There’s no denying that creativity is the lifeblood that drives marketers to create exciting campaigns and reach customers in new and relevant ways. It’s the reason so many creative minds have joined in-house teams or agencies, providing a much-needed outlet to flex those artistic muscles. The thing is, creativity takes time - especially when you’re dealing with multiple campaigns, countless stakeholders and a myriad of media platforms.
From the design phase right down to final approval, it’s a long manual process that comes with the age-old danger of human errors and costly omissions creeping in. In fact, according to a recent Cella study, most creative teams spend between 30-50% of their time managing the manual process of design adaptation, forming a creative bottleneck that ultimately compromises the agility of a marketing agency or team.
Now reread that last phrase and bear in mind that one advert for the Google Display Network needs to come in no less than 14 different sizes. And don’t forget to consider the multipliers for different product variations, markets, languages, etc. Let's say you want to promote a new product which has 3 variations, and your go-to-market plan requires you to create ads for the Google Display Network in 5 languages with 4 design variations. That adds up to a whopping 840 unique ads! Now consider the time your designer would spend on this. You get how this type of manual creative adaptation doesn’t efficiently scale.
And let’s not forget the big chunk of time that is spent working with various stakeholders, fielding their requests and producing collateral and digital content to meet those specifications. Eventually, designers become swamped with repetitive low-value work that swallows up most of their time. Manual labor is expensive and a nightmare to scale, and it’s even more challenging when you consider that derivatives might not even end up in the DAM system, leading to completely needless duplication.
So, how do you address this kind of issue in a way that empowers both the marketer and the customer without stifling creativity? Well, the first word that comes to mind probably isn’t ‘automation’, but it really should be. Let me explain.
That sort of human input can never truly be replaced, but you can improve the manual creation of repetitive content. When a stakeholder needs a brochure updated to suit a new market or detail a fresh product in numerous flavors, automation provides the power to input content into an existing template and produce output in a fraction of the time. Everything from brand compliance, data intelligence to regulatory requirements can be programmed into a Smart Template – and that’s just the beginning.
Non-editable content can be locked to protect brand compliance while the ability to link to source data completely removes the chance of human errors sneaking into the mix. It’s a practice that simplifies the production process, delivering graphics that are specifically designed to meet the needs of a given channel while offering just the right amount of manual input.
Automation really is the technological wingman we’ve all been looking for. It gives back a marketer or designer valuable time for fresh and exciting ideation, leading to far greater job satisfaction (because who really enjoys performing repetitive tasks in perpetuity? ).
It’s a tool that enables an agency or in-house team to be more responsive and get to market faster. It’s also far easier to scale as you can efficiently increase the number of Smart Templates you’re using without eating into precious creative time.
Traditionally, most people get stuck after the design, approval, and initial distribution. Once it is in market, it gets deleted, forgotten, or worse: repurposed the wrong way. Devaluating your marketing and brand efforts, demotivating the team who worked hard to deliver the original, frustrating other teams because they had to do it themselves. Why not do more with all the data and design elements you have at hand? Optimize first, dare to dream of AI and creativity next.
By working smarter, faster and better (not harder! ), creative automation lets everyone in an organization benefit in the long run. Self-service access lets users create what they want, not how they want. That in turn fosters a far greater sense of brand integrity and consistency, especially when dealing with media produced across multichannel touchpoints. And when you find a formula that works, you can create consistent targeted content that leads to a more engaging customer experience.
It’s hard to argue when you end up with an improved ROI on content development and asset utilization. Having the right kind of online editor powered by automation can really elevate your existing DAM system, too.
Creative automation has so much potential, especially for marketers who want to save time and get back to the creative tasks that inspire them. That’s why so many businesses are seeing the benefits of using CHILI publisher. What really makes our solution stand out, is its comprehensive feature set.
You see, our templates can output to both print AND digital formats so fewer templates are needed. It’s not one or the other, these digital brand templates let you create all online and offline design variations with the greatest of ease.
Moreover, one single template can generate numerous alternate layouts, again, reducing the total number of templates needed while still giving users a variety of design options, without having to take up a designer’s time creating a brand-new document.
Smart Templates ensure elements are positioned and anchored relative to everything else in a template, while simultaneously making sure copy is automatically fitted to the space available. That's because we included professional-level tools that any user can work with. We also store advanced conditional logic in the templates, so you can control numerous content changes with a single click. So, if you change the country from Belgium to US, the template can automatically change the language, flag, currency symbol, phone number, sales rep photo, adjust the currency separator from a comma to a period, anything you can think of.
This feature allows elements to move fluidly within the document using calculated values and relative positioning. These versatile, reusable Smart Templates produce high quality output, that is always on message, on brand and on point.
This feature allows Smart Templates to intelligently place images within a Dynamic Layout, ensuring the key subject is always featured. Using an image’s point of interest data and the desired subject area within the layout, the asset will resize and reposition automatically to fit naturally within the design.
Automation also connects directly to the latest data in your in-house systems, auto-populating designated elements to remove the need for manual entry and editing. And you know the real perk? Our tools can be built into virtually any existing workflow using our REST API.
Jasper De Craecker
Apr 27, 2022