American Express - Brilliant Noise

Transforming global content marketing operations

Our journey with American Express began with a question: 

Why is 84% of the content produced wasted?  

Our challenge was to design a new way for 60 countries to collaborate on content. 

What did we do? We listened to local markets, we gathered insights, and we created a revolutionary pilot that acted as the spark of change. And most importantly, we put a stop to content wastage – taking that hefty 84% and shrinking it down to just 14%. 

The challenge: improve content waste and boost collaboration 

American Express’s international leadership came to us to figure out why so much content was being wasted and help them design a new process for collaboration. 

A vast amount of investment was being poured into content marketing – in both central and local markets. Yet these markets were not only working in silos but rejecting content provided by the centre. Poor collaboration resulted in duplicated effort and budget, and content that was off-brief and badly timed. 

Engagement and return on investment were low as content wasn’t based on customer needs or interests. What did American Express need? To deliver relevant content to customers at every single point on the customer decision journey.

What we did: harnessed insights to create a new content model 

We highlighted where planning, measurement and sequencing issues were disrupting the flow of content, and we aligned the content process to get the right briefs to agencies. 

We then noticed that content was taking too long to produce and approve – unreasonably increasing the cost of production. So we created a pilot with two markets to deliver fast change and a blueprint for scaling content operations globally. 

We listened to the markets – uncovering what they needed and why content was wasted. After auditing the scale of content duplication across markets, we identified shared needs and opportunities for collaboration. These insights were used to design and build a new operational model for planning, creating and sharing content effectively across markets. 

What happened: fast change to workflow and performance 

With such compelling pilots – the entire global group of teams were won over after the first quarter. Our pilot was the business case for change and attracted advocates from across the organisation to scale this 
new approach globally. 

Within just four months, there was a huge shift in wasted content. We took markets from wasting 84% of content to using 86% of content. And customer engagement doubled as the content was based on data-led customer personas, interests and needs.


Content efficiency increase


Customer engagement increase

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