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Creative Is the Most Essential Element of Advertising: Q&A with Miha Mikek, Celtra

In order to reach your customer, you need the right creative to engage with them, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Seamless collaboration across agencies and brand consistency is also a necessity. As Miha Mikek (pictured below), CEO, Celtra, explains, creative management platforms can be essential for production, delivery, measurement, and the ultimate success of an advertiser’s campaign.

ExchangeWire: What does a Creative Management Platform (CMP) do? What are the advantages of using one?

Miha Mikek: A CMP can be described as a creative operating system for digital advertising. It is a cloud-based platform that allows marketers to manage and improve the quality of their digital ad experiences. The platform makes collaboration among multiple stakeholders, such as agencies, media suppliers, and other technology providers, very seamless. CMP platforms perform three main functions: 1) enabling creative production, 2) delivering optimised creative in real time, 3) measuring creative performance.

The advantages can vary by the size and type of the organisation, and how broadly they’ve implemented the CMP but, ultimately, it’s become expensive and really complicated to design and produce good ads that fit the increasing number of new channels and formats available. A CMP also makes data and live campaign insights actionable; therefore, it can be incredibly powerful in combination with attribution analytics.

We believe the two main benefits that brands receive include reducing cost while improving the quality of their creatives across the organisation. Creative performance improvement is driven by a process of constant creative measurement and systematic improvement.

Why should brands focus on the quality of their creative?

Delivering poor advertising comes at a cost; and we’ve already seen the way it’s affected the advertising ecosystem – from ad blocking, to wasted media budgets and, lastly, brand damage. Creative is the most essential element of advertising; the only purpose of media buying is to deliver the message – the creative. It is an incredibly important lever with boundless potential for performance improvement. Technology only enables the creativity. However, in today’s world of digital content consumption, it is absolutely essential.

Smart advertisers have a significant market opportunity to drive high levels of customer engagement and sustained competitive advantage by leveraging strong creative in their ad campaigns, particularly mobile campaigns. Many brands have yet to realise the full potential of mobile advertising and will benefit greatly by refocusing their efforts on quality and the user experience. This will ensure that mobile ads are more relevant, less disruptive and, ultimately, more engaging to consumers.

What ways are you able to measure creative?

Celtra’s platform tracks all serving and interaction events. The platform can also integrate with third-party systems, such as Twitter, Snapchat, and other sources, to receive direct data feeds. Users can access the data to measure KPIs and other metrics, including creative performance. The data can also be used to inform A/B and multivariate tests for campaign optimisations to improve performance and return on ad spend.

We provide benchmark statistics and analytics in addition to the standard media metrics. Benchmarking is important when measuring creative because you must take into account the method in which the creative variants are being consumed. For example, campaigns on mobile should be analysed differently than those on desktop; video should not be compared against rich media, etc.

Being able to measure incrementally is also important – is your advertising sending you consumers you would have acquired anyway, or is it providing an incremental value to your business? We recently began providing this metric for a few of our brand partners and have seen a huge response from the market.

How can brands improve their creative, particularly for mobile ads?

Brands can improve by creating ads specifically for mobile, and matching the right formats that work best, for not only their content, but their consumer. Match the ad format to the content it is delivered within (i.e. native ads) or you risk disrupting and irritating your viewer.

Next, ensure the messaging is relevant. Consumers expect personalised, contextually relevant advertising experiences and mobile ads are no exception. We know that consumers respond when they see the right message at the right time, so maximise the use of programmatic creative capabilities, such as weather and location.

Lastly, ads should be engaging content. Create ads that entertain and that consumers want to interact with, swipe through, tap, and share with their networks.

Who can benefit the most from using a CMP and why is it important to consider one?

Miha Mikek, Founder & CEO, Celtra

Multi-brand enterprise corporations benefit most, since they are the most likely to need a single, unified platform for their ads. For example, they may work with multiple creative agencies that are all using their own creative, presenting a confusing brand identity to the market. Everything that is created in a CMP is ready and available to be reused across all markets – providing transparency into creative performance and build quality, allowing brands to take action against good or poor performing campaigns. They are also instantly informed of new products and features, providing access to new and innovative tools and services, including relevant reports that help to understand the breadth and depth of adoption.

As the martech industry grows, how do you see creative management evolving into this world?  

Media metrics and ad delivery methods have advanced, but there is a missing piece – creative hasn’t improved. It’s essential that creative joins the conversation. Improved creative leads to proven results for brands and deserves more focus – and now marketers finally have access to the tools to make it happen.