Creating Digital Content & 3D Assets at Scale for Furniture & Home Product Brands

Feb 16, 2022 12:00 pm1:00 PM EST

Request The Full Recording

Key Discussion Takeaways

Content isn’t just about ratings anymore. If brands want to succeed, they need to utilize visual content and technologies to cater to the consumer. What are the advantages of 3D and CGI content, and how can they help your brand scale?

According to Mark Buckingham, visual needs are growing, and there’s an average of 20% yearly growth in visual needs and spending. As the demand for content increases, brands are turning towards visual capabilities to cut costs, reduce a long creation process, and generate reusable images that make content creation more efficient. On top of this, visual content allows brands to test and learn quicker, giving them real-time data and analytics on what will move the needle.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant sits down with Mark Buckingham, VP of Americas at nfinite, to talk about how your brand can utilize visual content to drive conversion. Mark discusses the advantages of CGI and 3D technology compared to photoshoots, the urgent need for visuals in the commerce space, and how visual content can help you scale within budget.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • Mark Buckingham discusses the new standard of visual content
  • The future of CGI — and how it can save you time and money
  • Transforming expenses into assets through CGI and 3D visuals
  • How can you use 3D visuals in the B2B space?
  • nfinite’s customizable capabilities for reusable content
  • Why the “perfectly imperfect” CGI shots are the best
  • How nfinite works with brands to drive conversion
  • The importance of testing your images
Request The Full Recording

Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Mark Buckingham

VP, Americas at nfinite

Mark Buckingham is the VP of Americas at nfinite, a next-generation product visual solution to accelerate sales. nfinite is all about helping the world usher in the post-shoot era in which product visual availability is no longer reliant on costly, logistical, and carbon-heavy photoshoots. Mark is a highly successful senior sales executive and sales manager with over 20 years of eCommerce experience with startups, large enterprises, and global accounts.

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Event Moderator

Mark Buckingham

VP, Americas at nfinite

Mark Buckingham is the VP of Americas at nfinite, a next-generation product visual solution to accelerate sales. nfinite is all about helping the world usher in the post-shoot era in which product visual availability is no longer reliant on costly, logistical, and carbon-heavy photoshoots. Mark is a highly successful senior sales executive and sales manager with over 20 years of eCommerce experience with startups, large enterprises, and global accounts.

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Request the Full Recording

Please enter your information to request a copy of the post-event written summary or recording!

Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant 0:18

Happy Wednesday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and managing director at BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands. And we do exactly that we network. And now it's here together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping digital as a whole, I talk with 30 to 40 brands a week, we'd love to have a chat with anybody on the line today, just to just to network to knowledge, share, and figure out those pain points that that you might be facing that that's how we actually get the topics for all the events that we're doing. So you can say extremely topical at any point in time, we're gonna do close to I don't know, 350-400 virtual events like this this year of every topic you can think of in from Amazon, to the consumer to marketing to, you know, imagery to, you know, TikTok, live streaming, whatever it might be, and more than happy to have a conversation with anybody on all that. A couple of housekeeping items as we get started here. The first one is we're starting three to four minutes after the hour. And just you know, we're gonna wrap up with at least three to four minutes to go on the hour as well. Any point in time you know, you have questions, don't hesitate to drop into the chat, drop them into the q&a section there or you can always email me email me questions. Aaron aaron@bwgconnect.com And for the email that includes an hour after the call tomorrow, next week, always more than happy to jump in with an answer if you have any questions in digital or anything related to this whatsoever. So with that, I'm just gonna, you know, get the background for this. It's a huge topic that's just been coming up over and over again, we'll probably do multiple more events on it this year, just the sheer volume of calls and requests around digital content and 3d assets in how they can be used, how brands are using them how different companies are using them for marketing for content generation for paid media for ads, whatever it might be. And we got some great friends, partners supporters, the network where he with a ton of brands in it and just come highly recommended across the board over at nfinite. We're gonna do multiple events with them this year. So you know, there's just great all around people. You know, Mark, I'll kind of kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself. And that'd be great. And then we kind of jump into the some of the stats and what you guys see going on in the space.

