How the Creative Automation Score (CAS) will help you score off the competition.

Creative talent is the key to making your marketing materials, packaging, and other graphical output truly unique. But talent takes time, and time is scarce. Creative automation helps speed up the process so materials can be produced at a larger scale without forcing designers into repetitive and fallible tasks. And that’s where the CAS comes into play.

Or the Creative Automation Score as we like to call it. By calculating this score, you can pinpoint the exact tipping point when your manual design costs are eating away your profitability margin.

What is the creative automation score?

The Creative Automation Score is a formula to help you weigh up creative production costs against creative output gains. It factors in the different elements within your creative production cycle and provides an indication if your organization should be looking into creative automation to optimize creative resources.

Why do you need to know your CAS?

Cella’s yearly in-house creative industries report recently asked more than 220 marketing leaders about their main creative challenges and the number one issue was not having enough time to focus on the creativity that makes their output so successful. This is where a Creative Automation Score (CAS) makes a real impact on your marketing operation. It undeniably establishes the effectiveness of your current graphic design output, provides an overall representation of its ROI, and illustrates how to optimize by scaling your creative production.

How do you measure your CAS?

To work out your agency or marketing team’s score, first you need calculate the number of variations in your marketing content output - by variations we mean number of differences a given marketing asset might need (such as languages, sizes, or products). These calculations will give you the amount of variations your business encounters with its graphical output (or V as we’ll call it).

Next, you need to calculate the overall cost (or C) of these variations times the hours spent working on them, multiplied by the (blended) hourly rate of your designers.

Now you need your Smart Template calculation (or ST), which is the total cost to create said template in a creative automation tool.

In short:

  • Variations (V) = Languages x Sizes x Products x Market x Channel
  • Cost (C) = V x hours spent x hourly rate
  • Smart template (ST) = Hours spent on template creation x hourly rate
Creative Automation Score formula:

[CAS = C / ST]

Unlocking your creative automation score is C divided by ST. Scoring 10 or higher on this spectrum means your marketing output process is ideally suited to the cost-effective and enhanced productivity of a creative automation tool such as CHILI publisher Online. Your very own CAS can be further refined by introducing the impact of risk management or time to market into the formula. Last-minute changes to your output or chance of going to market with errors will increase your score even further.

What do I do with the CAS?

Understanding your CAS might reveal some troubling truths for your current graphical design process, but it also makes a great case for using the power of automation to make those time-consuming and repetitive tasks a thing of the past. Utilizing the benefits of customizable Smart Templates will make your agency or marketing team more agile by leveraging a point solution that targets a specific issue with an automated design tool.

So, take the test, find your score and talk to us.
We’ve got the tools and community you need to get into the scoring position again.



Kevin Goeminne

Jun 30, 2021

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