The movers and shakers in ad tech will take over during Advertising Week October 16-19 in New York City. The annual event brings together inspiring speakers who share their ideas to innovate and ignite a community of advertising professionals from around the world!
Smartly.io is honored to join the agenda along with our partner TikTok and our customer Brooklinen, whose performance marketers are embracing generative AI and creator content to tell impactful stories.
Join our session at Advertising Week: Creator Commerce: Authenticity meets Performance Rigor
Join Smartly.io’s Head of Creative Sarah Hiraki, TikTok’s Global Head of Operations Adrienne Lahens and Brooklinen's Director of Growth Marketing Jasmine Rayonia to discuss the balance between maintaining authenticity and meeting the demands of performance metrics in the world of creator commerce. Explore more about embracing Gen AI and creative tech to achieve scale while telling authentic stories to help marketers reach goals in a new creator economy.
We caught up with Smartly.io’s Head of Creative, Sarah Hiraki, for a quick Q&A in advance of the event:
According to Nielsen, 70% of ad buys are driven by creative now. What are you seeing in your career and role that speak to creative driving performance?
SH: Marketers are examining everything they do with a lot more rigor than ever before, each channel, format and campaign needs to earn its keep to stay part of the marketing plan. Creative ideas – the big, brand defining ones, and the tiny, needle-nudging ones – are no longer exempt from that type of scrutiny.
While everyone knows that creative makes a big difference in forming audience opinion on brands, we now have more sophisticated ways to measure effectiveness than in years past. And while brand love is still tricky to measure, it’s creative that audiences remember – not media placement.
One place we’ve seen the effectiveness of creative is in creator-driven vertical video content. We know from the phenomenon of “TikTok made me buy it” and viral products, that the multifaceted nature of entertainment-first content has become the heavyweight champ; TikTok ads outperformed Kantar’s digital and TV norms for persuasion by 17% (Source: TikTok Marketing Science Creative Coding Analysis based on 3,500 TikTok ads that ran from 1/1/2021 - 1/10/2021 representing all major verticals, conducted by Kantar, 2022).
TikTok is also driving 2.9x greater sales efficiency (vs. all digital media measured). Source: TikTok Marketing Science, CPG Media Mix Model Meta-Analyses, METAP, US, EU, SEA, Conducted by Nielsen, 2020-2022
This is all because TikTok and other platforms that place a heavier emphasis on entertainment, creativity and audience participation can tell a more complete and engaging story in a shorter amount of time. It’s the difference between driving past a sea of billboards vs hearing about a favorite new product from a friend – one is always going to be more potent than the other.
We’ve moved from a culture of brand loyalty to brand trust, as consumers are more likely to purchase a product after seeing an influencer they trust share content about it. Can you speak to the role of creator commerce in an overall campaign strategy?
SH: Authenticity is the other piece of the puzzle when it comes to effective creative on channels like TikTok. There's a misconception that young consumers are less loyal. This isn't quite true. Brands need to identify customer expectations and live up to them, whether that's in the quality of the experience or their commitment to brand values. The good news is that social shoppers are inherently curious and interested in trying and sharing new things, they're not cynical, but they are paying attention and they're spoiled for choice.
Creators bring that “word of mouth” je ne sais quoi to paid media that can’t easily be replicated through other means. Creators can deliver a sales pitch and prove it through video content in a matter of seconds – from unboxing videos, to oddly satisfying product shots, to challenges and extreme reviews – creators have a unique ability to disarm us of our cynicism. There’s a value exchange there, effort and entertainment for attention, that audiences naturally respond to. And of course, if the targeting and product relevance is right, it’s an unbeatable combination.
How do you balance the need for creative innovation with the consistency required for brand recognition in your digital advertising campaigns?
SH: The best organic strategies on TikTok are all based on balancing freshness with a consistent point of view. Four million TikTokers followed Jonathan Graziano (@jongraz) just to see his pug Noodle’s morning routine. Three and a half million follow Tanara Mallory (@tanaradoublechocolate) to see her narrate found footage of under seasoned American casserole recipes.
To succeed in spaces like TikTok, brands should follow this strategy. Plant your flag in the ground – your brand perspective, values, USPs – and then create a world around it. Place your brand in different spaces, show it helping diverse audiences, demonstrate how there isn’t just one way to do or be your brand.
Having consistency builds brand trust. Teach your audiences what they can expect from you, and how they can count on you, but always be expanding your reach. This doesn’t mean you always need the same music, a logo on every frame, or an end card on every piece of content – but it does mean you should have a mastery of your brand’s tone of voice, attitude, and the values you provide customers.
Join our session at Advertising Week in New York City and follow the event conversation with us! We’ll see you there!