Home Data-Driven Thinking Creative And Media Are Talking But They’re Missing the Point

Creative And Media Are Talking But They’re Missing the Point


victorwongData-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Victor Wong, CEO at PaperG.

While leading a recent programmatic creative workshop, I asked attendees two key questions.

Who knew if the work they were designing was for a programmatic campaign?

Most of the group, predominantly creatives, didn’t know.

Who knew which audience segments they were designing for? Fewer still.

It’s true that over the last few years the gap between creative and media has been closing. The silos are talking better than ever, but they’re still too often missing the point. Talking doesn’t mean just communicating more frequently. It means trading the right information at the right stage in the campaign’s execution.

Programmatic offers a tremendous opportunity to amp up campaign performance, but only if teams can collaborate effectively across the aisle. To close the communication gap, the industry needs to re-evaluate deeply ingrained habits and fix how advertising campaigns are planned and managed throughout.

Get granular

Marketers need to teach creatives how targeting impacts their work. Marketers have access to incredibly nuanced data but need to reconsider the level of detail they distribute. This requires teaching creatives about the potential of advertising technology and also about how specific segments of customers differ.

There is a habitual reflex to describe target groups too generally, as if the relationship with the brand is the same for everyone. It stems from the legacy of the “big idea.” Yet today marketing is more about the long idea, a series of smaller touch points over time that add up to something bigger than the big idea.


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Since brands can’t manage millions of one-to-one relationships with their customers in person, they segment their audiences and use programmatic to reach them over time and space. Instead of getting to know a handful of customer personas, creatives need to get to know even more granular segments and then focus their work to appeal to each individual.

Pause And Retrospect

Over the past year, I’ve asked creative teams if they are told how the campaigns they worked on performed. It remains the norm that creatives don’t know whether their work was effective or not.

Upon campaign conclusion, marketers should analyze a breakdown of ad performance by target group and share it with their entire team, including creatives. It sounds obvious, but creative ignorance to performance data is a deep-seated habit. Their job is not over when the client signs off on their work. It’s over when they learned what worked and what didn’t.

Organizations need to reflect on the effectiveness of the creative. It will help them make more informed design decisions on future campaigns, both as concepts overall and how to vary those concepts by audience segment. And if they are using programmatic to test and learn about their creative messaging by audience, they’ll expand their knowledge even faster.

To use an old adage, old habits die hard. But as advertising evolves, the manner in which it is executed must evolve with it. By sharing the right information across teams, marketers are playing to the strengths of programmatic technologies where significant gains can be unlocked now and into the future.

Follow Victor Wong (@vkw), PaperG (@paperg) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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