Why Digital Creative Is the Next Big Challenge for Marketers
By Caroline Watts
Programmatic advertising has transformed the way marketers develop and optimize their digital campaigns. Marketers can now identify which ad spaces to purchase automatically, and let the algorithms determine where and when ads should be displayed in order to maximize engagement. And new technology is constantly unleashing new opportunities for marketers to reach the right people at the right time.
Brands utilize this strategy to serve their audiences more effectively tailored ads, but the onslaught of ads has led to some additional challenges. Because audiences are constantly bombarded with advertising content, it has become exceedingly more difficult for brands to cut through the noise and ensure their message is resonating.
According to eMarketer, “May 2016 research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Advertiser Perceptions, Kargo and Refinery29 revealed that ad clutter was the biggest obstacle of multiscreen digital advertising. More than half (54%) of US brand marketers and ad buyers said that it was a problem.”
In order to overcome the issue of ad clutter, brands must go beyond mere implementation of a programmatic strategy. And therein lies the next big challenge of the industry: to deliver timely digital creative that is also beautiful, valuable, personalized, and optimized.
Experiment, Personalize, and Optimize
Not all ads are alike. In fact, for every ad there are countless variations of its elements, including color, text, typeface, location, etc. But most important—and most often overlooked—is the ad concept. While programmatic advertising helps marketers deliver timely and relevant content to their audiences, that doesn’t guarantee the ad will capture audience attention and improve return on investment (ROI).
According on the eMarketer study mentioned above, “37% of respondents said creative quality was a challenge, and another 46% of brand marketers and ad buyers said that the overall experience was." It’s no coincidence that the top two obstacles—overcoming ad clutter and delivering high-quality creative—go hand-in-hand: high-quality, well-optimized creative is the best driver of advertising performance and the only way to stand out in crowded online spaces.
That’s why experimentation is so important. When you experiment with dramatically different ads, you’re more likely to find the ad concepts that appeal to your user base. Secondly, the more personalized an ad is, the more likely audiences are to engage with it and take action. A recent report by Ascend2 indicates that 70% of marketing experts believe personalizing the customer experience is the most important goal of a data-driven marketing strategy. However, only 37% of respondents believe they use data-driven marketing “very successfully.”
It isn’t easy creating beautiful, personalized ads, because unfortunately, most ad-building tools make it too labor-intensive for marketers to personalize every ad. Invest in the right tools, and you'll be able to personalize at scale.
On top of that, to avoid your ads losing effectiveness over time, always strive to develop new ads that will pique the interest of your audience and keep your message fresh.
Finding a Single, Comprehensive Enterprise Platform
Today’s highly sophisticated marketing technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, there are innovative tools designed to personalize content, build creatives, etc., but fragmentation is a major hurdle for marketers when it comes to getting digital creative right. If you use too many one-point tools for a variety of tasks, it makes the creative process both inefficient and expensive.
Your marketing stack should streamline workflows, automate processes, and integrate disparate technologies with ease. That’s unlikely to be the case when using multiple specialized tools as opposed to a single, comprehensive platform.
The alternative is a single enterprise platform intended for managing all creative. When you have a single tool for building, personalizing, and experimenting, you can create, personalize, and test at scale. When you have a single source of truth for reporting, you can actually dig into all your data for unique insights about your ads and your concepts. Think about what it would be like if you could access every single creative you've ever run, instantly. With the right platform, you can. And knowing what's working, everywhere, allows you to manage your creative effectively, giving you a leg up on the competition.