How Performance Creative Is Changing Marketing

As technology continues to impact marketing on virtually every level, marketers have to think earnestly about how creative execution and delivery happens in the digital space. Traditionally large format printing and how things look on the page always came first in presentations, but now marketing campaigns are regularly delivered in smaller spaces and the demand for them to generate impressions, clicks and conversions requires that creative be viewed through the lens of performance as much as art.

This doesn’t mean that creative is less important – it’s quite the opposite. Thoughtful, well designed, astutely delivered creative remains the biggest differentiator any performance marketer can hope to have in the increasingly crowded and often muddled digital landscape.  Creative has to cut through the clutter with quality and personalization amplifying those efforts, but when you think about the ever-evolving number of new formats and platforms to explore and master it’s no easy task to build a campaign that not only builds your brand but gets to performance – in other words getting the customer to accomplish a specific task.

So where do creative and performance intersect? It’s in data. If your campaigns are not optimizing toward a primary action-based goal, then your focus can only be impressions and awareness.  In order to create action, you have to look at the data to see what’s working and what isn’t. The adjustment of headlines, images, button color – anything that makes conversion activity go up can have a significant impact on your results. You may think one ad is more inclined to do better based on history or preference, but that’s not always the case. This data is ultimately a great way to tweak and nudge creative into its optimal performance zone.

Ultimately, marketers can’t be afraid to experiment and build conclusions that help them iterate and evolve. Marketers has more testing options than ever and today’s campaigns depend on active testing and validation. For example, video ads may work better for prospecting, where more education is required, and static ads will perform better for retargeting. Performance creative will always remain highly subjective when launched, but marketers should be highly objective when measuring results.

Marketers can optimize their channels, placements and budgets, but that’s no longer the competitive edge needed to deliver high performing campaign.  A focused attention not just on what the creative is, but how it works for you, your behavior objectives and in the end your target audience is the true test of success.  Take the time to look at your creative through the lens of performance and it will create new areas of opportunity and lead to better outcomes.