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Activators: How Peach Is Putting Everything in Its Right Place



Doug Conely explains how the company’s major new Activator features solve underlying problems in the industry, and all with a joyful UX

Activators: How Peach Is Putting Everything in Its Right Place

“We had a hypothesis about the kind of thing that was going wrong”, explains Doug Conely. “So it was nice to see that validated!”.

Around a month ago, Peach and CoLab Consulting joint-authored a report into the state of play in digital marketing. Entitled ‘Get Control Of Your Video Asset Workflow’, the study arrived at a number of important conclusions. One such finding was that some of the biggest campaigns in the world, the kind with six figures riding on them, are still being communicated and shared over the untrackable mess of email systems. 

Another take-away was that an unmanageable amount of staff churn, driven by a rise in repetitive administrative tasks amongst junior roles, is making accountability nearly impossible. 

The result, unsurprisingly, is communication chaos. Not to mention large amounts of money falling through the cracks when the inevitable mistakes get made. 

Fortunately, Doug believes that Peach has hit on an answer. Activators, a major new feature in the company’s software arsenal, is aimed at hitting multiple birds with one stone. It’s a case of, as the company (and Thom Yorke) describe it, putting ‘everything in its right place’. “One of the things we’d found was that a lot of people were actually trying to twist the pre-existing software to do what Activators does now, with limited success. So as a service provider, that tells you something about what your customers are looking for!”. 

Activators, Assemble

A crude way of describing Activators could be to say that it is doing for digital marketing what Google Docs has done for documents. Instead of burying accountability and clarity inside an email chain sometimes hundreds of messages deep, the software presents workflows in a clean and accessible way, with all tasks clearly accounted for.

“I’m sure anyone who’s working in digital marketing will lament the faff of sourcing the right file, down to who has it, which file do they have, and whether it’s in the correct format. Email makes it very unclear who’s involved, and yet it’s by far the most-used system. Not to mention the frustration that tends to come along with having the hunt down the right specs for each file”, notes Doug. “It’s clear to anyone that the system needs modernising. So that’s what we’re doing”.

Another long-standing issue in the industry is the aforementioned staff churn. When you have such a high turnover rate, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that important messages get lost over the course of several handovers in a year. “It’s commonplace to hear industry people bemoaning the rate of employee turnover”, says Doug, “but what do they expect when you take a bright young graduate and have them fill out spreadsheets with information they need to take from mammoth email chains?! I hope the joyful UX of Activators goes some way to brightening the days of these staff”.

Moving with the Times

“One of the things we’re proud of doing at Peach is standardising working practices in the TV industry”, says Doug. “In industry after industry, you see a similar picture. First of all you start out with a kind of messy workflow, which with digital is perhaps where we are now. But then there’s a standardisation that can come out of it, set rules that make things easier and clearer for all stakeholders. Then, once you have things standardised, you can start to automate them. 

“I always say that we all have these amazingly dynamic and talented teams, and automating this stuff would free them up to do what they do best. We're a little way off that in digital right now, but we hope that Activators can be a down-payment on that future”.

For Peach, however, it isn’t simply a case of making digital more like TV. “There are advantages that you have in digital which are just best-in-class. Digital buying tools, for example, are amazing and we want to hold on to that. But perhaps there’s a best-of-both-worlds approach that can really make life easier for everyone involved”.

Joy Through Design 

“I appreciate that what we’re essentially talking about here is workflows, which isn’t the most exciting subject in the world”, acknowledges Doug. “But what we’re doing, I hope, is bringing a bit of life and a bit of joy to this through design. Activators is our response to workflow issues that we heard about while compiling the report, and it’s been great getting the preliminary feedback we have so far”.

You can read more about the Activators features on the Peach blog.

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Peach, Thu, 30 Jul 2020 16:21:40 GMT