It’s here folks, you better believe it: Holiday Season 2022. Whether you love it or hate it, it can’t be ignored—especially if you’re a marketer.
When talking about holiday season marketing from a creative perspective, discussion mostly centers around topics such as ad formats, best practices and messaging. Whilst these topics are of course important, they aren’t the focus of this article.
Instead, I want to highlight a topic that deserves the same amount of attention, but is often overlooked: Creative Agility.
What is creative agility?
We all know that digital is a complex, volatile environment. In response, marketing teams need to be agile by nature, ready to pivot at any given moment. However, a marketing team can only be as agile as their ad creative. For example, if you hastily decide to change some of the products featured within a campaign promo, you won’t be able to go live until you have updated your creative.
Let’s take another example: a new trend has popped up across social platforms. Obviously there was no way to anticipate this; however, it poses a good opportunity to garner engagement so you’d like to get involved with some relevant creative. The thing is, these trends are here one day, gone the next. As a marketer, you have a very short amount of time to tap into the trend before audiences have moved onto the next big thing. If you are able to be agile with your creative process, then that’s great, you can capitalize on these opportunities. If not, then you’ll sadly miss the boat.
This is creative agility. It’s the ability to react to changes or opportunities by quickly creating new or updated creative. The quicker you can turnaround assets at the drop of a hat, the more creative agility you have.
Creative agility during the holidays
Whilst creative agility is important all year round, it really comes into play during the holiday season.
Despite how much planning you put into your holiday campaigns, there are always going to be a bunch of unforeseen changes and opportunities that require new or updated creative. There may be a price change at the last minute, you may want to extend a sale period or a product might sell out and you need to replace it with something else. This list of possibilities goes on and on, with each requiring either new or updated creative.
For many brands—especially retail, e-commerce and consumer goods—key sales dates such as Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year pose the largest opportunities throughout the year to drive sales revenue. For marketers looking to make the most of these dates, campaigns need to be firing on all cylinders. You don’t want to be missing out on higher performance due to creative hold-ups.
So, don't get caught out: start thinking about your current creative production process. How agile is it? Could you turn around a set of new direct response Black Friday videos within a couple of days? If not, it’s time to find a way of getting your creative production up to speed.
Unlocking creative agility with Creative as a Service (CaaS)
Most brands will either produce creative with an agency or with an in-house team. Unfortunately, both of these approaches are not very conducive to creative agility.
This can be shown through a hypothetical scenario where you are in the middle of the holiday season; and without notice, you come across a problem: your ads have fatigued quickly and performance has dropped off. So, you need some fresh creative in order to keep your campaign alive and ticking. But you need the new creative quickly before the sale period runs out. With a creative agency this could prove difficult, as you will likely first need to get approval for the extra cost that the new assets would incur. This could eat up days before the production of the creative even starts. You may have better luck if you have an in-house team. However, your team has a limited capacity, and if they’re already loaded up with work, it’s likely to also cause delays.
To be truly agile, you need to remove barriers such as limited creative capacity and unit-based pricing. This can be achieved with Creative as a Service (CaaS), a modern solution to digital creative production. CaaS isn’t here to replace in-house teams or agencies, it’s there to augment these solutions so that your campaigns are never held up by creative delays. You can learn more about the solution by checking out our CaaS portal that has a bunch of resources, or you can get in touch with one of our team members.