we’re good at avoiding ideas that won’t translate well into local languages and cultures, should you choose to adapt. CONTENTI offers the advantage of being cul­tur­al­ly neutral. This is important in managing the com­pli­cat­ed cultural dynamics inherent in building consensus within a global team—particularly when it involves something as sensitive as defining and promoting a marketing or posi­tion­ing concept.

Q: Why do your clients create cen­tralised materials? Wouldn’t it be better to let each market do their own thing?

A: Creating cen­tral­ized marcom tools has a number of advan­tages. It prevents the dupli­ca­tion of effort, allowing regional marketing staff to create approved, strategic com­mu­ni­ca­tions materials with minimal time, effort and expense. Centralizing the creation of tools ensures that every market will benefit from the same high standards in con­for­mi­ty with corporate guide­lines. Also, mon­i­tor­ing what each region is creating can be a com­pli­cat­ed and thankless task. Time would be better spent promoting rather than policing. By creating a kit of tools based on an accepted brief and validated output, guide­lines and guardrails are clear from the start. Also, many B2B companies have limited local resources, devoting most of their time to building sales. They are generally very eager to receive materials that can be easily adapted to their local market.

Q: Don’t cen­tral­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tions tools prevent local markets from adhering closely to their specific market char­ac­ter­is­tics?

A: Local marketing teams have a good amount of freedom to adapt copy to reflect their local markets. No one wants a verbatim, word-for-word trans­la­tion of the approved copy. The important thing is to adhere to the main themes and messages of the marketing campaign. This generally isn’t a problem as we involve central and regional stake­hold­ers in the devel­op­ment process from the start.

Q: What’s typically in a com­mu­ni­ca­tions kit?

A: A com­mu­ni­ca­tions kit contains all master copy and master layouts required to launch a campaign or a com­mu­ni­ca­tions tool locally. It consists of native files and high-res­o­lu­tion artwork and elec­tron­ic files of logos and typefaces, as the case may be. It can include a selection of images that allow the regional client team to customize elements using pre-validated images (with rights secured centrally, if relevant). In addition to the files for the indi­vid­ual tools, the kit may contain elements such as a short graphics standards guide and a brand book to convey the spirit of a com­mu­ni­ca­tions campaign and to promote its suc­cess­ful use. All files are included required to create the campaign without “rein­vent­ing the wheel” or under­tak­ing tasks “from scratch”.

Q: If we want to include CONTENTI in an agency con­sul­ta­tion, can you provide us with spec­u­la­tive creative work?

 A: Our resources are always 100% dedicated and reserved for our estab­lished clients. Depending on the context and con­di­tions, we will par­tic­i­pate in certain paid agency con­sul­ta­tions.

Q: How do you acquire new clients?

A: Most of our clients have been acquired by word of mouth or through people moving to new companies and choosing to work with us again. And by companies that are looking for a simpler approach to creating high-impact inter­na­tion­al B2B com­mu­ni­ca­tions tools.

Q: What do you mean when you talk about an ‘Evergreen’ concept?

A: Many of the brands we have posi­tioned on the market, whether they are products, services or companies, have retained their original brand posi­tion­ing years after launch. The brand position thus becomes a vital part of how the brand is perceived inter­nal­ly and exter­nal­ly. It becomes a perennial part of the company’s DNA.   

Q: Isn’t it bad for your business to create a brand posi­tion­ing that doesn’t change for a decade or more?

A: At any rate, it’s great for our clients’ busi­ness­es! It means that together we have found a posi­tion­ing that has allowed them to define their company uniquely and over time to “own the space”. So it’s very much win-win.

Q: What’s the best way to ensure the success of my inter­na­tion­al B2B marcoms challenge?

A: Our expe­ri­ence has shown that there are a number of important factors for success:

  • For any sizable project, key stake­hold­ers need to be involved in the creation and val­i­da­tion of the brief. If there are country managers that will be running the campaign in their regions, they need to par­tic­i­pate and sign off on the brief.
  • Building consensus in a multi-cultural envi­ron­ment requires active man­age­ment. Client-side marketing directors who lead the dis­cus­sion and push towards agreement have a net advantage over those who remain in the back­ground.
  • Discussion of the brief and the resulting creative direc­tions should be discussed as a group Everyone must feel that their input has been heard and is reflected in both the finalized brief and the resulting creative output. People should feel free to voice their opinions in front of the global marketing director. In the selection process, if the director is also voting, he or she should be the last to vote. Selection should be the result of a fully trans­par­ent process.
  • If you want targeted, strategic and high-impact com­mu­ni­ca­tions, you need to start with a targeted, strategic and high-impact brief. That means not leaving questions unan­swered or avoiding difficult choices. A brief that says every­thing says nothing at all. Few people would give an architect carte blanche to design their house. Consider the brief the master plan of the content we will create for you.
  • Campaigns and concepts should be evaluated in terms of how well they embody and express the brief rather than on purely sub­jec­tive criteria. That is why the brief is so important.
  • There’s no sub­sti­tute to having all decision-makers in the same room, par­tic­u­lar­ly when an important campaign or brand posi­tion­ing project is being evaluated. Problems occur when campaign concepts are simply emailed around for feedback. What you may think is saving time will probably result in increased back-and-forth and team frus­tra­tion.
  • For projects such as a brand launch or a new campaign or posi­tion­ing, we suggest a half-day meeting con­sist­ing of key project stake­hold­ers and two CONTENTI prin­ci­pals. Some of our clients plan these meetings for periods when managers will be getting together for other company business.
  • If you do not have the pos­si­bil­i­ty of bringing people together in the same room, a con­fer­ence call should be planned with mandatory atten­dance of key decision-makers. A half-day should be planned for this meeting.
  • Involve top man­age­ment in the devel­op­ment process. It should be made clear that the CEO (or other) has signed off on the brief and supports the strategy it embodies.
  • Marketing directors should aim not just for consensus, but for enthu­si­asm regarding the selected concept.
  • Work with a team that under­stands these realities and can provide the support you need for an out­stand­ing result.

Contact our global team

Tell us about your B2B challenge