Mark Buckingham 2:39

Yeah, happy to so my name is Mark Buckingham, I've been doing content, really since 99. When CNET bought a business that I had some friends started. And those of you who do content, you know it's the necessary evil. You love it. You hate it. You need more of it. You need it better and you need it yesterday. Let me go to share a screen. And what nfinite does Are you seeing my screen properly? Or? Yep, sure him. Okay, cool. So when I met the folks at nfinite a little over a year ago, year and a half ago or so I just said no way can't do it. It's cool. And I've been on board ever since then. But what we're really here to talk about is not so much us. But just in general content. When I say content, I think of content is imagery, video, that sort of thing. I know there's a lot of prose that goes into it as well. And it's not just ratings anymore. It really is about that visual. And it really is because nobody can read because they're on this device anymore. And it's you've got to talk to me in pictures. I'm probably not telling you anything you haven't heard. And if I just go whoops, I love it.

Aaron Conant 3:47

No, I think that's that's so true, though, right is the amount of mobile purchases done in mobile has just skyrocketed over the past year as more and more people, you know, are spending time on platforms like TikTok, right where? Oh, yeah, they're just doing it on their phone. And they're not reading everything is gone visual. It's just, you know, you have the rating side, right, which was incredibly gamed, you know, on the Amazon front from a lot of sellers and new brands popping up, you know, overseas jumping in and gaming the system that there's almost a slew, do I believe them? Yeah, well, that's it. I mean, they like to see the high ratings, but it's not the converting factor. Like it used to be. Right, right. And I don't know if you guys are seeing the same thing. But this 83% stands out to me,

Mark Buckingham 4:33

I hear the same thing. And as I've talked to some of them, you know, we used to say, hey, it takes 5.2 or 5.3 images, then it's eight and recently, I've been talking to a few brands right? No, Mark, the new standard is 12 Counting a video like okay, now you're really pushing it right. And I think the increase it's not just because the images the important thing, but you've got So many channels, right? I mean, my God, what? How do I, you know, I've got to I've got to get these in every size, every shape, the lifespan of some of these are now a day or days where, you know, I mean, I used one of my buddies over at NorthBay. She's like, hey, we used to do stuff that could last sometimes eight months. Now we're down to a handful of days for a lot of our assets, other than a static image of a jacket, that doesn't change. Everything else is just consumed so quickly. So it's, it's the need, it's the ability, as I always say, can you predictably get your assets at the scale you need? And I think that's where everybody, whether it's a budget crunch, A, how do I get more with the same, or it's just, Hey, I got the money, but I just can't scale. And that's kind of where CGI comes in.

Aaron Conant 5:49

You know, you know, from the same point of keeping the brand look and feel and story the same. I think that's another thing that has popped up, as you look at all these different outputs and channels, you know, there there's definitely a UGC aspect of the whole thing. But there's also the brand feel and a consistency when you actually get to a product page. So there's kind of like that split between, hey, I want to, you know, I want to push something, you know, on on Facebook or on Instow, or, you know, pinners, I want to push it I want to use UGC. But then there's also the landing page. But it's just so much content as a whole.

Mark Buckingham 6:23

I love UGC, because it's gritty, and it kind of has that believability. And it's another reason why I like CGI or computer generated imagery, because you can help tailor that. And you know, I don't know if I shared with you in the past. So talking to one of these massive computer manufacturers trying to go through the hurdles to become a qualified vendor, which takes months, but their big thing was, in my opinion, will never, I'm saying in his opinion, we'll never get rid of photoshoots with human beings. And I like talent, I like that shot business. So what I do is we rent, you know, we'll rent several places locations, we do the photo shoot, talent moves to the next one. And for the next three plus days, I take a picture of product on the table, remove the keys, product on the table, swap out the family photo, add the keys in the photo, get a dog picture in there, take a picture, right he goes and when I'm done with these three days of imagery, then of course, the product that didn't show up for the photoshoot is here. And or the new version is here. And I've got to put that in. He's like, couldn't I just send couldn't somebody build me a scene that looks just like what my people are in. And then I don't have to do those three or four days on site. I don't have to have the expense of the caterer, the photographer's assistant, you know, the designers? Can I just do that and go wow, that's that's a brilliant use of CGI for people that want to have talent in their images. So I'm going sideways, you know, I do that. But for those who are thinking of it, CGI may be a way just to even augment your, you know, your in person shots. Yeah, awesome. No, love it.

Aaron Conant 8:08

And just a reminder, for those who join questions, you know, you drop into the q&a, you can drop into the chat, or you can email them to me, Aaron, aaron@bwgconnect.com.

