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Five Secrets to More Effective Creative

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Five Secrets to More Effective Creative

Five Secrets to More Effective Creative

Joseph Intile, Creative Director, InMarket

Published on : Sep 12, 2023

On average, Americans are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 ads every single day. Many of these are irrelevant, boring or just plain ugly. 

With that kind of saturation, it's more important than ever that your creatives stick out and make a real impression. 

But that's easier said than done. Picking the right tools to do the job, nailing a creative execution, and delivering it at just the right time is a balancing act that can easily fail.

So what can brands do to make sure their message is seen, heard, and looks great? Here are five tips for success when building creative experiences:

1. Think About the Experience

Be intentional about how the creative experience relates to your brand and what you're trying to say. It can be tempting to build the most intricate creative with all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn't land with the tone and intention of your brand, it's not going to impact consumers in a positive way. Thinking about what type of experience matches your goals is a great starting point.

A game, for example, might not be the best approach if you're sharing information about a new prescription drug--but it works really well for lottery brands because it ties directly into the product. Creating a mobile experience in which you scratch to reveal something on-screen is a perfect link to a lottery scratch-off ticket, and will create a memorable experience with your brand. 

2. Timing is Everything

Not only do marketers have to get the right message to the right person, it has to reach them at the right time in their shopping journey.

Really thinking about all the touchpoints along this journey is a crucial step in making sure the best message is going to be seen at the best time. An ideal approach is to craft your messaging around where and when the creative is being served. Adding in sequential messaging that utilizes audience categories is an even better way to make sure a person not only sees the right message at the right time, but it can start to create a relationship between a brand and a consumer that serves the same creative with the same message multiple times can't.

A strong example execution of this would be someone suffering from allergies. Their first interaction with an allergy relief brand would be at the start of allergy season, promoting awareness. Next would come a sequential message that perhaps dives into more product details and benefits, as well as where to purchase. The final touch point would be when they are en route to the pharmacy, informing where the product can be found, and potentially adding in rebate or promo messaging. Sequential and timing-based creatives will help build a rapport with consumers that can't be replicated by serving someone the same ad over and over.

3. Lean Into Personalization and Relevancy

Dynamic content is nothing new, but it never hurts to remember the value of personalization and creative relevancy. After all, a well-tailored ad experience will resonate more strongly than one that seems templatized and basic.

Adding in cues like location or weather to generate content that is relevant and timely is a great way to tell a story. Also consider encouraging shoppers to visit the nearest location where they can find your brand, or enhance your CTV content with hyper-relevant messaging leading up to a specific event or product release.

There are countless ways in which you can achieve this goal of a relevant, personalized ad. And don't forget: It’s always possible to lean into dynamic content alongside other interactive elements as well. For example, a game that changes based on the weather, or a gallery of products that changes based on the local availability. The combinations are endless.

4. Play the Long Game

It's always tempting--and sometimes even vital--for an advertising campaign to have an immediate impact on sales of a given product. That's the reality of the marketing world we live in.

But, whenever possible, I coach brands to play the long game. Think of all your favorite brands, the one's you're truly loyal to no matter what.  our relationship with those brands likely goes back at least a year or two, if not more. And it's a relationship that evolves over time. This is something that should always be remembered.

Loyal customers aren't won overnight. It's often worth thinking more holistically about how your brand is being presented to the world, and how that will affect people's perception.

Likewise, it's also a good thing to keep in mind when deciding what kind of creative experiences to build. Someone at the start of their relationship with a brand might not need a ‘click to buy’ call to action the first time they’re seeing a product. They need education. This approach is centered around this first touch point giving someone an engaging first moment with a brand that will create a memorable experience and leave them with a positive association--something that intrigues or speaks to them and drives them to engage with the brand in the real world.

Some of the most successful campaigns start with a creative that might not necessarily have an actionable CTA at first. It could be a game or an interactive experience that might not even lead to an e-commerce page in the end. But it’s a memorable and personal experience that will stick with someone. Then in future creatives, there is an opportunity to reinforce that memory with more specific, catered messaging about a product and where to make a purchase. It’s a bit of a game of patience, but once brands have made that connection with a consumer, they are a customer for life because of the time and effort that has been put into nurturing that relationship with relevant, meaningful content.

5. Try Something New

Everything around us is in a constant state of change, marketing and creative capabilities most of all. Just now, we're only seeing the tip of the AI iceberg. With an overwhelming amount of options out there, it can be daunting to know where to start. But trying something new can often lead to a path of discovery for you, your brand, and what is most impactful for your customers.  It's a good idea to take baby steps toward these new capabilities.

Start with sprinkling some animation to your otherwise static advertisements. If you've done that, consider some interactivity via gamified or shoppable experiences. Dynamic and personalized experiences are top of mind for consumers too.

Another great new opportunity exists with immersive creatives. Create an explorable, shoppable, 360° space for users to explore and interact with your brand and products.  Interactive tiles around the environment will pop up with product details, video content and more as the user explores the setting. Consider this for lawn tools placed in a yard, kitchen appliances or furniture in a house, school supplies in a dorm room--again, the possibilities are endless.

Whatever experience it is you decide to build, make sure it's relevant to your brand and meeting people where they are at in their relationship with your brand. And above all else, ensure the overarching goal of all your creative efforts is to create a long-term relationship with the people who need your brand.

Joseph Intile, Creative Director, InMarket

Joseph Intile is Vice President of Creative Services at InMarket, bringing 15+ years of experience to power digital campaigns for leading brands like Dunkin’, STIHL and Stop & Shop. From Graphic Designer to VP of Creative Services in less than four years, Joseph has played an integral role in the development of InMarket’s best-in-class team of artists and creative offerings that are constantly pushing the envelope. Before joining InMarket in 2016, Joseph lent his creative eye on branding initiatives for countless global brands, products and artists, including King Estate Winery, RCA Records and Nike.