Agency Q&A: In Conversation with Byte’s Managing Director

April 26, 2021 By Celtra

Illustration: Oscar Bolton Green

Byte, a marketing technology agency, supports brands with everything from creative concepting to production and optimization. The agency’s ultimate goal is to help brands drive growth on digital channels. When it comes to Creative Automation, the agency has been at the forefront of innovation and a leader in adopting new technology. Byte embraced creative automation over a year ago and has seen considerable success in scaling creative for brands. Byte works with the world’s most popular music streaming platform, and the team has seen tremendous success in scaling creative production with Celtra’s Creative Automation software. 

We had a chance to chat with Tobias Cummins, Managing Director at Byte New York about how they think about content scaling and the implications of Creative Automation for agencies. We discuss some of the challenges and internal considerations alongside suggestions for agencies who could derive significant value. 

 

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about Byte and how you work with brands?

Byte is a marketing technology agency. Traditionally, you have creative agencies on one side and media agencies on the other. We’ve found this to be a bit limiting for brands. So, we brought together creative, media, data, and tech into one offering to ultimately generate commercial value for businesses.

We’ve been working with one of the major music apps, who has users across nearly 100 markets across the globe. Our partnership with them is a good example of how we work with brands. On the performance marketing side of the business, we’ve been helping to develop and automate each stage of the process. Once there was a more streamlined infrastructure in place for media and delivery, we started thinking about scaling creative and automating the creative production process. 

When it comes to creative production, we are a key partner in producing all of the assets they need to fulfill their expansive media plans. 

So, the ambition was to go from a couple hundred creative assets to thousands. 

With Creative Automation, we were able to achieve this scale and now produce upwards of 10-20k creatives per cycle.

 

Q: What has been the biggest impact of Creative Automation on the brand’s business?

Scaling creative tremendously impacts creative fatigue. Beating creative fatigue is incredibly important for all marketers. With Creative Automation, we’re able to constantly refresh creatives and do so in a systematic way. This has an impact on cost per registration or subscription, and ultimately drives returns. 

 

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your internal process in adopting Creative Automation? Were there any unforeseen changes to your team’s workflows?

We’ve been lucky that the team has really embraced the new technology. It’s inherently a different way of working and requires an open mindset. But, what was really important was that we never lost sight of our intention to do amazing creative work, and we always saw Celtra as a tool to help facilitate that goal. 

We’ve had very close collaboration among the brand’s team, ourselves at Byte, and the team at Celtra. All 3 parties have made a concerted effort to onboard the Byte team and make sure that we were leveraging the platform to its potential. We had really great support and guidance from the Celtra team about how to be smart about producing content and deriving the full value of automation. 

We also encouraged our team to take an active role in sharing feedback and providing insight from a creative standpoint on how the tech could further facilitate their needs to drive even greater efficiencies. We were involved in product roadmap discussions, and we’ve seen the product evolve and improve. Being so ingrained in the process has ultimately allowed us to test the boundaries of creative scale.

 

Q: How does Creative Automation drive value for agencies? Why is it worth the investment? 

As an agency, our objective is to produce outstanding work. Creative Automation enables us to execute with scale and speed.  

From a scale standpoint, Creative Automation allows us to produce outstanding work at a scale that is otherwise infeasible. When you’re looking to scale while maintaining quality, it’s quite cumbersome to achieve even when you scale resources. We can now produce 10x the volume with the same manpower. This is the case with brands who have a need for tremendous scale.

However, other businesses may not require scale necessarily, but they need to be fast to market. Imagine a context in which you don’t need 15k assets every quarter, but you may need 1k in a week. When it comes to speed, automating the production process makes it possible to deliver creative assets more quickly. 

So, we can achieve both scenarios and serve all business needs with Celtra, also while maintaining consistency. By automating and templating certain functions, we can create structure around creative work, which is quite beneficial. Our ambition is to do amazing work, regardless of the process or tool. But, Celtra Creative Automation allows us to do that at scale, speed, and consistency. 

 

Q: What are the key challenges that content scaling with Creative Automation addresses?

Efficiency, both commercial and operational. For any agency or brand, efficiency is key. 

Operational efficiencies are about centralizing and consolidating workflows. When it comes to content scaling, you may have local markets or different teams that need variations of the same assets. If workflows are not centralized, you could end up with various stakeholders across the organization producing content in silos. This is inherently inefficient and may lead to increased costs. It also is prone to inconsistencies, both in terms of design and measurement. It makes it very hard to optimize effectively. Creative Automation solves for this by consolidating content production and streamlining internal alignment. 

Seen through a commercial lens, businesses are ultimately interested in improving the bottom line and creative plays an important role in advertising effectiveness. Automating creative, either with scale or speed, ultimately helps to tackle advertising fatigue and allows platform algorithms to optimize more effectively.

 

Q: Your team has really seen a great amount of success with Creative Automation in scaling production for brands. What is the key to successfully adopting Creative Automation? 

As an organization, we have an early adopter mentality. We did not want to do things in the traditional way because we knew we were missing out on opportunities. That said, adopting a new technology and a new way of working is never easy, especially with the stigma around automation in the creative industry. But, when you see how incredibly beneficial it is and how it facilitates so much that we couldn’t achieve without technology, you understand the value. The interesting challenge then becomes how do you keep adapting and evolving the process to continuously improve. And that’s an ongoing process. 

The fact is that adaptability is the key to making progress and continuing to grow.

If there is one investment to make in adopting technology like Celtra, it’s in the team. They are the ones leading the charge and innovating beyond the current capabilities of the software. Bring people on board who are open-minded who embrace breaking from the traditional molds.

At Byte, we’ve gone on the journey together and collectively put a lot of effort into embracing the new tech – whether it’s an account manager who is adopting the new technology into a workstream to the designer who is now exposed to a completely new set of tools. It’s effort and investment that can be challenging but also has tremendous rewards.