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The Secret Sauce for Marketers Looking to Spice Up Their Creative Game

A puppy and a Clydesdale’s unlikely friendship. A Shaggy remix (feat. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher). Two brothers’ unbreakable bond. A thank you letter to moms everywhere. When we think of the ads that have stuck with us (some, for years), these are a few that come to mind.

Some use humor, others appeal to emotion, but they’re united by one thing: each tells a story that’s authentic, relatable, and memorable. In other words, their creative is on-point.

And though having strong creative might seem like a no-brainer for marketers, in today’s complex digital media environment (not to mention tumultuous economic state), it’s easy for other parts of a campaign to take precedent.

Today, we’ll analyze why it’s so critical for advertisers to focus on creative in their campaigns. We’ll also explore a tool that’s invaluable to advertisers looking to amp up their creative. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.

Why is crafting strong creative so important?

To say campaigns today are complex would be a serious understatement. There is so much work that goes into each stage—from strategizing and planning; to building campaigns; to launching, monitoring, and optimizing; to final reporting and billing reconciliation. Throw in the sheer volume of devices and channels available to advertisers (plus the different creative formats for each) and we totally get why advertisers might be left wondering: “Why do I need to focus on creative? Isn’t it enough to get something in front of my target consumers?”

But, just as today’s digital advertising landscape is complex, so too is a consumer’s digital experience. In 2022, the average US adult spends over 13 hours each day with digital media. That includes smartphones, CTV, OTT, social media, digital audio, and more. Talk about information overload!  

Given how much digital media people consume, it isn’t enough for people to simply be exposed to your product or brand. Having strong creative—creative that tells your unique story and forges connections with consumers—will distinguish you in an advertising environment that’s incredibly competitive.

But what about the complexity? How can advertisers find the time?

We get it: Marketers are not only wading through a fragmented media environment—they’re also trying to make strategic shifts based on a turbulent economic environment.

However, if your team is going to invest significant time and resources into crafting a strong campaign, shouldn’t the creative be something that tells your brand’s story in an exciting and authentic way?

We certainly think so.

We also know that simply reminding marketers of the importance of creative isn’t enough. It’s like telling someone who is struggling during a race to just pump their arms and move their legs faster—which is to say, it’s largely unhelpful! Advertisers need tangible tools to free up their time and energy so they can focus on this critical component of campaigns, without burning out.

One solution that can be particularly impactful? Advertising automation.      

What is advertising automation?

Within the context of marketing, advertising automation is the use of processes and technologies to streamline the entire lifecycle of a campaign. It can include:

  • Using a single platform that unites many channels into one (rather than using point solutions for search, social, direct, programmatic, advanced TV, etc.)
  • Using an advertising platform that handles the entire lifecycle of a campaign (so that when it’s time for reporting or billing reconciliation, you aren’t pulling data from nine different servers and losing time trying to standardize and compile it)
  • Using advertising software that integrates tools like bid shading, automatic reporting, and machine learning that save time by reducing manual labor  

In short? Advertising automation is a game-changer. And now that we’ve gone over what it looks like, let’s dive into its impact on creative.

What’s automation got to do with creative?

For marketers to generate creative that’s compelling and authentic, they need to have the time and energy to do so. And with the majority of advertisers reporting they use seven platforms in a typical day and nine for their average ad campaign, it’s clear that something’s gotta give.

Here’s where advertising automation can help: by reducing the number of disparate solutions used, leveraging tech to eliminate manual labor wherever possible, and allowing marketers to manage the entirety of their campaign through a single platform, advertising automation saves time and energy. That time and energy can then be used to make strategic, intentional decisions as marketers craft creative that elevates their unique story.

To really illustrate the impact of automation, let’s take a step back and imagine two different advertisers trying to craft winning campaigns:

The first advertiser uses nine different platforms to run their campaign, and they’re already feeling zapped from trying to manage all those different sources of information. For the sake of personalization, their team is manually building out different creative variations to connect with different consumers. Because of all the manual tasks crowding their days, they lack the time, energy, and resources to really focus on crafting their story in a way that’s memorable.

Now, let’s imagine our second advertiser (you probably know where we’re going with this…):

This advertiser uses an automated platform to consolidate all their channels into one place. As such, they have the time to really think through their creative strategy, and the resulting ads authentically tell their story. They also know the need for personalization is huge—so they use available integrations to reach the right audience in a personalized way. For example, a strong automated platform will have integrations that allow for dynamic creative optimization (DCO), which includes real-time product-based retargeting, audience segmentation, customer journey enhancement, and more, so marketers can reach the ideal audience in an efficient and automated way.

By embracing advertising automation, marketers not only have the time to focus on creative strategy—they also have tools to quickly personalize that creative and get it in front of the right customer.

Wrapping up

Let’s recap. A strong digital marketing campaign needs strong creative. Unfortunately, marketers’ days are eaten up by navigating the complexity and fragmentation of today’s media landscape, and creative often falls by the wayside as a result. To re-prioritize creative, marketers need more time, and more energy—both benefits that advertising automation is proven to provide.

Ironically? To re-prioritize creative in their campaigns, marketers don’t need to get creative at all…they just need to invest in the right tech.

Interested in a deeper dive on all things automation? We’ve done pieces on workflow automation, automated billing, and automated reporting, as well as crafted a comprehensive guide that analyzes how automation can streamline your campaign process and save you valuable resources. Interested? Learn more here!

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