Whether you’re running a creative, branding, or marketing team, the one thing these teams face in common is the constant need for more creatives. As your organization grows, creative production must be scaled quickly to help you reach and connect with a wider audience.
This is easier said than done, however. No matter how quickly you get moving on creative projects, your team always faces the same bottlenecks along the way.
According to a survey by Converge Today, of the marketers unable to spend more time on content amplification, 77% of them were unable to do so because of the time spent on other tasks including creation, managing reviews and approvals, and tweaking creatives before publication.
For digital communication today, the priority has shifted from creation to experimentation and amplification, but creators and marketers are still largely focused on ideation and creative production.
Add budget constraints and short timelines to the mix and you have a heady concoction of ‘Let’s just get the creatives ready first, yeah?’
The need to break this loop has never been greater and thankfully, creative automation is here to address exactly that.
But before we look at what creative automation can do, let’s take a closer look at the challenges most creative, branding, and marketing teams face today.
Challenges in creative production
The constant need to stand out and deliver more at the same time is a balancing act few can manage and even fewer can master. Here are just some of the things that slow down creative teams as they work to scale their output.
1. Tight deadlines, tighter resources
In a demanding landscape that expects something new every day, creators are faced with a truly daunting task. Constantly create innovative, engaging, and purpose-driven content to keep their audience hooked to the brand’s marketing and communication channels.
When the alternative implies losing ground to your competitors, there is all the more motivation to produce quality content regardless of the resources at your disposal. This means working on timelines with little room to maneuver and more often than not, without the resources needed to deliver the best possible content on time.
2. Adding value with every campaign
The content worth remembering is the content that gives something useful to your audience. To stand out online, brands will need to churn out creatives that bring fresh value to the table.
However, despite the best efforts from creative, branding, and marketing teams, it is always likely that the audience doesn’t take as much value out of the campaigns as you’d like.
The key to getting bridging this gap is to listen to them. However, with time coming at a premium, teams are left with little room to study the right insights or run experiments that can reveal more about what the audience wants from your brand’s content.
3. Maintaining brand consistency
When it comes to brand communication, one of the most important things the audience will expect is an identity they’re familiar with. A consistent voice and design language make it easier to get the message across without adding too many new elements to a design.
Now, when creatives are being produced at a fast pace and publish dates are a-looming, ensuring that every ad creative is on-brand can be challenging. This is especially so when campaigns require you to connect with an audience spread out across the globe or even when you’re reaching out to people with diverse interests.
This is where your teams will need to work smarter and find ways to maintain consistent branding without spending too much time and effort on each creative.
Changing the production game with creative automation
When creative production needs to be ramped up rapidly, the best thing you can do is automate the repetitive tasks along the way. When you trim manual effort on such tasks, it becomes easier for teams to focus on refining ad creatives and see campaigns through with greater impact.
The turnaround time (TAT) for each creative goes down, but the quality continues to improve with more time to learn about your audience and refine your messaging and design language along the way.
Here are just a few ways in which creative automation can be used to streamline the creation and marketing lifecycle.
1. Scale creative production
Marketing campaigns today need to reach a diverse audience spread out across geographies and platforms. This means developing a number of variations of your ad creatives while staying on schedule.
From creatives in different languages or cultural contexts to sizing each creative to fit different social media and marketing platforms, creators will have their hands full as they look to get campaigns running on time.
Luckily, creative automation solutions like Artwork Flow’s Creative Studio have stepped in to address this very challenge. Here’s how.
Develop all the designs you need in a particular layout with a single input file. Need half your creatives for a French audience while the rest are in English? Finalize your design layout on Creative Studio, add the different creative copies and color variations in a CSV file, and import the file to the system. The variations you need will be generated and stored in a centralized library for quick and easy access.
Creative automation tools also allow you to create variations of your design or template in different sizes. With Creative Studio, you can get all the elements you need on the canvas, choose the size of the variation you need, make adjustments to your variation, and your new design is ready to export!
2. Automate reviews and approvals
With more creatives come more reviews. Without an efficient process to manage your creative lifecycle, reviews can get complicated with communication taking place across channels with a lot more manual effort involved.
Creative management tools like Artwork Flow help you streamline your operations with flexible workflows and automated notifications. Every stakeholder can review creatives on one centralized platform and creators are instantly notified when feedback is shared by anyone on the team. No more endless email threads and Slack channels that eat your time at work!
With Creative Studio, quick changes can also be made to the assets that receive feedback by modifying and importing the input file again, so little time is lost on revising assets.
3. Make room to experiment and innovate
Marketing is an iterative process. The more you expand your audience and connect with a larger community, the more you learn about their interests. Despite this, it isn’t always easy to experiment as much as you’d like, with the need for running ads that already work outweighing the opportunities to try something new.
As you automate creative production and save more time on creation, your teams will be able to devote more time to testing out new ideas with your audience. Artwork Flow’s Creative Intelligence solution also gives you crystallized insights into your creative decisions, allowing your teams to make the right adjustments without going through too many iterations during campaigns. Your click-through rate can improve with every campaign and the results will shine through your returns on ad spend (ROAS).
4. Spend less time on brand compliance
As creative production ramps up, the need for maintaining brand compliance will continue to rise. With a wide variety of assets going out across social media and marketing platforms, there will be increased attention toward the brand, and compliance measures will need to match the spurt in production.
Compliance automation tools like Artwork Flow’s brand compliance solution can be used to address this with the help of artificial intelligence. Once creatives are imported to Artwork Flow’s library, they can be checked automatically to see if your brand guidelines have been implemented with a comprehensive brand score generated for every creative. Members on the team will also have quick and centralized access to the brand guidelines to make any changes needed without delay.
Creative, branding, and marketing teams face a number of time-consuming tasks on a daily basis. Creative automation can help teams save significant time and effort that is otherwise spent on tasks that do not require too much creativity.
With more time available during the day, these teams will be able to focus on crafting impactful campaigns on shorter timelines, ensuring a better ROI in the long run.