At Smartly.io, product development teams form four larger Product Groups: Cross-Platform, Facebook, Platform Expansion, and Creative. Each Group owns one section of our product strategy, and while the teams within a Group work on their own roadmaps quite independently, their efforts build up towards a shared goal.
In this blog post, we introduce you to the Creative Group that plays a central role in enabling our customers to craft engaging ad creatives at scale. An ad is composed of different visible and invisible components, and the Creative Group focuses on the visible ones, called creatives. These can be images, videos, ad banners, or any form of audio-visual content that art directors or creative directors often produce.
Empower the collaborative production, at-scale rendering and continuous improvement of stunning creatives
We currently have five development teams within the Creative Group. Each one breaks new ground by automating and enhancing creative production, asset management, and creative insights.
Team Kino builds the creative production software, also known as the template editors for images and videos, which are leveraged heavily by our power users. The team keeps a keen eye on an enjoyable user experience as the users may work with the features for eight hours per day. The team’s goal is that the customers wouldn’t need to move back and forth between different tools, but they could design beautiful creatives directly on our platform.
When a customer wants to employ their creative templates in advertising campaigns, team Render’s backend rendering service turns the templates into images and videos ready to be used in ads. The service renders several billions of images per month and almost half a million videos. scaling the service to support 1 million videos a month requires tweaking system performance, an interesting technical nut the team works to crack.
On top of new feature development and maintenance, our teams engage in the research and development of new ways to produce creatives collaboratively. For example, team Artemis works on creative asset management for storing and optimizing media assets, fonts and rendered images and videos, whereas team Apollo disentangles real-time collaboration. Imagine a storage and synchronization service for advertising that works like Google Drive. When these solutions are ready, they allow multiple users to contribute to the creative process. As this product explores new territory, the team works relentlessly to understand our customers’ wants to achieve a good product-market fit.
The work doesn’t stop at launching the ads, though. We can learn from how they catch people’s attention, and team Gradient is working to close the feedback loop between creative production and performance. Their Creative Insights solution empowers advertisers to identify the best performing ads by serving readily digested data about what kind of creatives resonate with their target audiences. We aim to simplify decision-making for our customers with neatly sewed machine learning algorithms, and team Gradient currently explores how customers can leverage the data we provide to boost their campaign performance.
The development teams within the Creative Group don't only build customer-facing solutions but also provide platforms for other development teams’ use. For example, other services interact with customers’ assets through the asset library, and the rendering service provides pictures for ad previews during campaign creation. Creative Group’s teams need to carefully consider the development experience of other development teams when building their services.
Newly minted Creative Group teams are hiring
As most of the teams within the Creative Group are very new, they are hiring for new team members and looking for skilled Fullstack Developers to join their ranks either in Helsinki or remotely in Berlin. The teams use Node.js, React, TypeScript, and PostgreSQL, but they have some Ruby on Rails projects ongoing, too. The state of evolution offers each individual developer an opportunity to impact how both our organization and our product look like in the future so now is a great time to join the team.