Digital growth is killing creative quality, say most marketers

A new study suggests creative departments are struggling to keep up data-driven advertising.

The majority of marketers claim digital growth is having a detrimental impact on creative quality, new research reveals.

A study by Sizmek, which surveyed more than 500 brand marketers across Europe and the U.S., suggests adland is still largely struggling to nail the marriage of digital advertising and powerful creative work.

The relationship between creative and digital is being rocked by an intense industry focus on data, artificial intelligence and privacy.

Oren Regev, VP of product management at Sizmek, said: "As digital campaigns continue evolving to be more personalized, they must also deliver the same high quality storytelling achieved through traditional channels.

"In addition, regardless of vertical or industry, data-driven marketing should be supported by equally impactful creative. While this is crucial for continued campaign success, we can’t overlook the impact great digital creative can have on a consumer."

Nearly 70 percent of marketers surveyed believe that "digital growth in advertising has come at the expense of the quality of creative." Meanwhile, 84 percent say A.I. means nothing without the creative to support it.

Almost eight-in-10 believe GDPR will put greater importance on the quality of creative. And 91 percent of marketers say the need to "make digital ads more engaging to meet brand goals" is a priority over the next 12 months.

More than half admitted they find it difficult to utilize their creative within standard ad formats.

Dynamic creative that optimizes to achieve personalization or creative sequencing is key to creating a coherent customer journey. Another priority for marketers is to introduce or increase the use of interactive ad formats.

Around 83 percent of marketers agree that premium interactive formats such as animation, sliders, scratch and reveal configurations, and gamification deliver high engagement within digital placements. Often these formats fit within standard ad sizes, allowing not only for engagement and brand storytelling, but also reach, thanks to widely available inventory across publishers.

More than half of marketers also plan to introduce or implement virtual reality capabilities in the near future, according to the study.

More than 80 percent of marketers currently employ DCO in their digital media executions. However, 66 percent say that their organizations find it challenging to implement DCO solutions for reasons including the cost to implement (53 percent), lack of knowledge to implement (37 percent), and taking too much time to set up (24 percent).

The study concludes: "Creative innovation has always been at the heart of building relationships with customers through advertising. The explosive growth of digital marketing and data-driven targeting has opened up new doors to personalization and reach, but marketers acknowledge that creative has not always kept pace.

"Marketers now want better ways to incorporate the creative aesthetic of their brands into highly personalized, data-driven campaigns. Engaging and innovative ad formats, the right dynamic creative optimization (DCO) solutions, and the right partnerships will be the keys to achieving this goal."

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