Mark Buckingham 8:21

So I put this slide up for folks that may not be familiar using CGI, you know, what you don't need to do is a lot of things, you don't need to ship your product. You don't need to worry about, you know, as I said, you know, people laugh like, I got a catering bill that was a couple $1,000 For my photoshoot it's like but you know, so if you're doing CGI properly, you should be able to drop a lot of time out. We quote with our process anywhere from 10 to at least 50% of your time out, you should be able to drop 10 to 80% of your photoshoot costs out. And what that really, you know, people get interested in the cost savings, I go like timeout timeout, the cost savings means you have plenty of budget. But if you're keeping up with what the world is asking, it's asking more imagery, and it's saying more lifestyle, more experiential. And how do I know what works? You got to test it. And if you don't have it, you can't test it. And I know you know, the folks over at visit that do the image analytics. I love that. And I probably said 100 times my Buddy used to run adobe.com. He always said if there's six people in a room, and we all agree, we're probably wrong on the test. That's what we've learned. You know, they'll run 40 to 100 tests a month at adobe.com. It's whatever, $4 billion website but the point is you can't test what you don't have. So how do I know that putting me behind an aquarium is going to be better than a plane off this shot is going to be better than You know, a blue wall? I don't know, the best guess is probably wrong. And we know by creating this ask imagery and getting it out there. And that's, that's really where a company like us or even just a good CGI studio, can can really make you move along that curve.

Aaron Conant 10:18

Where do you think the trend is going? And what do you think that percentage of like, what we're viewing today is CGI that we don't even know. We don't realise that CGI, where do you think it's at today? And is this like the new table stakes for content generation? Because I mean, the price of everything is going up. Right? In this price? Yeah, I noticed. I mean, it's just, it's just a reality, right? I mean, even in the digital space, talent, the price of talent is going through the roof. And so

Mark Buckingham 10:49

Another good thing about CGI, I'm not gonna say this is for all CGI studios, for us, at least, if we produce an asset for you, you said talent, you own it. There's no rights management. You want to give it up your channel down your channel across your channels, you're free. And that's one of the nice things. So I lost part of your questionnaire. Oh, what

Aaron Conant 11:15

is it that today like the percentage of websites that you would estimate are using CGI? And where do you think it will be a year from now from companies because it's over and over again, one, I need more content, too. It's more expensive than ever, you know, three, I need to have a process to manage it. I want items. I want to want content when the item drops, you know right now.

Mark Buckingham 11:39

Or before it drops, right. So I mean, I've got a American signature when COVID hit they're like your godsend because with all the quarantines and are time to photoshoot with you guys. You know, you we take a few pictures before the product goes in a crate, give you some dimensions, and we have assets staged and ready before the product hits our warehouse. So I would say home goods, furniture, we're probably early adopters of the technology. I'm going to guess 80% North, maybe even 90% of what you're seeing if it doesn't have a human being in it is all CGI. I've been at some of the you know, the largest retailers, they still have Photoshop studios in their back offices. But it's it's a very small percentage in CGI is placing it out. Now if you go to pretty much any hard, good, you'll see its debt steadily growing, where you'll see it not growing. growing fast, but not as prevalent is fashion where you've got to get a mannequin. I mean, it's one thing to when a man if that manufacturer gives you the cad and they know, you know, the dimension of here to hear the perfect. I mean, you can't just kind of fake a jacket or a woman's dress, you have to have every point perfect in order to build that. And then of course, you've got to have either put it on a mannequin, or you got to put it on an avatar. And I think you and I joke before when you see a CGI person. It just looks wrong. Right, right. It's not right. I mean CGI dog CGI, cats. To me, they look great. But as I said my dogs probably looking at it going that ain’t a dog. I know dogs that ain't a dog. So, um, I would say apparels probably the last frontier. But think if you've got a product that is difficult to ship, um, gosh, think you know, Newell, Rubbermaid, those little micro barns you put in your backyard. Think anything heavy, I've got a power generator or something you might be spending $1,000 in shipping and logistics. That just goes away. Not only does it go away, but think of the time spent with all of the planning. So you know what I've got up here. I'm sure everybody has read it. Um, these are just things that just make your life easier. And things become a little more predictable.

Aaron Conant 14:18

You guys go he will ask you about and we can get to it. I'm sure here like photorealistic. I mean, that's the question. I'm sitting back and you're saying like 80% of what I'm seeing today, and I've already been fooled.

