Unchained creativity: how AI is getting marketers back to what they love

CreativityDigital Marketing

Did I get into this indus­try to be a data expert or to come up with cre­ative cam­paigns that excite peo­ple?” It’s a ques­tion many mar­keters are ask­ing them­selves as com­pa­nies become increas­ing­ly depen­dent on data to inform the way they com­mu­ni­cate with customers.

In today’s adver­tis­ing envi­ron­ment, you can’t have one with­out the oth­er. Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing only works when it’s both rel­e­vant AND on point creatively.

The aver­age con­sumer is exposed to rough­ly 4,000 ads every day. Gone is the time when adver­tis­ers could get away with send­ing every cus­tomer or prospect the same untar­get­ed, gener­ic mes­sage and expect it to make an impres­sion. To engage peo­ple on dig­i­tal chan­nels, you need to under­stand their habits and tar­get them with the right mes­sage at the right time. Con­text is king to a mar­keter, and data rules supreme.

But hav­ing access to data is just the begin­ning. The brands that tru­ly under­stand their cus­tomers are those that can analyse all this data and extract insights to help them shape mes­sages, pro­mo­tions, or offers that will work well with indi­vid­ual mar­ket seg­ments. And ide­al­ly with indi­vid­ual customers.

There’s more. This insight then needs to be actioned, so that the right con­tent is adapt­ed for a host of dif­fer­ent tem­plates before final­ly being shared with your audi­ence via their chan­nel of choice.

This is the long part of the job, and often the part mar­keters would hap­pi­ly do with­out. If you’ve ever had to sift through mounds of cus­tomer data on web­site, mobile and tablet traf­fic to cre­ate 16 dif­fer­ent land­ing pages for a web­site, or poured over email response rates to inform 60 dif­fer­ent ver­sions of a tai­lored newslet­ter, then you’ll under­stand just how time-con­sum­ing and tedious these tasks can be.

More impor­tant­ly, you’ll be painful­ly aware of how much time this takes away from the fun part of the job – cre­ativ­i­ty, which is the one piece that’s glar­ing­ly miss­ing from the above tasks. All the grunt work is cru­cial, but it requires more mouse click­ing than cre­ative exper­tise. Why waste brain pow­er on this repet­i­tive work when you could focus on actu­al cam­paign strat­e­gy and cre­at­ing more ‘wow’-inducing content?

AI – your tire­less assistant 

This is where Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI) comes in. By hand­ing over much of the admin that goes into data analy­sis and report­ing to intel­li­gent soft, mar­keters can get back to what they signed up for and love doing best.

Today’s AI for mar­keters, like Adobe Sen­sei, is like a tire­less assis­tant that can man­age large scale man­age­ment and data analy­sis tasks. Not only can AI do this more quick­ly and leave adver­tis­ers with more time to focus on their cam­paigns, it also helps them uncov­er new insights that can fuel greater lev­els of creativity.

Let’s quick­ly boil down the three essen­tial ben­e­fits of an “AI assistant”:

#1 Find what’s hidden

With so much data to man­age, mar­keters have lit­tle hope of drilling down into the weeds of this infor­ma­tion and find­ing the nuggets that will help them improve their ser­vice or per­son­alise their dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences for each cus­tomer. AI soft­ware isn’t lim­it­ed to pro­cess­ing a lim­it­ed amount of infor­ma­tion at once, nor does it get tired in the same way as the human brain.

That’s why brands are using it to sort through all of the data and help them extract rel­e­vant insights that go on to pow­er more tar­get­ed, suc­cess­ful campaigns

2# Get faster insights

The big push for mar­keters is to achieve per­son­al­i­sa­tion and rel­e­vance at scale, and that requires faster deci­sion-mak­ing. Much faster than a human mind can han­dle. It’s one thing to be able to sift through data, deci­pher its mean­ing, and make smart deci­sions based on your inter­pre­ta­tion, but doing all this in real-time to inform mil­lions of actions each day is impos­si­ble with­out some tech­no­log­i­cal assis­tance. AI soft­ware is ide­al­ly suit­ed to achiev­ing this.

3# Take action

Of course, insight alone is only par­tial­ly valu­able. It’s when you can turn that insight into action that great things hap­pen. AI doesn’t just analyse bil­lions of data points at light­ning speed, it also uses this infor­ma­tion to make bet­ter deci­sions about how to improve the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence of its own accord, all based on the para­me­ters you set for it.

Whether it’s decid­ing where to direct ad spend at any giv­en time, know­ing which con­tent is res­onat­ing with which audi­ences through­out the day, or under­stand­ing which mes­sages to push out in light of real-time mar­ket activ­i­ty, AI soft­ware can make these deci­sions for us. And often, it deliv­ers bet­ter results.  Like the human mind, it also takes stock of new learn­ings and applies them to future activ­i­ty, which means your cam­paigns become more per­son­alised and tar­get­ed over time.

What does this mean for creativity?

Dig­i­tal chan­nels and plat­forms have opened up infi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties for the way we cre­ate and roll-out adver­tis­ing, but mar­keters need more time to be cre­ative. When stretched too thin, cre­ativ­i­ty suf­fers. You can’t expect a time-poor audi­ence with sky-high expec­ta­tions to inter­act with your con­tent if you haven’t tak­en the time to devel­op some­thing that will res­onate with or excite them.

Ideas and con­tent are suf­fer­ing, but that’s large­ly because mar­keters are stuck spend­ing so much of their time on cam­paign exe­cu­tion, ana­lyt­ics, and report­ing instead of on cre­ative incep­tion. This is not just a waste of tal­ent and demor­al­is­ing for mar­ket­ing employ­ees, it’s also a waste of mon­ey for com­pa­nies that have invest­ed in peo­ple specif­i­cal­ly for their brain pow­er and expertise.

Going back to our ini­tial ques­tion, few mar­keters got into the indus­try to spend their time on analysing data or pop­u­lat­ing tem­plates. Most have cho­sen this field to gen­er­ate buzz around new prod­ucts and ser­vices, to com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple in inno­v­a­tive ways, or to come up with excit­ing prod­uct launch strate­gies. In light of this, it’s not too sur­pris­ing that 81% of mar­keters are look­ing to leave their cur­rent role with­in three years.

This may be the strongest case yet for AI. By reliev­ing mar­keters of their heavy admin­is­tra­tive bur­den, AI promis­es to deliv­er the head­space they need to focus on what mat­ters, which sim­ply makes their job better.

Click here to learn how Adobe Sen­sei is help­ing brands ampli­fy their human cre­ativ­i­ty with Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence and so they can get back to the work they love doing.

Creativity, Digital Marketing
Julian A. Kramer

Posted on 10-26-2018

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