The same piece of creative won’t work for everyone. Online, winning marketers know that creative variety is the key to success. But that means you have to produce and launch more content faster than ever with the same or declining resources.
Marketing teams have been struggling to close this ever-widening creative content gap. The pandemic has added another challenge to the mix: marketers need to pivot existing campaigns and messaging to match the tectonic shifts in consumer behavior.
The traditional and manual creative processes marketers have turned to in the past are no longer suitable. Consumers expect more. Marketers need automation to scale their content to meet the consumers where they are.
Creative Automation (CA) is revolutionizing the way brands marketers approach digital advertising and content production by letting software perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks for unforeseen scale. Marketers have acknowledged the need for this.
A recent study by Forrester Consulting found that 77 percent of marketers believe they could benefit from a more automated digital advertising strategy.
With Creative Automation, collaboration–even between remote teams–is made simple as the entire production process from design, scaling, feedback, and approvals lives in the cloud.
Now that we understand a bit more about CA, let’s dive into how brands like Spotify, adidas, and more are capitalizing on this solution and it’s five revenue-boosting opportunities for marketers.
Given the rise of digital–particularly during lockdown–brands have grown deeply invested in reaching customers wherever they’re spending time online.
Still, winning facetime with customers is a challenge and requires the creation of multiple creative variants across a plethora of formats. This process can be labor-intensive, and oftentimes creatives teams are falling short of what they need to achieve.
The cost in time, resources, and budget leave marketers to choose between increasing their funds or risk being out-marketed.
One company reaping in the opportunities of Creative Automation is Spotify. The music streaming and media services company introduced creative production automation to its workflows.
Once integrated, Spotify’s digital marketing team was able to produce and launch four times more content with twice as fast production cycles with its global summer campaign. This kind of scale would not be feasible with manual creation.
The traditional production cycle for campaign creatives has been confining brands, even if they’d like to respond and adapt to cultural and current events. Without automation, weeks, even months can pass by before a brand can pivot their approach to respond to what’s happening.
Nonetheless, with CA, marketing teams can cut down on production cycles drastically, allowing them to respond to cultural shifts swiftly and without having to hit restart.
The benefits of updating creative in real-time quickly become obvious. For instance at the onset of COVID-19, beauty brands like Orly, Megababe, and Aesop were quick to act on their feet by starting to manufacture and offer hand sanitizers.
These brands immediately pivoted to roll out new creative campaigns with these product launches.
While collaboration is an advantage, sometimes it can be a significant production roadblock, especially when most creative teams are now working remotely.
Generally, a campaign is reviewed by internal creative teams, marketing leaders, media agencies, etc. and this method can create friction as stakeholders have their processes and preferences for the completion of a creative campaign.
Creative Automation is ideal for streamlining communication and collaboration. It brings marketing, design, creative, and media teams together to work under the same roof, in real-time. For example, users can be granted different levels of access based on their roles. They can share feedback and leave comments without risking alterations to creative assets.
The localization of campaigns presents the opportunity to reach and engage with global markets. However, the traditional production processes in place are duplicating efforts, not to mention inconsistent branding when local markets are left to create from scratch.
It isn’t enough to just translate content, brands need to take cultural nuances into account when designing for different markets.
The process of localizing creative becomes instant with Creative Automation. Central teams can design and share templates that are flexible enough for local creative teams to tweak, but rigid enough to maintain brand integrity.
A campaign toolkit refers to packaging content and assets in a way that local marketing teams can activate and launch in specific regions. It is a key element to running large global campaigns and a major investment for marketing organizations.
Central brand teams are usually tasked with delivering these campaign toolkits to local markets to ensure brand consistency and usage of creative content across regions. Without CA, the process of delivering and activating toolkits is time-consuming and cumbersome.
According to adidas, CA enabled its marketing team to turn their brand toolkits into flexible creative master templates that could be adapted into hundreds of variants by local markets.
Not only does this approach provide scalability but it also allows the retailer to save money and time per campaign while maintaining quality and executing personalization.
Building toolkits with Creative Automation software have numerous benefits. Local teams no longer need technical knowledge to activate assets and there’s no more studying and referencing design guidelines.
Teams can quickly localize the assets by connecting the templates to content feeds that automatically populate the masters with e.g. translations or the correct product images.
Not only has the pandemic forced many brands to pivot their messaging but also reevaluate how they’re organizing creative production and collaboration with fully remote teams. The brand that falls short of adapting to the new normal loses out.
Creative Automation is a game-changer. It allows brands to finally meet their content demands while future-proofing their production workflows. It’s not about doing things better, but doing things completely differently than before.
While the second half of this year remains uncertain, marketing teams that embrace automation can remain sure that their creative processes and needs are covered. Brands who opt to continue with legacy solutions, on the other hand, will inevitably risk being overrun by agile marketers.
Miha Mikek is the CEO and Founder of Celtra, a Creative Automation company that serves some of the best brands in the world, like adidas, Spotify, YETI, Unilever, Lululemon, CNN, and NBCU. Under his guidance, Celtra has been nominated for several industry awards including The Best Martech Company at Festival of Media Global Awards, American Business Award, and AlwaysOn Top 100 Mobile.
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