Mark Buckingham 14:31

While you've been way fooled. Now the designers, the people who are the critical photographers in that they'll look at it. I bet they're 80%, right when they say, oh, that's computer generated. And when I look at it, I'll say, Huh, yeah, you're probably right. Doesn't matter. Right. I mean, so one of our customers is, you could say world's largest retailer and they have oh, they're launching a set of products. With a blonde movie star like not like that, that narrows it down for you, and her team was, we will only do photoshoot it must be perfect photo realistic, we're not going to go, you know, try this computer stuff. So they, they set the scene, they took the images, they locked down on to lifestyle scenes they were going to use, they flipped that to us. And for fun, we rebuilt them. Two days later, they we presented two other images slightly different but 98% the same. And in a blind taste test, her entire team picked our stuff, the CGI stuff over that. And then Cindy goes, Wait, wait, it gets better. Let's say this product is discontinued. Boom, took me 15 minutes to remove it. Or we've now added this product or you know, let's say this big mirror over the fireplace is going to be a big screen TV and we're going to show you you know, the Bengals versus the Rams on it. Right it if you happen to be there, or if we know you don't like it, we're gonna put the Olympics, the ability to tailor this stuff. So you know, photoshoots are expensive. They are photorealistic. But I've seen a lot of photos hands don't exactly move the needle for me as well. The point is the quality should be dead on before I like expound on the slide at all. Is there another question that came in there? Aaron around there?

Aaron Conant 16:23

No, it's just around the different categories which you highlighted. So almost table and kind of what I'm extrapolating, you know, if furniture home goods as a whole, this is almost table stakes or will be within the next 16 months. Apparel, again, really tough not necessarily if somebody is on the line, if you're you're an apparel, there's probably some 360 photoshoot something people can do somewhere, but that's still a little bit on the outside because you're right. Humans, you know, animals, anything that's actually alive look a little weird in CGI. They look a little weird. Yeah, everybody picks it out immediately. But, you know, you know, products don't. But so fashion or something that you have to have a person in it necessarily will look a little bit different. But so

Mark Buckingham 17:15

yeah, I'll just say one of my partners who I reached out to and I'd known her from a past life. We used to do a lot of work with her. And she's got big, big, big, big names. I won't say them, but big retail names, big manufacturing names. And when I first approached her, she was like, no way that computer stuff doesn't work. And I was like, Hold on, I'll check this out. And she looked, she went, Oh my God. You're going to cannibalize my business. And, and she said, I'm going to work with you better that I cannibalize myself, then you cannibalize me, right. And she realized the power of 3d it can be done beautiful, and it does have the ability to adapt to seasonality, or just to kind of change. So, you know, timeliness, again, as I pointed, you know, my, my buddy, Scott over American signature was like, Hey, we get this stuff before it hits our warehouse. It's, you know, the point out Cynthia's you know, it's, I take a room scene, I take a lifestyle, it's static, right, and it's done. And that's what you know, the kids at HP, were saying, Hey, can you just design this scene for me? So I can just swap out, you know, the keys, the photo, the desk, the curtains, and just get the different environments? I want? Yeah, absolutely, we can do that. So though, you have flexibility. And the point is, you don't have to make those compromises because I doubt anybody got a big budget increase, or if you did, inflation probably ate it up. But this is a way to allow you to produce those more assets. Don't think of it as a cost savings, which your CEO and CFO will be tempted to do think of it as the ability to generate more assets. And as I generate more assets, I get to slice and dice my segments. And I get to present the proper image that moves the needle. So I drive my conversion, which of course goes to cart value, revenue and everything out else out there. Right.

Aaron Conant 19:17

So another great question that comes in. Are you seeing, let's see, are you seeing companies use this more for 3d Spin images, or to just spin the imaging capture the asset at the right angle?

