Creative automation – The ultimate tool for scaling design adaptation

Creativity takes time - especially when you’re dealing with multiple campaigns, countless stakeholders and a myriad of media platforms. How can you lower the cost and get the same quality of output from creative professionals?

This article will shed a light on this solution:

  • What is creative automation?
  • What are creative automation tools?
  • Why should you consider creative automation?
  • How do you know if creative automation is for you?
  • What are the popular online editing features in creative automation?

What is creative automation?

Creative automation leverages technology to efficiently and affordably scale design adaptation using Smart Templates. By connecting design, intelligence and data, content can be produced quickly, delivering ready-to-use graphics at high-volume for multichannel campaigns. Preapproved templates reduce administrative overhead, approval cycles and production bottlenecks freeing creative teams to focus on higher-value creative work.

What are creative automation tools?

Creative automation tools aim to support creative professionals by taking care of the more repetitive, low-skilled aspects of graphic production - such as creating design adaptations for product variations, localization, or generating a variety of digital ads for different channels. These tools help automate and optimize your creative content lifecycle by converting designs into reusable templates, adding a logic layer on top, and connecting those templates to data. Additionally, self-service portals can also be used providing access to anyone who needs to create on-brand, customized materials.

Why should you consider creative automation?

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. Discover more reasons in our dedicated blog post.

An example: Google Display Ads Creation

Let's say you want to promote a new water bottle in 3 product types (plastic, glass, and aluminium) in 14 sizes, 5 languages, 4 ad variations. That adds up to a whopping 840 unique ads. 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.

Like BrandingMag put it:

“Maintaining a purely manual approach to content creation, distribution, and performance can quickly tire out resources and budget, resulting in workflow inefficiencies and ineffective campaign delivery and performance.”

Why would anyone keep doing that, if creative automation will do so much more for your business? Resize banners or stimulate data-driven creativity? Should be an easy choice to make, but if you're still not convinced... learn more

How do you know if creative automation is for you?

Creative automation is an incredible toolset, but it’s important to look at your current setup and see if it’s right for your marketing activities. Firstly, it’s vital to take a critical appraisal of your existing workflow to see what’s working for you.
**Ask yourself these important questions: **

  • What are the biggest pain points in your current process?
  • Is a bottleneck in designer bandwidth an issue for your creative team(s)?
  • Of the platforms you’re currently using, which ones are most suited to introduce automation?
1. Analyze

Next, look deeper into your creative process and analyze where your teams are spending most of their time. Evaluate how many projects require multiple design adaptions and just how much time and resources are going into manually adapting these designs to fit multiple purposes.

2. Define scope and budget

Now you need to determine where automation tools could fit into your existing workflow. Determining the right place for automation ensures you’re making certain processes and tasks more efficient, which in turn makes your marketers and designers more productive.

Next, estimate how much your budget is spent on these manual design processes: team size x hourly rate x hours spent = recoverable budget

3. Start your first project

Finally, build a business case for new campaigns and projects in the pipeline. Think of it this way: if automation tools deliver a recoverable budget back into the business, how many more projects can you now accommodate as a result? And what you could do with that extra time and budget? Maybe its’s time to expand and grow your business.

Think your content lifecycle is not up to par yet?

Tap into a conversation we had with Tim Pashuysen from Sitecore to get some pointers. This webinar dives into how your company can merge content management, document intelligence, and creative automation to reap the tangible benefits of scaling design adaptation by providing agile self-service portals.

How creative automation works in the real world

For medium brands
For small brands

What are the popular online editing features in creative automation?

Template creators rave about Dynamic Layouts and Smart Crop. These add an extra layer of intelligence to the template that allows better element positioning within the setup (Dynamic Layouts) and fixes the focal point of images to ensure brand consistency is maintained regardless of resizing or repositioning (Smart Crop).

Users love the data connectivity with other management systems, alternate layouts for -well- layout variations, relative positioning, object anchoring, and copy fitting just to name a few. The REST API integration really completes the versatility of the most comprehensive online editing solution on the market.

In short, what can CHILI publisher mean for you?

Ensuring brand integrity and consistency across multichannel

Scaling your graphic production

Providing self-service access for everyone in the organization

Freeing up time for creative ideation

Speeding up your time to market in general

And basically scaling your entire operability

Book your demo to discover your best creative automation tricks!