What is Creative Automation?
April 3, 2020 By Celtra
Automation has changed the way that media is bought and handled, now it’s time for creative to go through the same shift. With media moving in real-time, brands need to keep up by pushing out more creative than ever before to match consumer expectations. It can be challenging. From expensive content scaling, slow and cumbersome creative processes, generic ad experiences, and inconsistent designs, brands just can’t turn to old-fashioned creative production anymore. The answer is automation.
Creative automation is changing the way brands digitally advertise by having software perform repetition for high-volume design or creative production functions. Likewise, a new commissioned Forrester study on behalf of Celtra found that 77% of marketers believe they could benefit from a more automated digital advertising strategy.
Why haven’t marketers adopted automation in droves yet? A lack of awareness that this technology exists. Creative automation is a really new concept and very different from the traditional brief-idea-production-launch process many marketers are accustomed to.
We’re here to make creative automation a little less foreign. These are the core elements and benefits.
3X faster production
Faster production is one of the many benefits of creative automation. With more assets at hand, brands are able to connect with their consumers more often. When you’re able to move 3 times as fast, a lot happens:
- You can run always-on media with the ability to change content as needed.
- Rolling out relevant creatives is much easier and you can make changes on-the-go.
- Your team has more time to spend on creative ideation once they automate tedious and repetitive tasks.
Brands are aware of this. In fact, the Forrester study also found that 51% (the leading response) listed increasing the speed of creative development as their goal in the next 5 years.
How, specifically, does creative automation increase production speed? Let’s dig deeper into that.
Building made easy
Creative automation allows designers to swiftly and fully execute their vision and then scale it. Here are the key features that make building creatives a lot less tedious.
- Hand-craft engaging global creative masters with animation, motion graphic, gamification, product galleries, and more
- Scale across channels with built-in format specs and responsive design
- Organize and populate content (text and images) into feeds for faster production, translation, and localization
- Connect your master templates to content feeds to produce all the variations you need
Centralizing your creative production unifies team collaboration and communication. This comes with many awesome outcomes. Not only is agility increased, as ideas can be relayed quickly and teams also have more visibility. Since review and approval can be handled within the software, back and forth emails with JPEGs are replaced with a single place to access cloud-based creatives.
This is how marketing and creative teams collaborate in the cloud:
- Single URL bulk preview
- Flexible and shareable views with internal and external teams
- Full commenting functionality: reply, resolve, and change tracking
- All stakeholders can access commenting, even if they’re not Celtra users
- Easy access to unresolved comments pending responses
Global masters and localization
Rather than handling a high volume of local market asset requests, central teams can use creative automation to design master templates that are handed off to local teams. They can then resize, reformat, and personalize to suit their market. In the end, branding is consistent AND your message shows an awareness of local considerations. Ultimately, creative automation enables a global market reach that would otherwise be unattainable.
Why hasn’t this become the norm? According to the Forrester study, only 24% of marketers state that their localization operations are mostly automated. At the same time, 83% predict a positive or critical positive impact from creative automation on improving and increasing localization efforts. Again, it’s apparent that brands are skittish about converting their knowledge into action. Yet, brands who adopt creative automation earlier will be able to out-market their competitors.
All brands with a digital advertising presence are faced with a very daunting task — how can you prevent error when producing 1000s of ads? Creative automation can help a lot. Not only are variations generated instantly without the need to adjust creatives by hand, creative automation software also vastly decreases your risk of human error. Additionally, the software pushes the creative directly into the proper channel (rather than manually copying and pasting) which further lessens the opportunity for mistakes.
Attract your audience
Sending out an influx of messages only works if they have an impact. To ensure this, the content must be relevant. Creative automation covers this too. The Forrester report asked organizations which benefits they would expect from an automated creative production approach. The leading answer was higher customer engagement (41%).
Unfortunately, simple targeting and retargeting isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need a more sophisticated and efficient approach that is rooted in skillful storytelling. Unlocking a greater volume of creatives enhances your capacity for creative relevance. You have more opportunities to run precisely tailored stories to a variety of audiences.
Finding your solution
The final Forrester report finding we’ll discuss here is that more than half of brands don’t have the proper technology to assist with digital advertising content creation. That’s a problem. Rather than cherry picking tools to help segments of the creative production process, you should consider your creative automation software options. It’s the most comprehensive and beneficial way to hit all of your marks.