creativity in programmatic

Are We Entering a New Era of Un-Creativity With Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is all about data and technology. When exactly did we stop talking about the creative part of digital advertising? And will advertising really be boring in a few years from now when everything’s automated and super-efficient? We don’t think so – creativity just needs a redefinition.

Let’s cut a long story short: The digital transformation is the number one driver for creativity and innovation in advertising. Many operational tasks have been automated since the introduction of programmatic. This leaves marketers with more capacity and time they can spend on creating more creative campaigns. Many respected brands have internalized the benefits of programmatic advertising, such as real-time targeting and addressing users with personalized messages fitting their interests and context. It only makes sense that successful programmatic campaigns achieve new, unseen levels of creativity in terms of storytelling and lifecycle management. But how do we define this new creativity?

Creativity Is About to Transform

In the good old days of marketing, creativity was still defined by the effect of a single advertising message. Visual worlds and slogans couldn’t be expressive enough and were seen as the central elements of brand building. The number of channels was manageable, and the placement of ads was a not exactly complex process. But with the beginning of the online age and the digitalization of our communication, new requirements were added to the list. Suddenly, customers wanted to be addressed on different channels – ideally with individual messages adapted to their personal interests. Creativity as a discipline suddenly faced new challenges.

Creating a Universal Customer Experience

With the introduction of programmatic advertising, many elements with which we previously defined creativity actually vanished. Ad formats are mostly standardized these days and most operative processes are automatic. The new form of creativity is about the manner in which we address the user. Advertisement has to generate added value – and in addition to that, the user has to be addressed with an individual message in the correct context. Today, this is done less often with smart slogans and impressive pictures, but an experience that advertisement creates for its target group in a specific moment.

Leaving Colorful Pictures Behind Us for Numbers, Data, Facts

The creative task consists of understanding the environment of an advertisement message and to reach the target group with 100 percent precision. This leads us to more and more data. Creative people in advertisement are mostly analytical people today, who have a deep understanding of the concept of a comprehensive customer experience and work to reach their target group with clever campaigns, when the effect will be the strongest and creates added value. Basically, successful advertisement today doesn’t depend on colorful pictures, but on the intelligent use of data and technology. The new challenge of creativity is to turn it into a memorable experience.

The bottom line: The introduction of programmatic has not only increased advertising efficiency. It has also challenged the way in which we look at creativity. Data based campaigns that engage users with compelling stories across multiple channels are without doubt creative – it’s just a new perspective on creativity.

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