Mark Buckingham 19:30

Um, a lot of 360 spins, particularly for you know, mid size products. I think if you got a a giant product maybe doesn't make so much sense, but we do a lot of 360 spins on our platform and and they're straightforward to do. Right. So, I mean, I used to run an agency galley 15 years ago, we did the first commercial 360 spins on the internet. We had a lazy susan with a sharpie a five megapixel camera that costs 12 grand back then, right? I mean, this little telephones two and a half times better than what we had back then. They those products, move the needle 360 spins are important for a lot. And the question is, how are you going to know if it works for your category? Test it, go build 10 or 20. And see if it makes makes a difference for you. I just become so cynical on on imagery these days, because as Rob Rob just taught me, you have no clue. And you're probably wrong, just test it. That's where I sit. I would like to just touch on this. I know, there's probably people that are going to already know all of this. And there are a lot of people like I have no clue. So when we do talk about a 3d product or a digital twin, you hear that term. This is what we're talking about. We're just building a 3d mesh. And what does it take to do that, it takes a couple pictures of the product, hopefully dimensions. In our case, if you give us four or five images, and you give us you know, good dimensions will be 99% accurate, and most people should be able to achieve that for you as well. So once I built this, then I just put a skin on it right I put a mat you know, I cover that mesh. And this could be you know, I don't know what that is black velvet, it could be red velvet. It could be you know, yellow alligator, once you've got it, that product, you can just start swapping out your textures again, very quickly. And then I can put it in any context, right? You know, smart alec, Mark says, Hey, let's put it on the moon. For sure. And when I alluded to this, and now the soft goods, so rollout by by the movie star was an example of this, once you built a lifestyle scene, normally this would be static, it's sunk money, you got it. And most of my furniture people always tell me at end of the year, I throw out stacks of images that cost me hundreds of 1000s of dollars. But here, my designers have gone to work, design the scene, CGI has built it. And if I want to, I guess if I want to put a big screen TV and have the Olympics on here, I do it if I want to show, you know, USC playing Oregon, I do it if I want this ficus tree to be swapped out to a Christmas tree. I do it and it's minutes, and it's a couple $100 It's not 1000s of dollars. It's not weeks upon weeks. It's very responsive, very flexible. You're you're actually having a reusable asset as opposed to a sunk static, you know, JPEG.

Aaron Conant 22:35

So all of the that entire image is all CGI. It's not.

Mark Buckingham 22:40

Oh, it’s all fake. Okay, right. Well, I okay. If it's a digitally real, let's call it that, right? Maybe that's a new term, but digitally real,

Aaron Conant 22:48

digitally real, instead of fake. Okay.

Mark Buckingham 22:50

It existed in somebody's mind at some point, right? So that regard it exists. But right down to do I want to bury a product on the table. These need to be roses, because it's Valentine's Day, oh, just simple things that can pop out and get fixed.

Aaron Conant 23:09

So another question, how often are you seeing this used on the b2b side? Because I think especially I mean, it's a great question a lot of things from you know, the, the furniture space, a lot of it's a b2b. It's a catalogue. It's a, you know, do you see people using this, you know, like, even like trade shows or Market Week?

Mark Buckingham 23:27

Oh, you do? Oh, yeah, we'll build assets. So we build in what's called high polygon. So if I just go back for half a second, these are called polygons. They're just little, you know, little squares, little triangles that are building up. And you can have, you know, let's just say you could have 10 Per, let's call it 10 per inch on there, that might be a low res, like your ARB yards, we get that fuzzy world. That's where people say, Oh, it doesn't look real. We build an ultra high. So our models are very heavy we do. We do decimate them for some companies that want an AR VR model. But for use and tradeshow, we'll pump this pop this stuff out in 16k. I mean, you can print a billboard if you want. It can be that good. So the quality can be there. The detail is there. The renders are beautiful. And you know, all this is just saying, hey, how do I know is this lamp gonna perform better? Is this lab gonna perform better? Is this lamp going to perform better? I don't know. Let's pop it in and see, right? Is it going to move the needle now our numbers that I've worked with the retailers, you will see insane differences you will see like 30 40% additional dwell time you'll see conversion rates for people who are actually going to those pages go up similar amounts. It's It's insane. And it just gets back to what we've known for 15 years is put somebody in the experience that resonates with them. Do you have a living room in Manhattan? Beautiful, love it. But what if I'm in Oakland All right, I want to live in a room in Oklahoma, right? Or I live in Malibu or I live, you know, in the panhandle of Florida. Give me an environment that not only can invoke my imagination, but also can imagine me. You know, I can imagine it being where I live. And now you remove so much fear so much trepidation. I feel good. Let's press go, boom. Um, so I'm probably rambling too much, but does it? Does it get us anywhere? We want to go in the conversation?

