Get the creativity spot-on in a digital campaign and you won’t have to wait long to feel the effects. Whether it’s a piece of communication that empathises perfectly with its audience, or hits just the right note in terms of topicality, this is the medium that really pays dividends in terms of consumer interaction (and ultimately, we hope, sales).
How to facilitate such marketing magic is what many of us spend our working hours analysing. At Accenture Interactive, we were interested in Adobe’s ‘Digital Marketing’s Creative Promise’ white paper, outlining the seven strategies that marketers need to address to maximise their chances of delivering the creative goods.
The main pillars in the report stress how important it is to:
- Find the right creative talent.
- Capture inspiration wherever it strikes. Equip your creatives with the right tools, such as iDoneThis and Slack, so they can work from anywhere
- Boost creative velocity by smoothing your workflow. Prioritise a seamless creative process with the aid of collaboration tools like Basecamp
- Leverage a platform for housing and organising creative assets. Set up effective access, from all devices, of resources including images, video and ads
- Make creativity shine with responsive design. Optimize your campaign for various mobile devices in a variety of screen sizes, using tools such as Foundation, which is one of the most advanced responsive front-end frameworks out there.
- Connect personally with millions by mixing creativity with relevant and accurate data.
- Cultivate an ethos of digital innovation.
One particular area of the report that really stands out to me as being key, having spoken to many marketers about this subject, is the point about boosting creative velocity by smoothing your workflow. For me this strategy strikes the right note, as it understands that for your team to produce rapid innovation, they must be equipped with tools that make their best work possible. With new ways of communicating and interacting with customers emerging at light speed, creatives need to work faster. It’s all about finding tools to enable ultra-fast sharing.
When it comes to creative talent, you might have the best brains on your team, the people who can really think about how to deliver the right message, but in many organisations you then have a plethora of marketing technologies and media available to reach your target audience. The report highlights that marketers are often unsure as to which ones to use in order to drive the best return of investment on their campaigns. So, when there’s always another app or social media platform on the horizon, how can marketers know which combination will give them the best ROI?
In addition, these technologies don’t necessarily seem to talk to each other. What marketers want is something that appears relevant, connected, and seamless to customers. But when you lift the bonnet, you find out that all that these tools are great at doing one thing in particular, but aren’t always joined up.
Keeping up to speed and ensuring that you can drive consistency across each interaction point is actually quite a difficult task. The challenge is in working out what you’re doing really well. How do you understand which interaction points are really relevant to your customers, and then on the back of it optimise your process and the technology, so that your Creative Promise is distributed in an intelligent way?
Mirroring the disparate media challenge is the issue of the lack of internal integration. The digital, creative, technology, and marketing teams are all growing and bringing significant operational challenges. There’s also the question about accountability. The role of the CMO vs. the Chief Digital Officer is being questioned. So when you look at all the changes that are happening in marketing organisations, the marketer’s challenge is how to navigate a way through this process, while keeping the simplicity of the creative proposition clear and effective.
Ironically, it may be that, despite the potentially huge benefits of digital creativity, it is actually the way that it dovetails with the non-digital that may distinguish the best in breed of the next few years. Not every industry will become 100% digital over the next few years. Looking at banking services, for example. You’ll always have the mobile channel out there, but that will exist in harmony with the customer service centre and the retail branch. So for the Creative Promise to be successful, it is imperative that you connect the digital with non-digital channels and the data that brings it all together.
There are some retailers starting to get this multi-channel positioning right. To consumers it comes across as, “We have a new proposition. It’s a proposition you can buy online, you can go to the physical store to test out the product, and then if you like it you can sign up there and the product can be delivered to you.”
I think there is a growing number of retailers dealing with these challenges at the moment and are almost re-thinking their approach around, “How do we have one seamless marketing experience for our customers?”
All in all the Adobe white paper identifies the key point that marketers need to emulate in order to fulfil their digital creative promises - It’s not sufficient to just foster one or two of these solutions. Like a great orchestra, all the pillars need to be synchronized in order to produce a perfect harmony.