Getting Creative with Performance
#Digital Marketing #Media

Getting Creative with Performance

“Data is the new oil.” Since Clive Humby first uttered these words in 2006, it appears data in its many forms has increasingly become the beating heart of marketing, making it feel as if creative has taken a back step. But who is really winning in the Maths Men vs Mad Men race and are the two mutually exclusive?

To explore, we conducted an in-depth study into the impact of creative on effectiveness and found that great creative is, indeed, still a critical driver of performance marketing. Marketers simply need to treat each element as an individual contributor to success.

The findings were revealed alongside relevant case studies and research at an event co-hosted with Facebook in December. At the festive briefing, we gave attendees access to iProspect’s proprietary thought leadership, shared ideas for how to harness the potential of Facebook’s solutions and showcased how brands are improving the customer experience though creative excellence.

iProspect Chief Strategy Officer, Emil Bielski, and Facebook’s Director of Agencies UK&I, Nick Baughan, opened the event by talking through the evolution of media. Over the past decade, there has been a shift from text to visual, with more than 60% of millennials incorporating visual search into their digital shopping experiences. We’ve also seen a move from reviews to influence, with greater emphasis on harnessing the views of trusted influencers.

These trends signal a move to the ‘era of experience’, in turn generating myriad new dynamic creative opportunities for marketers. With performance media now leading the way in terms of integrated advertising, Nick highlighted that, for Facebook, this is by far the most interesting opportunity to define the marriage of creativity and results-based marketing.

Getting Creative with Performance event

Top drivers of advertising profitability

Paul Dyson, Founder of Dentsu Aegis Network consultancy Data2Decisions, presented research on the top 10 drivers of advertising profitability. After brand size, creative emerged as the biggest driver of performance, with ‘branded memorability’ – the ability to get the brand name across in a memorable and emotive way – being the most important creative element for strong ROI. In fact, it’s 60-70% of the job.

Using AI to predict creative success

iProspect’s own proprietary research used AI to uncover the creative signals that impact effectiveness, and Performance Planning Director, James Morgan, took us through the key findings. Harnessing iProspect’s AI Insight Stack, which comprises Facebook’s Marketing API, AI & Machine Learning Image Recognition and Data Insight, the study examined specific ad features, such as text, people, emotion, indoor versus outdoor images, and ages. The results are published in our Using AI to uncover the signals that matter report.

The era of mobile video

Moving on to the theme of storytelling, a panel led by Chloe Mayirou, Agency Solutions Manager at Facebook, discussed the impact of mobile-optimised video and the effectiveness of various content formats. Facebook’s UK Head of Industry Creative Agencies, KJ Weir, suggested: “The definition of what a story is has really changed… If you’re trying to build a business and a brand over time and not just do short-term sales overnight, storytelling is really important.”

Lauren Stephens, Chief Marketing Officer at Spirable, commented that you don’t always need to create long-form content but instead tailor modular content to the individual to pique interest on a deeper level. Dentsu X Strategy Partner, Dasha Borysov, argued however that while targeting and personalisation is great for short-term activations, it may not be as effective for long-term brand-building. Using the analogy of dating to explain her perspective, she said “some of us have fallen so in love with targeting that we’ve forgotten how to do proper branding and storytelling… If you’re playing the long game, you work a little harder to get to know the person.”

Getting Creative with Performance panel

The Rise of AR

Kevin Chan, iProspect Managing Partner of Paid Social, took to the stage to demystify Augmented Reality and demonstrate how it can be useful for brands. There is huge potential for marketers to enhance the purchasing experience, since Social AR now makes up half of AR use in placements across Snapchat Lenses & Filters, Facebook Camera Effects, Instagram Filters and Pinterest. Jamie Poole, Creative Technologist at Dentsu X, then showcased some examples of AR effects built by the in-house team, including a shareable Christmas filter campaign for Lidl that helped the retailer sell out of 13m mince pies.

Jamie Poole

The Future of Dynamic Creative

Moving on to other creative solutions, Jack Few from Presto alongside Libby Darley and Cat Chappell from iProspect then took the audience through case studies for Deutsche Bahn, Diageo and Next. From providing commercial, brand and media metrics, to optimising the personalisation experience through chatbot technology, the speakers showed how the options for dynamic creative really are endless.

Libby Darley

Branded Content

Closing the day, Tim Harper, Client Solutions Manager at Facebook, shared key creative principles for branded content. According to Facebook, “Branded content is creator or publisher content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value” and should be authentic, engaging and mobile-first. By taking advantage of the platform’s testing features across handles, audiences, partner size and video length, marketers can predetermine the impact of their branded content.

Watch highlights from the event in the video below.


To find out more about the impact of creative on marketing effectiveness, watch the full event recording and download iProspect’s latest research into the key drivers of ad success.