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2024: The Creative Edge – A New Frontier for Performance.

Creative has always been important for brands, but it’s become essential in the most unlikely place.

The landscape of performance marketing programs is evolving quickly as we head into 2024, marked by significant changes in privacy updates, AI focused strategies, and the upcoming cookie-less browsing era. Amid these shifts, the pivotal role of creative strategies has emerged as a determining factor for success.

At the core of high-performing creative are still the marketing fundamentals. Do you have a clearly differentiated value proposition? A strong consumer insight? Do you have a messaging hierarchy that is living well across channels and platforms? If you have the fundamentals down and are a VP or CMO steering marketing strategies in a large organization, understanding the critical role of creative in your performance channels is more than advantageous—it’s imperative. Here’s a focused exploration that we prepared of three key elements that will help you get more yield from your performance media program – through creative.

1. Mindset Shift: Creative is the New Media Targeting

Traditionally, marketers have relied on media targeting and segmentation to drive performance through digital channels, especially paid social. However, a shift has now emerged as privacy changes have limited those targeting capabilities significantly. So what is the answer to limited targeting capabilities? For our clients, diverse and engaging creative content against a broader audience has become an effective method in delivering cost-efficient leads, revenue, and awareness. 

This shift serves multiple purposes, with the most important allowing creative to play a critical role in maintaining low CPMs by broadening your media targeting and allowing audiences to self-identify interest when they engage with the creative that resonates with them. By creating diverse, engaging content that is built strategically around your buyer personas, marketers not only captivate audiences but also provide platform algorithms with engagement metrics that help it better seek a consumer who is likely to engage, enabling more precise audience identification and connection.

Key Takeaway: Think about creative as media targeting. Rather than building out granular media targeting, instead apply the same thinking to your creative development while keeping your targeting broad. Prioritizing creative content will drive better audience engagement and provides efficiency by allowing for broader media targeting and better algorithmic learning – aiding in reducing CPMs and CPC’s – translating to a better business result.

2. Adapting Creative for Rapid and Responsive Engagement

Today, digital content consumption is at all time highs. The need for a continuous flow of fresh, engaging content is more critical than ever. The ability to quickly test, adapt, and scale marketing programs relies on the constant generation of impactful content. 

Marketers also need agile testing methods to constantly refine content, adapting swiftly to what works and what doesn’t. Key areas of focus here include:

  • A/B Testing: Experimenting with different content versions to find what resonates best with your audience. Ensure you are controlling certain variables within the creative to understand what element is actually making a difference.
  • Behavior Analysis: Use user data to shape content that matches audience interests and behaviors.
  • Continuous Refinement: Refining content based on real-time performance feedback and coming up with new ad ideas and approaches that improve engagement or conversion.

Key Takeaway: Rapid, ongoing testing is crucial for marketers to identify what messages are resonating best and to ensure their content remains relevant and engaging in order to scale their programs. 

3. Harnessing AI Tools for Dynamic Content Creation

To effectively navigate the content demands of today, marketers must embrace AI-powered creative tools and techniques. These innovative tools facilitate the creation of content at the necessary speed, volume, and variety while leaving high-value work to human teams. Dynamic ad generation platforms and AI-driven design tools play a pivotal role in catering to the evolving demands for varied and high-volume content while also streamlining the content creation process.

Integration of AI tools is not just a trend but a strategic imperative for marketers aiming to scale their programs effectively and efficiently.

Key Takeaway: The adoption of AI-powered tools is fundamental for meeting the increasing demands for varied, high-volume content and teams must use technology as a force-multiplier. Implement a process for identifying, testing, and rolling out tools as they become available.

Conclusion: Creative is The Key to Performance in ‘24

In this transformative period, the significance of creative content in your performance program cannot be overstated. It functions as the guiding force for audience engagement, fuels advertising algorithm signals, and remains the linchpin of successful performance strategies. It’s also important to remember however that at the core, of course, are marketing basics – strong consumer insights, clear differentiation, and a solid messaging hierarchy.

We have clients here at Other. who have started to take this shift seriously and are already seeing significant improvements in their key business metrics, simply as a result of more focus on creative and creative testing. For VP’s and CMO’s, acknowledging the critical role of creativity in 2024 is not just strategic but essential for achieving success in a rapidly evolving digital environment.

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