Aaron Conant 25:27

Yeah, I do. I mean, just another question around the output type. Right, so what kind of file is kicked out? Because people are looking at it from variety, right? They might want to jpg kicked out, they, you know, they might want to format it for, you know, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, you know, whatever, have you a 3D file for, you know, their 3D renderer that they have on their website, you know, the VR, you know, a rvr, I want to drop this in my room, maybe they've got a player on your website that's doing that,

Mark Buckingham 26:00

yeah, ask your agency, they should be able to give you what you want. We, from an image standpoint, we'll kick out a JPEG or a ping, you know, you want a clipping path, it's done. For a product. You want to GLB and SPX 3D model, we kick that stuff out all the time. And when I say we kick it out, it means you just go into our portal and download it. But agency should be able to deliver that to you 360 spins, some of the agencies will give you the you know, proprietary player and put it in, we are going to give you you know, your 36 images and and just a Open Source Player. We're big on open source, we just like things to be easy. I'm kind of how I've always kind of been that way, even though I've sold a lot of proprietary software in my day.

Aaron Conant 26:51

you'd answer the copyright question early on, right? And yeah, okay.

Mark Buckingham 26:56

For us. There's no rights management. And I'm not saying that some artists somewhere isn't going to say, hey, you know, this is, you know, that's a discussion between you and your agency or you and your 3d artists that you employ. For us though. It's just a no brainer. You make the you know, you request the asset, you own the asset, do with it what you want, which makes everybody's life easier, just the right way to do business, in my opinion.

Aaron Conant 27:25

Awesome. Love it. And just anybody has more questions, keep dropping to the q&a, the chat or emailing them to me, Aaron, aaron@bwgconnect.com.

Mark Buckingham 27:34

So yeah, in terms of output, Aaron, as you mentioned, you know, Hey, you want it in a white background, you wanted a transparent, you want to put it on the rock with the blue sky, you want to put it on a dramatic, you know, Midnight Black Rock. Those are, those seemingly are simplistic, Hey, we should just do this. But if you tried to do that in Photoshop, or with a photo shoot, it starts to get expensive and crazy. I mean, one of our customers, you mentioned Desert Springs for the tradeshow one of our customers has outdoor furniture. They're Canadian, they go once a year, we either go to Desert Springs, and we do a photo shoot. Or we go to the Canadian Rockies, and we do a photo shoot. And I was like, Don't you want it in both places plus, on a California beach plus, you know, a Florida beach plus you want it in somebody's backyard pool. In the Midwest, like, course we want to do that Mark, who on earth has the budget, let alone the bandwidth or the time to go to all those places? It's physically impossible. So go back to the moon on the chair. You can put your stuff in any environment you want, you can get that flexibility. And when you're sitting there going, I wonder, would this move the needle on conversion with this draw in that segment? You'd have to wonder anymore because it's in reach of your budget, and it's in reach of your timeframe?

Aaron Conant 28:56

Awesome. So a question comes in, are there any restrictions in terms of the variants created? For example, we're targeting hotel or restaurant prospects and want to create imagery that shows our furniture and their hotel or restaurant?

Mark Buckingham 29:10

Oh, yeah, absolutely not. Um golly. Maybe if I know, on another deck, I've got a really good couple hotel shots. And one thing you want to look out for, and this is kind of an issue with certain CGI companies. We grew up in the real estate world. And we have architects or designers that sit along with our developers. So we have a concept and it's not just ours, we probably stole it from somebody. It's called perfectly imperfect. So that means when you look at one of our environments, you're going to think somebody just walked out of the room. So if there's a pair of slippers or shoes, they're not at a perfect 90 degree angle like a robot would do. They're twisted, and I'm thinking of an image we have of a hotel room we did where the bed is Made beautifully crisp. But you can see right where the maid put her handprint on the edge of the comforter on our way out of the room. So no limit to environments, that's as I've been preaching, that's an advantage of going, you know, CGI, however you want to make sure you don't have a sterile look. That's one of I think, often a criticism in CGI. Have a designer that has an eye see looks like somebody just walked out of that room have a little wrinkle on the fabric, have the shoes tilted, have a you know, like a print, you know, an indentation on the comforter? It just like, Ah, this looks real. And and I'm sure that if you took it perfect, we would have done the hotel room perfect. And then you did one with the imprint on it. And you did a B test, the one with a dent in it would have resonated far better because looks real. Right?

Aaron Conant 30:55

Yeah, so another quick, do you ever have any crossover issues with background scenes? So I'm assuming these backgrounds are kind of standard? I know you can swap everything out? Is there any, you know, the backgrounds are used twice? Are they so customizable, that it doesn't really matter?

