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Stronger together – by Adlib’s Janira Hernandez

Ad-Lib’s Janira Hernandez says collaboration is crucial to releasing the power of digital creative communications

By Janira Hernandez, head of MEA, Ad-Lib Digital

Did you know that an overwhelming 90 per cent of enterprise advertisers believe their creative and media teams need to be better aligned? If advertisers want better creative, what’s getting in the way?

In association with WBR Insights, Ad-Lib.io conducted a survey of 100 major brands and multi-brand retailers with advertising budgets greater than $50m to find out.

With the approaching demise of the browser cookie, advertisers all recognise that maintaining the effectiveness of creative assets during campaign activation is more important than ever. Marketers are increasingly seeking solutions that will help them to better connect their big ideas to compelling, data-driven advertising campaigns.

As cookie-based targeting continues to lose its effectiveness, it is more important than ever to release the power of digital creative. But what does that mean for advertisers’ creative teams and their data-driven initiatives? How can they make sure their creative assets aren’t diminished during campaign activation, leading to a loss of value and effectiveness?

Researchers found that 74 per cent of creative and media teams are not aligned or could be collaborating much more effectively. In addition, 56 per cent believe that combining the work of media and creative teams on a single platform would drive overall benefit and address some of the challenges resulting from this lack of alignment.

This lack of alignment can contribute to significant challenges in developing a return on ad spend (ROAS). When creative and media teams aren’t aligned, there may be a disconnect between the assets being delivered by the creative teams and the targeting media teams are using to deliver their ads. From a consumer perspective, ads that were once promising may miss the mark entirely. The result is a negative impact on ROAS.

When asked to rank their priorities for improving their return on advertising spend, the top two choices – scaling creative capacity and increasing creative acumen – garnered an equal vote (38 per cent). This was similarly reflected by US brands, which suggests that a significant portion of brand manufacturers and multi-brand retailers now recognise the importance of creative assets and their creative teams’ capabilities in the success of their advertising strategies. These companies hope to improve their creative capabilities to deliver more engaging ad creative, anticipating a time when brands can’t track consumer activities across third-party websites with cookies.

Aligning their teams to address the new, multi-channel advertising landscape may be a challenge. Thankfully, some solutions can help to bridge gaps between creative, media and data teams in this new environment. 

Using automation, collaboration and workflow tools, teams can produce quality advertisements at scale, flexibly adapting the creative to meet all channel requirements in a few keystrokes. They can also better align their media and creative strategies to improve ROAS and engage customers with the type of content that drives sales.

If ad creative resonates with the audience, they are more likely to connect with it, regardless of its production value. 

Unfortunately, some teams struggle to maintain their creative during the campaign activation process. This often occurs when teams aren’t aligned or when separate departments have differing objectives. This can result in a loss of resonance with audiences, diminishing the creative’s ability to drive the advertisement. 

Most of the respondents say they have experienced this effect first-hand. Overall, 70 per cent say their creative branding assets get rejected, diminished, or lost during the activation of a campaign at least somewhat often. This challenge was also identified by US advertisers (72 per cent) in the previous survey. This is a common occurrence when placing ads through third-party networks and channels.

The challenge for advertisers is determining how they can maintain the strength of their ad creative throughout the campaign production and activation processes. 

Ideally, assets will be aligned with strategic campaign objectives before they are reviewed by media teams for distribution. Not only will this improve the effectiveness of companies’ digital ads overall, but it will also enable companies to scale their advertising capabilities quickly to meet demand.

Producing contextualised creative at scale is particularly important when creating different versions of advertisements. Companies must be able to deliver ads based on customers’ needs and interests, but they must also design ads based on different markets, regions, languages, channels and more.

Currently, 78 per cent of respondents say they can create all versions of an ad within one day or less, reflecting a confidence in their agility and resources. However, almost all the respondents (90 per cent) claim they must build creative assets from scratch when personalising campaigns at least somewhat often. This means they must redesign their ads to match the needs of specific audiences and regions and reflects a need to find ways to build on the flexible reusability of their creative assets. 

To conclude, a greater focus on digital creative has the power to transform digital advertising. This survey reflects the growing importance being placed on the creative asset, how it is informed by creative intelligence and how it needs to be more closely aligned with media strategy. As the industry moves away from reliance on cookies and other third-party data, marketers will need to find new ways to connect their big ideas with data-driven campaigns. 

An ad creative management platform helps to streamline the creative process by bringing all team members together in one place. It also provides a way for marketers to share their ideas with other departments, such as data and analytics, who can help turn those ideas into reality. Marketers can even use a creative management platform to introduce automation into their processes, allowing them to scale their strategies quickly.

By understanding the obstacles and opportunities associated with campaign activation, advertisers can prepare for the future of digital advertising. With the right data, intelligence, and collaborative solutions in place, they can release the full power of digital creative. 

Download the full survey at www.adlib.io.