The digital revolution has changed the principles of marketing, forcing brands to rethink their marketing strategy and replace guesswork with accurate science. "Half the money I spend on advertising is squandered; the difficulty is I don't know which half," said American trader John Wanamaker.
This statement rang true for decades, but in recent years, digitalisation has armed marketers with the keys to unlock the science underlying their communications, including the creative side of their campaigns.
Whereas getting performance-based creative insights used to be purely based on gut instinct and guesswork – or complicated A/B testing – ever-changing consumer behaviour trends and an oversaturated digital market mean that, now more than ever, advertisers need access to data that can help guide them through the creative process to better understand what specifically is creating impact, and what isn't.
Despite this potential, it is evident that marketers have yet to fully embrace their data; four out of every five marketers waste around one-third of their data, with less than half of all useful marketing data actually being utilised.
This is despite marketing professionals uniformly agreeing that better leveraging consumer data will enhance ROI on future efforts by at least 19% (as per reports).This becomes even more controversial when we witness businesses desperately trying to weather the storm brought on by Covid-19, struggling to maintain their market position by anticipating their customers' wants.
In a digital age, there is more rivalry
The prominence of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook highlights the importance of visual in the digital age, underlining the necessity for marketers to exhibit innovation via their creative.
This is especially important as businesses compete for space in an increasingly crowded market, with many consumers feeling 'ad fatigue' after being exposed to as many as 10,000 commercials every day.
In addition to increased market competitiveness, the cost of digital marketing is rising. Cost per click (CPC) and cost per acquisition (CPA) are increasing, but click through rate (CTR) is decreasing due to brand rivalry for top rankings.
This comes at a time when brands are urging agencies to invest in innovative ways of delivering stories. Because of the noise in the internet world, creative must work even harder to break through to its target market, and the demand on ROI continues to push down on advertisers.
The significance of creative analysis
While many marketers employ data analytics to analyse campaign effectiveness, many only do it at a high level. Monitoring the performance of campaigns must go beyond the placement, copy, and format.
Creative and its impact may be transformed into data to help reveal more insights about what works and what doesn't for a business, in such a visual environment.
Creative may make a major difference in the ROI of a campaign; in fact, according to Nielsen, creative accounts for 56 percent of the ROI and 70 percent of ad performance as stated by Google This is why, in order to thrive, businesses must understand how and why creativity works for their target demographic.
Marketers face data issues
There is much to be gained from examining prior marketing campaigns, as well as a wealth of creative data to be unlocked; if this data is correctly analysed, it may assist organisations in developing a data-driven campaign plan. However, this is easier said than done.
While marketers recognise the significance data may have on their ROI, 38 percent don't know what to monitor and 27 percent are unable to measure what they want to, according to online research. It is obvious that marketers want easy access to data to assist them through creative decisions.
Many marketers are still struggling to grasp the significant benefits that data analytics can bring to their campaigns, owing to an abundance of unstructured data and apprehension about losing the personal touch on their creative.
Data from artificial intelligence and creative intelligence
Marketers typically have a fair notion of what works and what doesn't when it comes to creativity, but investing in technologies to help them harness creative intelligence data helps them to make creative decisions that are supported by accurate science.
Before spending any money on pre-testing advertisements on apps like Facebook and waiting for their algorithms to kick in, creative intelligence data tools can evaluate ads to inform marketers which ones are likely to perform the best for the business.
As businesses continue to weather the Covid-19 storm, it may not seem like the greatest moment to take creative risks, so marketers must gather and learn from all of the data at their disposal in order to make the correct decisions about their advertising.
With human creativity at the helm, the scientific confidence that marketers can obtain from investing in creative intelligence data serves as a guiding beacon across even the most turbulent waters.
(The author is managing partner, Branding Edge.)