Mark Buckingham 31:11

You can I mean, in our case, you can swap out flooring and swap out all that furniture dirty and spot by wall color, you can swap out wallpaper in our platform. We have hundreds of stock photos of stock rooms, we have hundreds probably 1000s of you know rugs tables, you know if you if you sell lamps, but you don't have sofas and chairs and tables and chairs, we have those things for you. However, we build a ton, I don't know 20 to 100 plus a month of custom scenes. So just like if you request a JPEG or a 360 spin from us, you own it. When you we build you a custom scene, you own it, you'll never have another one of our customers use it. So if you're whatever retailer from, you know, if you're Louis Vuitton to Walmart, you own that look and feel and it's yours. And I assume other agencies would you know, it's just a matter of dollars, whether or not you own it or not.

Aaron Conant 32:14

Awesome, from a test and learn standpoint. Like what is it engagement look like is what I call people. Like is this a year long subscription? You know, other people have been interesting, what is I don't know, we always we never want to turn this into a sales pitch. But the people are asking like, do they do a trial? Like what does that look like?

Mark Buckingham 32:35

We often do that. So we actually have a SaaS platform that allows you to load in models, either a model of an individual product like that clone where I can rotate it, to have any lighting on it, and then take a shot, or I load in a scene template. And then I start mixing and matching my furniture and that now to get started with us. In our case, I'll usually quote us six weeks for project one doesn't mean we won't do it in two weeks. And once we've done one project, we'll typically quote four weeks from beginning to end. And that's just because it always takes a couple of weeks for you to understand what we expect. And us to understand what you expect. I just like to have a little buffer on the first project. But it literally is I mean, before the product goes in the crate, picture picture, picture picture picture, give us some dimensions, most people have a CAD so they'll just zip that up. And then we have every dimension under the sun. Now if you gave us or any decent CD designer, just one picture, gonna be 70 75% accurate. But again, if you lead up to that four to five pictures with dimensions, you're gonna hit the 99% accuracy. And that's when you're really going to get the believability. What about texture, these devices are totally good enough. Now just get in close, get a texture, if there happens to be a pattern, whether it's us or another agency, they are going to need at least one full repeat. Otherwise, you're going to get that kind of goofy checkerboard look. So whoever you're working with will need to have a full pattern repeat. That's kind of goes without saying most people probably know that. But yes, getting started. You know, it could be 10 grand, we you know, do a product, a lot of people say hey, I've got like 10 products launching or I've got 44 products launching. I'm like, let's do them. So whether you've got 104 Or you know, 14 products, we'll look at a POC, we'll spin it out. You know, hopefully in six weeks, you've got everything. It's on your website the next 30 days, you come back and say this is awesome. It was faster, easier, cheaper, and they got more or maybe it wasn't even cheaper because I spent the same amount but I got more and now I'm I'm driving conversion the way I always wanted to know that explained the process enough.

Aaron Conant 34:58

Yeah, I think so. 100% Yeah.

Mark Buckingham 35:03

Alright, so here, you can just see, there's some significant cost savings, there's time savings, I kind of had a static slide in the past that showed that out. And I just kind of come back to all your channels are asking for more better different. In our case, you know, we'll give you like, say we build a lifestyle scene. But hey, it's a rectangle, that doesn't work for Instagram. So what to say, Hey, give me an Instagram square, pops a square over it, you move the square where you want it. So give me that boom. And now you have, you know, an asset that you can go paste on Instagram. You know, you could do that with a cropping tool, mess around with 510 20 minutes. With us, it's about 30 seconds. But so if I just say, whether you're using a platform like ours, and the advantage to that is it will actually allow any merchant to go ahead and move around and create these assets. But if you're not using a platform like ours, which is very unique, I think it's the only real one in the world like it, it's what got me excited to come here. If you're using, if you're just starting with a CGI agency, 90% of the benefits I talked about the day, you should be able to cheat those.

