Traditionally, brands have partnered up separately with media buying and creative agencies to get their messages across. However, during the last few years, we have seen a shift towards brands unifying their ad buying and creative teams - and thus, combining the best of both worlds.
The 2020s will be the decade to invest in understanding each other: Creative teams are starting to understand the benchmarks that performance teams use to measure the success of their creative work. Performance teams are also improving their work by translating their metrics into effective optimization strategies. We have seen that when these teams invest in understanding each other, they use creativity with a performance growth mindset, which translates into a bigger ROAS to the organizations leading the change.
Add Data to Your Mood Board
As a part of the creative process, Art Directors and Designers use mood boards to organize their ideas. These mood boards are a fundamental part of their creative process, as they help decide what ideas to execute.
At Creative Studio, we've been changing this step of the creative process during the past two years by incorporating data into our mood boards. Data allows us to improve our creative decisions by backing them up with insights. You might wonder: How can your creative teams respond creatively to the insights that come from data?
In our case, we use the Smartly.io reporting feature to find signals from our customer's past campaign performance. We use these audience signals to help decide what from the mood board to execute. Data helps us to identify which approach and messaging were the most engaging in past campaigns and thus gives more direction than one's gut-feeling.
Creative teams are finding ways to use past data, the Facebook Ad Library, and audience behavior trends when generating hypotheses to test. The question is: What are the signals? How should you value and prioritize them? And, most importantly, how can creative teams respond to them?
The mood board will continue to be a fundamental step in the creative process. It will, however, become more data-informed, influencing the process of ideating new creative concepts. Data will be a utility that focuses the human effort, but it’s not going to replace your Creative Director.
Welcome The Always Iterative Asset
We can all agree that there is nothing more frustrating for a designer than a loop of feedback from their “final_ofthefinal2_omgfinal_final23” files.
The term modular has become a norm in performance marketing. Creative teams are starting to produce their raw assets (videos, images) as interchangeable modules or building blocks. They can then use them to test different variations and even different storylines. Teams often use these assets as templated creatives, increasing their efficiency, especially when they incorporate creative automation tools to generate variations from an always iterative asset.
Adapting to this workflow means that designers would stop delivering assets in a never-ending loop of complex file naming convention. Instead, they would be building an iterative workflow that allows them to get insights out of the ads they produce. This new approach to creative production is key if you want to enhance the collaboration and incorporate creative testing processes between your creative and ad buying teams.
Capitalize on Sustainability
Consumers today expect to see their favorite brands voice an opinion about sustainability, so don't be afraid to incorporate social causes in your creative strategies. Many brands have already started to be more environmentally conscious, and they have an excellent opportunity to capitalize and represent people's values regarding climate change. We've seen many brands joining the movement, impacting not only their marketing communication but also how they operate as a business.
As people become more conscious than ever, we can expect a change in their purchase behavior. People will demand products and services that are less damaging to the environment.
- A change in the economy will lead to a shift in behavior
- People will be looking for brands with the same values
Younger audiences are forming cross-cultural and diverse communities around the world. These groups are ready to incite change and push the boundaries of belonging - read about "They," the word of the year 2019.
Generation Z is cultivating and curating its identity — it's especially evident on their social media and online dating profiles. These consumers see social media as an intrinsic component of their identity and perceive no difference between their digital selves and their real-world identities. According to the latest Tinder report, users from "Generation Z" were more likely to mention causes or missions in their bio.
The key to consumers' interest exists within their psychographics: collective interests, attitudes, and aspirations. Therefore, we see a re-expression of brands as a symbol of identity, portraying diversity, and inclusion. On that note, Finland promoting their pronoun "hän" as "a symbol for a better world where their background, gender, or appearance does not define people."
Audiences are constantly consuming user-generated content (UGC), making this type of content the new word of mouth. UGC triggers curiosity and, therefore, attention towards the brands and experiences happening within these pieces of content.
Mimicking the visual approach of UGC and native elements from the social media platforms have proven to improve performance for the brands that properly execute their creative production using this approach. More importantly, brands can set up more cost-efficient production with UGC.
For that reason, creative teams should continue to explore how to incorporate this language into their creative execution during 2020. If you haven't tested it yet, we recommend you to start with self-recorded material and native looking elements. Dare to test different execution ideas to see what approach engages with your audience and scale using the best-performing ones.
- UGC content can help brands connect better with their audiences, and thus achieve their performance goals.
- Adding more native-looking elements to the ads drives more engagement.
Designer’s Palette in 2020
Pantone has selected Classic Blue as the color of the year: Picking this color was a statement about macro trends at the end of the decade and gives us some ideas on how brands will be building their visual narrative for 2020.
We’ll see more bold colors in monochrome to reflect authenticity and confidence. Brands will use this approach to develop connections with their audience and to share who they are and what they believe in. Expect to see large fonts with jugendstil typefaces and organic letterforms that break away from the tradition of geometrical styles that we have seen in the last few years. Brands will reinforce their messaging with bold, repetitive, and asymmetric patterns with kinetic typography.
To be more consumer-driven, we’ll see brands embrace more doodle-like illustrations as they allow brands to be more honest and less polished.
If you want some help along the way with your social advertising in 2020, contact your Customer Success Manager. If you’re not yet using Smartly.io, contact us to learn how we can help you unlock greater creativity and performance.