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Content That Connects: How Susie Lodise Ensures Hogarth Hits Home


Hogarth New York’s managing director speaks with LBB’s Ben Conway, in association with Comcast Technology Solutions, about cross-disciplinary content that cuts through the noise

Content That Connects: How Susie Lodise Ensures Hogarth Hits Home

Any piece of content for a brand means little if it never connects with its target audience, a statement to ponder in this new interview series from Comcast Technology Solutions and Little Black Book. 

Over the course of this series, we’ll be speaking to some of advertising’s most respected production leaders to delve into how emerging themes in production, such as data-fuelled production, more lo-fi shooting technology, remote filming, and evolving feelings towards the value of production all feed into creating content that matters to customers and works for brands. 

Today, LBB’s Ben Conway is discussing ‘Content that Connects’ with Susie Lodise, Hogarth New York’s managing director. A marketing communications executive with 20+ years of experience, Susie has a proven track record of building brands, driving growth and strengthening relationships. Hailing from New York as a professional ballet dancer, she's a dog lover, beloved aunt and Francophile who, in her spare time, can be found exploring the upper west side of New York, hosting dinner parties and biking around Central Park.  

LBB> You’re the managing director of Hogarth New York - how does your role interact with the creative and digital production side of Hogarth’s business?

Susie> We believe that there is always a better way, so collaboration across disciplines is core to seamlessly joining all the pieces together. Coming from a client service background, I’m personally a champion of an integrated approach. My biggest accomplishments are directly linked to strong creative partnerships; not to mention this type of interaction ensures the client objectives are central to our creating and making.

LBB> Technology and innovation are also key focuses for Hogarth, and the company has many international partnerships with innovative companies. How are you seeing new technology and processes improve how production connects with its audience? 

Susie> The explosion of tech and product innovation for making has given us incredible access to a breadth of specialists. Building for today, knowing the future is already here, is precisely what the consumer expects from us. Whether it’s game integrations as a stepping stone into the metaverse, or leveraging virtual production to deliver against our clients’ sustainability goals, we need to balance both: [delivering] client objectives whilst engaging and personally connecting with our audience.

LBB> In our fluid media environment, with new formats, trends and tech every day, how would you communicate the value of production to a brand?

Susie> If consumers expect us to understand their needs, if they want personalised content then my core message to the client is that ‘making really matters’. Modern marketing requires experiences, which go far beyond traditional skillsets. Getting it right means creating content at scale. And our unique ability to bring creative, production and innovation together is precisely what this ever-changing landscape requires. A true end-to-end content capability.  

LBB> What is one example of a recent project that required your production department to solve a particularly tricky or interesting problem? How did production step up to find and execute the solution? 

Susie> Oh boy, there’s often a range of complex productions that can happen at any one time. I can’t mention the client as the work is still active, but we needed to solve for a marquee creative project in several global markets, while simultaneously needing a best-solve for a nimble, high-profile content capture social activation in Times Square. It required everything from AI generation to creator management, housed in a digital activation with complex licensing and real-time content generation. All in an eight-day timeframe, which was successfully met. I hope I’ve piqued your interest!

LBB> What’s the key to crafting content that really connects with people?  

Susie> It needs to be relevant, useful and purposeful. The volume of content being created on a daily basis is staggering; from blog posts to podcasts to videos, audiences are inundated. So it needs to hit home immediately, it needs to be modular in design for the most flexibility and very much data-informed/optimised and platform-relevant to personally connect with people. 

LBB> We talk about ‘the craft’ a lot in this industry - but how can production elevate creative? Which areas of production should agencies, production companies and brands be investing in to offer the best-crafted output in 2023?

Susie> We talk a lot about efficiencies and that remains a priority for most clients, but we also need to balance the unique nature of each brief and brand, and of each challenge they’re looking to solve for. Craft is not a one-size-fits-all approach; the production strategy will vary based on the above. Are technology and advancement here to stay?  Absolutely. Should we double down on the personalisation of content? Yes. Are quality and authenticity still key? Most definitely.  

LBB> To what extent can data be leveraged to improve production and the impact of the content? How has Hogarth New York recently been using data in this way?  

Susie> Inquiring minds want to know! In all seriousness, this is on many of our clients’ minds, and rightfully so. We’ve centred heavily on intelligent asset creation and creative analytics through AI-powered content analysis. But there’s so much more to anticipate as we enter into each production; capture, tagging of assets, adaptation, modular considerations and carbon footprint to name a few. There’s more fusion than ever through the journey of pre-capture-post, thanks to data.

LBB> If the perfect CV lands on your desk for a producer in your department, what does it have on it and why?  

Susie> Interesting question, and I’m pondering the use of ‘perfect’. First and foremost, it’s about who they are and how they exhibit their passion(s). Sometimes what isn’t perfect becomes part of our skillset and sets us apart as an individual. I will say the intersection of thinking and making is very important, as is diplomacy and professionalism. And without a doubt, the work will most certainly benefit from diverse perspectives and varied experiences.

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Comcast Technology Solutions, Tue, 04 Apr 2023 14:55:00 GMT