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David Barker SVP and Managing Director EMEA Advertising Solutions at Amobee Amobee

Is it True That Programmatic Takes the Creativity Out of Digital Advertising?

Programmatic Is Not Killing Creativity

It is no secret that people are exposed to thousands of adverts every day making it even more challenging for brands to break through the noise. The rise of programmatic has helped many brands reach more consumers online, but has it come at the sacrifice of compelling creative?

Magna Global forecasts digital ad revenues will reach 30% market share globally in 2015 (+15.1% to $163 billion); validating that more advertisers are moving their budgets towards digital.

The growing pressure for brands to reach consumers across digital channels and devices has amplified the issue of marketers using the one-size-fits-all creative approach just for the sake of scaling media placements. We need to challenge each other to all take responsibility for being more diligent in aligning our creative strategy with our ambitions to leverage programmatic advertising technology.

Programmatic offers us the ability to optimise digital campaigns in real time and activate relevant creative based on known consumer behaviours and page-level specificity –when working in concert increase consumer engagement and ROI for brands.

One brand that has fully embraced the power of programmatic advertising and good creative is retailer, John Lewis. Every holiday season consumers and the marketing community looks forward to what John Lewis’ new emotive, movie-like, cross channel campaign will be. In 2014 the retailer earned over 23 million YouTube views with their “The Monty The Penguin” campaign, which included creative apps and interactive story books to amplify conversation and conversion. The campaign went viral reaching audiences far beyond the UK, delighting consumers all over the world.

Amobee’s Brand Intelligence technology aggregated data from more than 600,000 sites and a wide panel of customers sharing 100 percent of their usage data, using natural language processing to analyze every ad impression and mention online. We found that digital content consumption for John Lewis brand increased a staggering 903 percent during their 2014 holiday campaign!

Statistics suggest that brands have just two seconds to capture the attention of their audience; meaning the creative needs to be captivating in order to inspire engagement.

Brands, like John Lewis, that embrace and understand the value of creative and programmatic are authentically connect with consumers on devices they use daily.

The best marketers are fueled by change rather than fight it. Here are some tips brands and their agency partners can consider to ensure creativity thrives in a programmatic age of advertising:

1. Creative and media should be planned together, not separately. Bring in your creative team during the media planning process early to identify what kind of assets you may need to optimise for during a programmatic campaign based on nuances in  consumer behaviours, real-time trending moments, and other factors like best-performing content categories.

2. Set aside budget to test-and-learn. Programmatic is still in its early stages and will require you to try new strategies to see what works best for your brand.  Establish Key Performance Indicators that you can measure performance against, and keep everyone involved accountable for – agency, technology partners and brand stakeholders.

3. Have a plan to keep the conversation with consumers going after the initial conversion. Brands that are able to sustain an emotional connection with consumers in a way that is relevant, timely and entertaining will be remembered and rewarded.