Aaron Conant 36:17

Awesome love it. And so there's any other questions that come through, drop into the chat, drop into the q&a, or you can email them to me, Aaron,aaron@bwgconnect comm you know, are there any kind of get in, I don't have any others that have come through. But if other people have them, you know, I would encourage anybody in the light of day have a follow up conversation with Mark and the team at nfinite there, they just come highly recommended from a tonne of brands are doing something incredibly unique. And it and they're really saving people a lot of the cost, but in all reality, it just allows you to produce more. And then the flip side, which we're going to, we're for sure gonna have a conversation with is going to be with a team over at visit who does the measurement on it, because that's the key thing. It's not just, hey, I want to pump out additional assets, as you can do so many more. And you can test and learn so much quicker around, hey, the asset at this angle, you know, you know converts at a higher rate or this color asset, you know, converts at a higher rate or at a lower rate. And you're able to really get some real time data and analytics around your ads, your conversion rates, and everything else. So we'd encourage anybody, you know, follow up conversation with Mark any other like,

Mark Buckingham 37:33

Well, I never thought I'd get excited about raw chicken. But I am getting excited about raw chicken and chicken nuggets because Austin visit has this joint customer world's largest chicken producer, or at least the largest in the US. And you know we're going to be working, they're going to be putting it in the Walmarts and the target websites pretty soon and using the visit analytics to see does having this stuff in place in different environments move the needle, the guesses, yes, because there's already two more additional pilots right behind the chicken already slated to go. But it'll be interesting to see. And I love the visit, folks, when they show you a on Amazon the box of whatever Pepsi or Coke is getting whatever 14% conversion. But if you rotate it just a little bit over on target, it's getting 42% some some stupidly big number. Well, how do you know that rotating that box, or putting a different background on it moves the needle. You don't until you test it. And the visit software can not only go in and analyze your assets, they compare it to your competitors, and they come back and make suggestions. So when it comes back and says, you know, twist that chicken 13 degrees, while you're really going to go hire a, you know, a photographer set up a new kitchen and do do that. Now we're just going to go okay, rotate that box in the countertop 13 degrees. It's it's that kind of flexibility in time and just getting it done that I'm really excited about. So yeah, raw chicken is actually on my list. It's not in our sweet spot. If you're a food manufacturer, don't call me for a few months, because food is tricky. We're doing it well. And I just want to pilot these and get them right with and first before we start rolling out into Rajic.

Aaron Conant 39:21

But I think you made a great point, which is we're getting into digital 3.0 here where we can't just check boxes anymore, right? We can't just say, Oh, we got you know, we've got five images. We've got the right bullet points. We have it on Amazon, we have it on Walmart, we have our direct consumer. We figured out SEO we figured out SEM you know, it can't just be these checkboxes anymore. It's a next level of you're not producing content necessarily. Just to put out another Facebook ad or another Google Instagram, Pinterest wherever you're playing. You're not You're not generating content just to put out another ad you're generating income intent to test and learn around which ones perform which what content performs and what content does not. And then keep reiterating. And I do believe that testing and learning, you know, aspect of it is what the companies that do it the quickest. And they react to the data, the quickest, and they reiterate over and over again are going to be the people that win at the end of the day. So, no super, super interesting as a whole. Any other thoughts like, you know, from your side for nfinite, you know, more than happy to connect you with anybody that's on the call today, I would encourage anybody, you know, set up 30 minutes with Mark and the nfinite team, well worth your time, and could be a huge impact on your budget across the board. But you know, key takeaways here is we kind of get to the end.

Mark Buckingham 40:50

And that's kind of where I started. The images, everything, you know, a picture's worth 1000 words, I think maybe it's worth 10,000 These days, because nobody reads which is an apparent for years, but on these devices, the images, everything, you need to figure out how to move the needle and your conversion. And it really comes down to testing. And if you don't have the assets, it's that chicken egg, you know, with the business software is awesome. But if they don't have assets, they can't really ping a lot. And if we're not producing, you know, if we're not producing them, then they can't tell us what's good. You need to be able to test these whether it's with their type of software or just a standard, you know, on mature Adobe AB testing, you know, Monetate, whatever, whatever you're using for AB that. You need to have it you need to test you need to be able to slice and dice and segment with your assets.

Aaron Conant 41:45

Awesome. Love it. Well, I don't have any other questions that have come in the q&a or the chat or email. Again, Mark, thanks for your time today. Thanks for being so open to sharing and all the thought leadership thanks to everybody who dialed in the great questions that came in. Look for a follow up email from us. I'd love to have a conversation with you on what's going on in digital as a whole. And also more than happy to connect anybody with Mark in the team that if it and with that, I think we can wrap it up way early, which is great, right? Give everybody the gift of time. Hope everybody has a fantastic rest of the week. Everybody. Take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. We'll be in touch. Thanks again, Mark.

Read More
Read Less

What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
envelopeusercartphone-handsetcrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram