New tech and changing consumer responses mean creativity in brand content marketing is now more important than ever.
Brian Kavanaugh, Director, NA Field & Global Customer Marketing at Bynder outlines the road ahead for creative content and what brands need to do to avoid the content crunch…
Creative teams used to be able to deliver that one big idea that propelled their brand forward, often with weeks of planning and a focused campaign execution. Those days are gone.
Advertising one-liners that stuck in the minds of television viewers, newspaper readers, and commuters alike aren’t enough in today’s marketing climate.
In the past, these types of campaigns proved to be very effective. However, the fast-paced nature of digital marketing has taken hold.
Creatives are expected to create multiple campaign assets to communicate with complex audiences across a range of digital channels.
What’s more is the limited attention span of consumers. This has dropped considerably over the last 20 years to an average of just eight seconds, as discovered by Nielson and Taboola – an unsurprising figure considering the sheer amount of branded content that’s published online every second.
The challenge facing brands is far more complicated in comparison to what they were tackling a decade or so ago.
The ability to track, measure and target customers in a granular way has persuaded brands to adopt a predominantly digital strategy.
According to Gartner, digital accounted for almost 80% of marketing channel budgets across paid, owned, and earned channels in 2020.
This has increased the pressure on creative teams considerably, so much so that it has reached the point where they’re struggling to keep up.
It has become unsustainable and expensive. And it’s putting brand storytelling at stake.
The content crunch
With so many consumer touchpoints, assets for each campaign must be created and optimised for every channel out there, as well as be relevant for the desired audience.
Brands need to consider that the content they publish could alienate certain segments of their customers if it’s not localised and personalised. But doing this at scale isn’t possible without the right processes and technologies in place. At times such as this, it is best to consult an expert who could bring in fresh perspective and help the brand bring in more prospective clients.
However, if the brands continue with traditional – yet outdated – creative processes, creatives can find themselves producing individual assets one after the other.
With lead times continuing to shrink, they’re spending valuable time reversioning the same content – wasting resources and talent.
The lack of bandwidth for more strategic, creative projects also puts campaign performance at risk.
The uninspiring ‘content crunch’ is threatening brands’ ability to tell their stories in a creative way, rouse customers’ interest, and gain operational efficiency.
And when creativity is compromised, brands can lose competitive advantage – echoing similar messages and content that their competitors are. This will make consumers simply ‘turn off’.
The return of creativity
Marketers call this the ‘content crunch’ because demand has grown so rapidly that creative teams are squeezed for time when producing content – feeling immense pressure for their campaigns to perform.
Marketers can see where content is required, and creatives are being tasked with delivering it.
However, it’s resulting in burnt-out, uninspired and dysfunctional teams with little collaboration and morale.
What’s clear is that digital channels will continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and consumers’ needs and interests will too.
As these develop, we can assume that a new set of requirements for marketers and creatives to adhere to will emerge.
Therefore, it’s essential to give brand teams the necessary tools to remain agile and nimble for change. This is where creative automation technology can help.
Creative automation gives marketers and creative teams alike the ability to conduct higher value activities that make their campaigns a success.
Currently, brand teams are working on siloed tasks on an ad-hoc basis or through internal requests. Creative automation is helping brand teams narrow the gap between the demand for content and the resources needed to create it.
At just the click of a button, marketers can adjust sets of content with small variations – taking much of the content creation burden away from creatives.
As a result, manual production processes become more collaborative, iterative, and scalable – and creatives are given their time back to do what they do best: hatch creative ideas.
Therefore, creative automation isn’t a tool to replace creatives, but one that allows creative teams to focus more on what they’re highly skilled at in order to drive greater brand storytelling.
In order to keep pace with today’s digital marketing environment, content production processes need to be simplified to enable stronger campaign performances.
But the demands of ‘the content crunch’ need to be addressed in a process-driven way. Otherwise, brands risk losing focus of its mission and storytelling ability; the aspects that bring a brand and its uniqueness to life.
By looking at ‘the content crunch’ in a different way, brands can strike a balance and truly transform their creative output.