Hear from industry leaders: Empowering your creative teams

This post is done in conjunction with Celtra.

There is no doubt the fragmentation of the media is now requiring marketers to come up with an enormous volume of content in a very short timeline.

While the work may be tough, it can also be rewarding and exciting, said Michelle Yip, executive director of group strategic marketing and communications at DBS, at a recent webinar hosted by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE in partnership with Celtra.

“Personally, I think it’s really exciting that the media is being fragmented. The balance of power has really shifted to content creators and not just to a couple of big media houses. And I think that’s great because then it creates that ecosystem,” she said.

This allows for more intimate conversations to be had with consumers. While channels may be aplenty, what it really boils down to, she explained, is the content that consumers will most resonate with.

“When we think of our content plan, we think in terms of the journey the user takes. So, our aim is to get them further and further down that journey by not just banking on product first. We try to bring consumers to our side by figuring out what is important to them,” Yip said.

Seconding the notion was McDonald’s Asia marketer Eugene Lee, regional director of marketing (Asia), who said that at the end of the day, the media plan must be built on the insight of an audience’s preferences and behaviour – not just emerging mediums.

“For example, if our target audience are teens, and our agency tells us that through TikTok, for example, it can help us reach 85% of the target audience that we want to talk to, we would be perfectly OK with pumping 100% of the budget into that one touch-point and completely dominating it,” he said.

“To me, it’s not so much a question of do we have enough touch-points or are we going into every single touch-point. But more a question of: do we have the right touch-points?”

It isn’t so much about the medium, but what the insight is that drives the action.

Nonetheless, what remains undeniable is the sheer volume of output content teams now need to create. With the dollars spent on TVC advertising shrinking, content creators are now forced to think of new ways to communicate the same message across different platforms. So how do you keep talent from burnout and exhaustion?

“The thing is, nobody gets excited about making five videos or 100 pieces of blog content. But what they get excited about is shaping perceptions and getting people to take action on a topic that they care deeply about,” Yip said.

With the younger generation becoming more conscious on the impact they leave in the world and their communities, marketing leaders must think of new ways to align their employees’ passions to a company’s vision.

“Our aim is to have conversations with consumers, and build a relationship with them. We are not content creators or graphic designers or photographers, but we are topic owners shaping perceptions be it in sustainability, or towards zero food waste, or financial planning,” Yip said.

This way, the teams don’t think about volume, but focus on the richness of the content and the impact it has on consumers.

“We showcase social entrepreneurs, and impact organisations which are making a difference. So, it’s not just us, but it’s about how we are coming together,” she said.

Moreover, being purpose-driven also gives life to the content as teams collaborate and find meaning in their projects together.

Lee believes the strongest way to help the marketing community to not burnout is by allowing young content creators an avenue to express their creativity.

“Instead of saying no all the time to the ideas that come in, as clients, we need to allow creatives to be able to run with ideas they have. For example, I would usually allocate 20% of the budget to allow creatives to run  their crazy ideas,” he said. “Having the chance to do those exciting things keeps morale up, reducing burnout.”

If creatives had to simply keep brainstorming and coming up with ideas, which were ultimately all rejected by the clients, it would also lead to burnout, he explained.

Raushida Vasaiwala, Celtra’s general manager for APAC, said the old ways of working cannot meet the growing demand for content. Companies must understand and find ways to ensure their design teams are not bored or burnt out by mundane work. Especially when designers are tasked to create versions of the same creative look one-by-one, these repetitive tasks eat away their passion to break through creative boundaries.

This requires management to invest time and effort in understanding what friction points their design and content teams face, and of course, learn about the new technology available that can help take away these pain points.

“It’s time for marketing without boundaries, a new way of producing creatives not limited by finite resources and tight deadlines,” she said.

Companies must embrace creative automation to produce creative content at scale, customise creatives for every product, localise for each market, and automatically adapt creatives for all channels, formats and sizes.

She added the creative automation tools available in Celtra’s product range can cut down a week of production work to just a couple of days, which means assets are market-ready three times sooner to meet campaign goals.

“This frees up time and resources for more creative tasks, and to be able to iterate faster from one creative concept to multiple; from one layout to multiple; from one message to a variety of messages; and from tens of creatives to thousands,” she said.

“This streamlines the entire creative production process that helps designers to accelerate their entire production effort.”