CREATE ‘23 US – Hello New Creatives!

On 28-29 June, CHILI publish hosted the first CREATE Community Conference for New Creatives in Austin, Texas – and we had a blast! Here’s a quick overview of the event’s highlights.

With the CREATE Community, CHILI publish sets the stage for the New Creative: professionals who bring the worlds of creativity and technology together in order to produce more and better work. Change and innovation never go unchallenged, as Jay Pattisall of Forrester reminded the crowd in Austin: new technology always meets resistance and distrust before changing the world. It happened to electricity, radio, internet – and long before that, Socrates warned that writing would harm our ability to remember.

Watch the session recordings in our CREATE website.

Leaders bank on Tech & Talent

CREATE brought together a quality audience of CMO’s, CTO’s, heads of agencies, creative directors and service providers to share and learn about the next stage of innovation in creative production, delivery and execution. The agenda offered a wide variety of topics, which is testament to the immense level of change our category is going through.

The fast rise of AI is a prominent driver of change, of course – but tough market conditions also force organizations to look for efficiencies and economies of scale. Lastly, today’s consumers demand omnichannel, personalized communications and offerings, and the new creative is putting together the infrastructure across data, design, automation and distribution, to meet them right where they are. But meeting that expectation of instant, connected, and engaged experiences presents creative leaders with a complex challenge.

Research shared by CHILI publish CEO Kevin Goeminne shows that 45 percent of creative leaders plan to add new services in 2023, but 34 percent of this group struggles to find the talent needed to succeed in this ambition.

Savings and gains of automation

Increasing creative productivity leads to gains and savings. Zach Escabedo of our platinum sponsor Sitecore shared a quick calculation, based on Cella research findings: if the average blended rate for in-house creative teams is $81-$100 per hour, and they spend an average of 40% of their time on design adaptation and versioning of assets, a team of 5 will save $374,500 on an annualized basis by adopting creative automation technology and work process.

But one thing is for certain: for the new creative, doing more with less is not just about saving money and picking up speed in getting assets to market; it’s all about creating new opportunities, launching new strategies, entering new markets.

The stories combined in CREATE ‘23 US show a firm conviction that AI, intelligent automation and integrated technology stacks will ultimately lead to increased productivity and output.

And we’re just getting started...

Create at scale in real life

So what does it take to be able to create at scale? First of all, technology, creativity and business need to be in lockstep. The example of Sodexo Retail, represented by Dr. Joseph Hoffman and Marianne Edgington can illustrate this point. For the restaurants within Sodexo’s global Retail business (catering services for universities, businesses, hospitals), being able to publish an up-to-date menu is business critical – that sounds like a no-brainer, right?

But in Sodexo's former setup, it would take 6 months and $50,000 on average to code a new menu template. So, in order to be ready for the new academic year starting in September, the menu template briefing had to be submitted by January... latest. With CHILI GraFx, creating a new template will be a matter of hours at only a fraction of the current cost. Just imagine the savings and agility the Sodexo team will deliver within their global operation.

Jens Leven and Patrick Tosolini of RELATIAL_ shared a sales campaign for 150 Mercedes-Benz dealerships, who ended up producing 425,000 personalized sales brochures from a single smart template. The personalized assets where the result of promotional offers selected from the integrated Mercedes-Benz DAM system, combined with client data from the CRM system, and dealer-specific data. The smart template based process allowed them to save €100,000 in print costs, in addition to incremental revenues from the promotional campaign.

Another great example was shared by Amer Mallah of DemandBridge. With a relatively small team of technologists, operators and account managers, DemandBridge operates marketing enablement portals for hundreds of clients, including Hilton, The Home Depot and Adecco, serving millions upon millions of end users. DemandBridge processes 52,000 physical orders per month.

CHILI GraFx innovation

At CREATE ‘23 US, CHILI publish shared a wide range of recent innovations to the CHILI GraFx platform, widely recognized as the most advanced creative automation engine available today.

The latest additions and upgrades to CHILI GraFx presented by CHILI publish CPO Ward De Langhe show the future of this fast-evolving category: a single asset editor for all outputs across digital, print and motion graphics; template-based to allow for fast, iterative creative production; API-first and headless to blend in to larger production and delivery infrastructures, and powered with AI to accelerate the production of new templates and code.

On the experimental level, CHILI publish Chief Architect Pieter van Parys’ session on triggers, events and actions gave a peak into the next level of smart template design. There, template designers will interact with templates in a new, more dynamic way, which allows them to design exactly the right experience for designers and non-designers engaging the template to produce new assets. Van Parys proved once more that not all templates are created equal; the CHILI GraFx smart templates are the future of template-based creative automation.

No wonder our Training and Certification tracks were high in demand, preparing a new generation of creative automation experts and smart template designers.

What's next for the CREATE Community?

CREATE ‘23 US brought together a new breed of creatives. They do more and better work by embracing technology and innovation. They automate workflows, scale creative operations, and free up time to innovate their business, connect with clients, and keep growing.

Join us for our next CREATE Community Conference on 8-9 November in Brussels, Belgium.

Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, and training staff!



Kevin Goeminne

Jul 13, 2023

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