Being able to scale a brand identity in a way that’s efficient, consistent and personalised can give you the edge you need, says Brian Kavanaugh, Director, Global Field & Customer Marketing at Bynder…
There was a time not long ago when putting creative and automation in the same sentence would have caused concern to many people working in the marketing and advertising industry. Technology was seen as a threat to creativity, and automation as a replacement of the creative processes that propel brand excellence. But the technology behind creating, managing and distributing digital assets has come of age, proving itself an essential part of a brand’s tech stack.
With brand engagement moving predominantly online over the last 18 months, creative automation – a key part of the digital asset management (DAM) engine – has become a marketer’s best friend. Being able to scale a brand identity in a way that’s efficient, consistent and personalised has become a matter of survival as online competition intensifies. Those using creative automation in their DAM lifecycle are therefore coming out on top. It enables marketers to create a high volume of branded assets to distribute across a variety of digital channels, and to capture customer interest across every touchpoint, in turn offering an unbeatable digital experience for customers.
But it’s not just about marketers. While a brand’s content output benefits from creative automation in terms of relevance and volume, it’s important not to overlook how creative automation is benefiting creatives when it’s put into action behind the scenes.
Creative automation ultimately empowers both marketers and creatives to create and communicate their digital brand. It frees up designers from the repetitive, manual tasks that limit the time for creative storytelling and unlocks marketers’ potential to produce content at scale, arming them with the ammunition to boost campaign performance.
This empowerment encourages greater collaboration and enables the two teams to operate more efficiently. As a result, they can get closer to the insights that inform their next move or deliverable, instead of getting lost in the content crunch chaos that typically impacts the full content lifecycle. This is where creative automation’s role in performance marketing comes in.
Supporting the human work of DAM
Creative automation gives marketers and creatives the ability not only to keep up with the demand brought on by the plethora of digital channels now available, but also the breathing space to analyse campaign performance and develop strong creative ideas. Moving into 2022 this trend doesn’t look like changing, so it’s critical for brands to have the capabilities in place to efficiently manage, create, distribute and analyse the performance of their digital assets. Once these capabilities – like creative automation – are in action, campaign performance will be poised for success.
For example, if the performance of an asset is dependent on its colour, marketers can choose whether to feature more of this colour in the future and, if so, the creative can help bring it to life. By streamlining certain processes it frees people up to make more effective and impactful decisions.
While creative automation doesn’t eliminate human intervention entirely, it does make valuable human intervention easier. Creative automation works its magic in the production phase of a campaign, while the ideation, design and performance analysis stages require a higher level of human intelligence and judgement.
It backs up the belief that you can’t automate the building of a brand, but you can automate it’s scalability. Brand building requires human creativity, while brand scaling is where creative automation for high-volume, low-lift content creation comes to the fore. In today’s world, they can – and should – work in parallel to drive efficiency improvements.
In the production phase of a campaign, there are also many other ways in which creative automation can benefit performance marketing activities. Marketers can use digital brand templates to easily convert five-minute videos into bitesize 30-second versions that are more digestible and, therefore, more likely to convert a passive customer. This is something the global alcoholic beverages brand Pernod-Ricard has benefited from. From localising videos in its Absolut Vodka Drop of Love campaign, it increased ad recall by 35 percent.
Digital brand templates can help marketers develop creative content quickly and easily while sticking to their design principles. These creative assets can be initially delivered by a creative with interchangeable elements for the marketer to personalise when optimising campaign performance. This could include swapping out imagery on ads targeted within certain cultures or the location and job titles on job ads.
Indeed, personalisation is where technology can make marketing campaigns shine. Not only do marketers need to produce more creative content that grabs people’s attention, but also enough content to feed highly personalised digital experiences that combat digital sameness. Being able to trade a lacklustre and generalised approach to content for more bespoke content targeting, tailored to individual needs and online behaviours, can give a brands’ performance marketing a competitive edge. It’s all part of scaling a brand identity – starting with a creative ideating the logo, imagery and font before passing it over to the marketer to scale it in volume.
Moving into the distribution of digital assets, technology that enables brands to manage this more effectively can bring huge downstream performance gains, removing the time associated with downloading content to reversion manually and the hours spent on simple, mundane requests. For example, dynamic asset transformation technology enables performance marketers to optimise content based on channel specifications, like their website and social channels, without the need for manual intervention when distributing the final asset. While this isn’t about improving the performance of a marketing campaign as such, it offers tangible performance improvements within the digital economy. This can be the difference between a good brand and a great brand online.
Ultimately, creativity is the real winner when it comes to an efficient process of creating, managing, and distributing assets for digital channels. Tied in with creative automation, it ensures that the creative stage of brand building gets the attention it truly requires.
While the success of performance marketing is typically measured by tangible metrics, creativity – which is notoriously difficult to measure in terms of effectiveness – shouldn’t be forgotten about, though often it is.
Essentially, there is no creative content without creativity. Yet, with the urgency of delivering a lot of content it can become undervalued. Performance marketers must recognise and understand its importance, make room for creativity at the beginning of a campaign and work closely with creatives throughout to ensure the core idea is scalable. That’s how creative automation can truly thrive and deliver upon its promise of improving marketing performance.
Director, Global Field & Customer Marketing