Case Study: Abbott

Overview

John Brown Novus was tasked with helping Abbott, the worldwide healthcare company, to create engaging content for its microsite, India@Work. Aimed at a white-collar audience in key Indian cities, the content had to be engaging and authentic in order to provide real value and create brand loyalty with a discerning, busy audience. Armed with a “soft sell” approach, the goal was to craft a site that readers would see as a trusted friend in the content space.

Discovery

The brief: to produce authentic stories to resonate with an Indian audience. As such, JBN built a local team of skilled Indian writers in Mumbai and New Delhi. This local team became our eyes on the ground, regularly briefed by our editorial team at Singapore headquarters so that their content achieved Abbott’s core aims. But communication was also two-way. As white-collar workers themselves, our Indian writers and photographers were able to suggest angles or craft stories that spoke to audiences and felt truly created by Indians, for Indians.

The Idea

Having examined many local publishers in the Indian health and lifestyle space, we found that their content was often long-winded. There was an opportunity for us to capture the attention of a mobile-first audience with content that was stripped to its core components, offering short, useful reads that could be consumed on the go. Our writers on the ground (with pedigrees from The Guardian and India Today) were able to source real interviewees who could offer real anecdotes — how one businessman prepares a healthy lunch each day, or the hacks a young entrepreneur uses to achieve work-life balance in frenetic New Delhi. Supported by an experienced team of editors, subeditors, designers and photo editors, these stories were further crafted for maximum impact.

Creation

Working with our local writers and photographers, we generated story ideas that truly mattered to our audience. Some were simple how-to’s, like how to make the best use of your stressful commute. Others straddled the line between whimsical and wise, asking: what can India’s beloved Bollywood films offer us as life lessons? Ensuring a broad content mix kept the India@Work site feeling fresh, so that readers knew they could return again and again and always consume something new, whether an interactive quiz, a Q&A with Indian stand-up comedians or a piece curating the most useful links to check out on their commute. Key to ensuring that eyes hit the site was the photography, which went beyond the generic stock image to custom shoots and careful photo editing; this ensured that the imagery was local and authentic. Copywriting was also a key part of the user journey: each piece generated for Abbott came with five Outbrain headlines and social liners for its Facebook page, ensuring a broad reach.

 

Outcomes

Our content for India@Work was hugely successful. The quality of the content, boosted by amplification tools such as Outbrain, saw a high engagement rate for each piece. This level of success was improved upon by regularly reviewing story analytics. Stories that had the highest number of clicks were analysed so that we could replicate that approach or topic. Beyond success in the hard metrics, Abbott was hugely satisfied with the project as a whole, as noted by one of its executives, Josh Grace: “JBN brought together a very strong in-country capability that allowed us to seamlessly create locally relevant content consistent with our global strategy. Furthermore, as we tested and developed our understanding of the channel, the team at JBN were flexible in their approach and progressively adapted the editorial approach to maximise our efficacy.”