The Crawl, Walk, Run of Digital Creative

Sarah Lockwood, Group Creative Director, shares insights in an article for ClickZ about how to generate better results by investing effort in creative optimization as well as the entire user experience.

In the display media landscape, less than 5 percent of companies specialize in creative optimization, according to LUMA Partners LLC. Yet creative is often the area where the most potential for improvement exists, and where a relatively small investment can yield enormous returns.

Why is the disregard of creative optimization this pervasive? I believe that digital marketers today have become so comfortable in the safe cocoon of Excel spreadsheets that they have largely or completely left what they perceive to be the scary, intuitive creative to others. Both search and display marketers consider the creative a deliverable (a banner to traffic or a URL to link to), not an element with which they should be involved.

We as digital marketers should reconsider this orientation to creative and concern ourselves with the entire user experience. This means participating in creative conversations and seeking ad units and landing pages that push the audience through the consideration cycle. We should approach creative optimization with a test-and-learn attitude, create creative test plans for each of our campaigns, and follow through on them with the same diligence that we apply to other optimization efforts. In the end, we come back to our comfort zone: creative does become objectively measured, and we can drive better and better click-through and conversion for ourselves and our clients.

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