Limitless Creativity: How Brands Are Embracing Creative Marketing Automation
For brands, churning out creatives isn’t the job it used to be.
If a few hero banners or videos was all it took to make a campaign work in the good old days, then marketers today are inundated with requests to quickly adapt those creative assets for hundreds of different formats, channels, markets, and marketplaces – a process which can take days if not weeks of repetitive and time-consuming work. After which, marketers have to stay on their toes to make continuous improvements in response to real-time feedback on click-through and conversion.
There was a time when brands could throw people at the problem. Instead, in 2022, the industry is bogged down by a sheer lack of resources, as well as the great resignation. A Bynder poll revealed that around 45% of marketers think the standard creative process of producing individual assets one at a time is unsustainable given the size of their teams.
That the whole creative value chain is ripe for disruption is well known to marketers, but viable solutions have eluded them until now. This eBook explores how automation is the key to delivering creatives that drive business results at scale, while examining practical use cases for brands.
How Creative Automation Works
Creative automation lets marketers produce content assets at a high volume through software tools that automatically adapt various aspects of a banner or video such as format, size, and call-to-action. The process starts with uploading a base or master design into an automation tool, which then outputs thousands of variations of banners, hero images, captions, videos, and animations at half the usual time.
With last-mile integration set up, those assets can also be plugged straight into a content management system, paid and programmatic campaigns, and eCommerce marketplaces. What’s more, the creative workflow is enhanced through bulk edits, live tracking, and change management.
By eliminating minor, repetitive, and manual tasks that impede the creative process, creative automation gives marketers breathing room to focus on high-value strategic work such as ideation and optimisation. And by rapidly increasing the volume of output without the need for additional resources, creative automation trims costs and speeds up time-to-market. Moreover, by reducing the space for human error, the need for rework is almost eliminated.
Perks of Creative Automation
Still, most brands are stuck in first gear when it comes to automating their creative production activities. Less than 20% of digital advertising decision-makers have completely automated processes for content versioning, which involves creating multiple versions of the original asset for a campaign. Only 21% of marketers have fully automated content development processes.
Here’s what brands are missing out on without creative automation:
- Faster production cycles & time-to-value
Creative teams spend too much time on minor tasks such as resizing visuals, tweaking copy, and producing multiple variations of assets for different audiences and goals. More than 60% of creative teams spend at least five to ten hours a week on such mundane edit requests. Not only is that tedious, but it also feeds into a cycle of burnout and staff turnover. By delegating those tasks to software tools, brands can cut the time it takes to launch campaigns while being able to respond in real time to consumer feedback and social media trends.
- Scale production without extra costs
Creative automation allows marketers to scale up their content output without having to search for, hire, and onboard additional resources, which keeps a lid on costs. And despite the increase in output, there’s no trade-off in terms of quality. Automation tools are built to maintain the integrity of a brand’s corporate identity across asset variations by locking specific elements such as font, colour, and design. That decreases the chances of human error and rework. Moreover, the availability of multiple versions improves personalisation while lessening ad fatigue.
- Efficient & faster localisation
All great marketing is hyper-local and unique to each customer journey, but adding customisation delays campaign launches. Creative automation speeds up the content localisation process by democratising the design work to local teams, which also helps lessen the cultural gaffes that an over-centralised team might commit. In addition, creative automation enables brands to generate and distribute personalised messages at multiple touchpoints throughout the buying cycle, from welcome and nurture to remarketing and loyalty.
- More room for A/B testing
As creatives no longer have to manually work on different versions of each asset for A/B testing, they have more time to measure the results, test and learn, and optimise campaign performance.
Use Case : eCommerce Brands
From seasonal campaign banners and one-off hero images to SKU thumbnails and daily feed posts, eCommerce sellers require a wide range of creative assets to keep their online store top-of-mind among customers. That’s where creative automation can take over mundane tasks such resizing images, changing background colours, repositioning visual copy, and alternating the call-to-action efficiently and effectively.
In a typical eCommerce campaign, a creative might spend 20% of their time brainstorming, sketching, and getting a master design approved. The remaining 80% of her time may be spent on adapting those same visuals for different channels like AMS (Amazon), CPAS (Facebook), and seller websites like Lazada, Shopify, and so on. With automation tools, a creative can simply plug in the approved key visual and churn out a thousand iterations.
Case Study: Fonterra
The proof is in the pudding. Here are a few examples of how creative automation has worked for clients of ADA:
In an age of content overwhelm, what brands need is enough horsepower to deliver personalised creatives at the moment of truth. Quality creative assets that are not only personalised and scalable but also affordable have been out of reach for brands before the advent of automation tools, but there’s now a pathway to limitless creativity.