By Warren Daniels, VP of Worldwide Demand Generation at Bynder
Marketers are constantly looking to come up with the big ideas that drive campaigns forward and ultimately, their brand. However, the market has changed over the past few years which, along with the disruption of the pandemic, has meant that we’ve seen the way the industry operates in an entirely new perspective.
The first key takeaway for marketers over the past 18 months is that marketing operations were able to continue, even in remote environments. Technology played a major role in sustaining this. Even before we even began to emerge from the worst of the pandemic, technology enabled any company to better engage with their customers across a range of digital platforms and keep up with the constant stream of content demands which showed no sign of slowing down.
Previously, when marketers heard the word ‘automation’, it was often seen as an advancement that would only consume jobs and threaten creativity in marketing and advertising. But today, we’re seeing the attitude towards technology change for the better, as the tools we’ve grown accustomed to and become fond of have increased our operational efficiency and effectiveness. These solutions, in turn, have enabled branding teams to come up with more captivating ideas and meet the growing demand for content – what we call ‘the content crunch’ – and do so collaboratively and at a much greater scale than ever before.
So, what does automation look like in action within marketing?
Balancing your creativity at scale
We’ve known for some time now that, as consumers, our attention spans are dwindling. According to Nielsen and Taboola, this has dropped down to a mere eight seconds. This, along with the growing number of digital platforms, has accelerated the need for head-turning creativity. It has also intensified the desire to speed up marketing processes so content can be created and delivered to the right person, at the right time – and in a way that suits their buying needs and habits.
In 2020, 23% of marketers believed that branding could not be automated. That has dropped to only 1% of marketers according to the findings of Bynder’s State of Branding report. These findings align with the uptake of digital platforms from consumers to engage with one another, as well as the push for digital transformation in a remote yet highly-connected world.
After all, marketers need more content to communicate at every possible digital touchpoint. But delivering a large volume of creative content can be extremely challenging on time and resources, especially when it eats into creative headspace for coming up with those big and impactful ideas. With automation technology, marketers can streamline repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as making minor tweaks to content. By giving marketers the ability to automatically make content adjustments according to audience feedback and various online platforms, geographic and cultural specifications, creatives truly benefit.
Once much of the mundane processes are eliminated, marketers’ bandwidth is freed up for more strategic work that will help drive better campaign performance and scalability, while creatives can do what they do best: hatch creative ideas. What’s more is that it allows better brand storytelling potential that rouses customer interests through a more captivating experience.
Powering digital experiences
With digital marketing reigning supreme, brand experiences are paramount. For the brands delivering them, a great digital experience is essential in standing out amongst the online competition. Particularly for b2b businesses, the recent decline of in-person interactions means connecting with customers requires a change in tactic.
This is where personalisation and creativity come into play. A generalised approach to digital marketing no longer drives engagement or strong customer relationships. And with 85% of marketers and creatives in our survey saying that their content demand has increased in the past year, it’s important that many don’t fall into the trap of offering lacklustre branded content in an attempt to keep up with requests. .
The reality is that many marketers are now looking to harness the wealth of data that digital platforms provide in order to hyper-personalise each and every interaction, as well as stronger creative to attract customers. We’re already seeing major players like Spotify deploy data-driven brand storytelling in an effort to appeal to their target audience and show a deeper understanding of their user base. But many brands are holding back – a possible outcome from ‘the content crunch’ that can let creativity fall to the sidelines.
Content creation, management and distribution are three critical areas for brands to streamline when delivering greater digital experiences that are consistent and powered by data and creativity. Technology such as creative automation (to take on language localisation, resizing, format changes etc), digital brand templates (which enable the speedy creation of digital content that sticks to your design principles) and a management system of record for creative assets with access and usage permissions, will prove essential in a brand’s digital experience toolkit. This toolkit can also be enhanced with dynamic asset transformation technology that optimises content based on channel specifications, removing the need for manual intervention at the distribution stage.
By providing brand teams with the right tools, marketers will be able to meet their content demands, scale their campaigns, and deliver creative content that feeds impactful digital experiences.
Without these capabilities, ‘the content crunch’ will put creativity in jeopardy. And without creativity, there is no digital experience. But with interest in creative automation and marketing technology only growing and use cases on the rise, it won’t be long until the challenges of ‘the content crunch’ will be a thing of the past.