- More than two-thirds (67%) of European and U.S. marketers think the growth of digital advertising has harmed the quality of creative, according to a study from buy-side advertising platform Sizmek.
- Over the coming year, 91% of marketers are placing a priority on making digital ads more engaging to meet their brand goals. Eighty-four percent think artificial intelligence technology is useless without adequate creative.
- Most marketers, or 91%, think creative input is just as important as data in digital campaigns. A majority think Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as necessary in quality creative. Nearly eight in 10 think quality of creative will become more important because of the rule, even though there's a greater focus on data and privacy.
The Sizmek study underscores the challenges in balancing technology and creativity, a long-standing issue in marketing that is becoming more important as technology's role continues to expand thanks to artificial intelligence and other recent developments. The idea that some marketers are wary of data's role growing at the expense of creativity was clearly on display during the Cannes festival for marketing creative earlier during the summer. A key takeaway from the report is that pendulum could be swinging back towards a greater focus on creativity as the focus on data privacy grows and marketers tighten their control over data.
The common wisdom is that marketing technology can combine creative and data and empower marketers to achieve their brand goals and boost personalization, although the Sizmek-Kenshoo research suggests not all marketers would agree. Among marketers, 53% think AI will boost their marketing's effectiveness in driving revenue, and 30% see the technology as helping provide more detailed analyses of marketing campaigns. Seventy-one percent see AI as aiding in creating more personalization and 58% say the same for customization, according to EverString and Heinz Marketing research.
The growing use of technology and data comes with other potential pitfalls besides hurting creative quality. The reliance of data in marketing has cast a spotlight on issues of data privacy, security and transparency. Following data privacy breaches, like Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, marketers will likely be more proactive and champion customer data privacy and use it to differentiate their brands, according to Forrester's Predictions 2019: CMO. Promoting how much care they take with customer data could drive customer energy and help rebuild trust. As the Sizmek-Kenshoo report suggests, when marketers tighten control over data, this could lead to a stronger focus on creativity.