Why Creative Needs To Get Better Before Digital Can Fulfil Its Promise

Why Creative Needs To Get Better Before Digital Can Fulfil Its Promise
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In this guest column, Celtra’s regional director, Richard Knott (pictured below), says you can have all the data you like, but it could amount to nought if the creative’s no good…

In today’s crowded digital marketplace, the stakes for capturing consumer’s attention have never been higher.

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 7.24.56 am

At the same time, brands are having to manage greater complexities in the form of different digital platforms and smart devices, while newly empowered customers demand highly targeted and personalised messages that engage and delight.

This means being able to collect and analyse large data sets from multiple sources, to track and monitor the effectiveness of campaigns and to improve on them.

But most importantly, it means having great advertising creative that people relate to, engage with and feel moved to share.

The Creative Management Platform (CMP) is a cloud-based solution designed to help brands bring all of their advertising creative activities together in the one easy-to-manage central location with the goal of creating better digital advertising experiences.

Ideally the CMP should achieve four key things:

  • Enable creative production
  • Deliver optimised creative in real time
  • Measure creative performance
  • Serve creative, and analyse results, in any and all of your sources of digital media

CMP’s offer different benefits for different organisations, but the bottom line is that with so many different digital platforms and smart devices connecting people to them, there are a dizzying array of formats brands now need to be across in order to tell their stories effectively. For example, it’s important to match the ad format to the content it’s delivered within, or risk alienating the audience.

Today’s increasingly mobile consumers are also responding less to messages that aren’t targeted to their individual needs and preferences, meaning brands need to get smarter at tailoring their brand messages – according to individual, time and place – if they are to achieve meaningful engagement.

An effective CMP removes much of the difficulty and cost of doing this, making it easier to convert data and live campaigns insights into actions, something that can be especially powerful when combined with attribution analytics.

It also brings various stakeholders like agencies, media suppliers and other technology providers under the one roof.

Creative dearth

The whole point of advertising creative is to tell compelling stories that engage and delight audiences.

But while the digital platforms and technologies connecting brands with customers have advanced exponentially, the quality of content being uploaded has sadly failed to keep up.

This at a time when quality creative has never been in greater need, with so much content now vying for more people with shrinking attention spans. You need only look at the growing popularity of ad blocking tools for evidence of more users opting to tune out.

This tells us that brand’s ad budgets are increasingly going to waste. Worse still, the 24/7 nature of digital communications means poor story telling can quickly translate into brand damage.

Not only can a CMP help companies organise and deploy their creative content, but it also makes it easier to analyse the results and figure out how they can improve.

The measure of success

As digital platforms and devices continue to evolve and grow, it’s become harder for organisations to gauge the success of their various advertising and marketing activities. But it’s critically important that they do.

CMP allows companies to collect and track all data related to serving and interaction events, at the same time as integrating with third-party tools like Twitter, Snapchat and others. These data can then be used to track KPIs as well as the effectiveness of creative. This in turn can be used to conduct A/B and multivariate tests to fully optimise campaigns, driving improved performance as well as return on ad spend.

Equally important is being able to benchmark different activities, such as measuring the impact of content consumed on different platforms by different audiences. For instance, campaigns on mobile should be treated differently than those on desktop, while video should not be placed beside ‘rich media’.

The ability for brands to measure the performance of creative campaigns ‘incrementally’, is also very powerful. For instance, is a firm’s advertising activities attracting new customers it may have acquired anyway? And if so to what extent?

A CMP can deliver powerful results for organisations of all sizes, but especially those managing multiple brands.

Often very large firms will engage with multiple creative agencies, all of whom might have their own specific versions of creative. But this can be very hard to keep track of, while posing the risk of consumers being confused about a brand’s identity.

However, regardless of the size and type of organisation, the ability to have the once central for all ad creative, including data on its effectiveness for different audiences on different platforms is a powerful new way to build and evolve its digital content and make each advertising dollar matter more.

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