For decades, creative and media have lived in different silos, or in terms of the time, on opposite sides of a wall. Creative does their work, and when the beautiful thing is made, they throw it over the wall to media, wipe their hands and move on. Their job is done.
Media then receives this inbound thing and uses all of the tools available to them to make the best of it. They move budgets around. They adjust targeting dials. But their ultimate ability to impact results is limited, since creative is responsible for 70% of performance.
This worked reasonably well for TV, as data was too slow to be useful mid-campaign, and even if it was available in time, it cost too much to make changes to creative anyway.
But in today’s digital world, none of this makes sense anymore. Data is essentially instantaneous, and with the right tools in place, it can provide useful information on how creative can be improved.
The old construct no longer works.
From a marketer perspective, working with completely separate companies that sit in completely different offices and use completely different software systems (if any is used on the creative side at all) no longer makes any sense. In fact, as case studies across the industry begin to pile up showing performance increases in the hundreds of percents (that’s right, not tens, hundreds) when marketers and agencies use integrated systems to learn about their creative in real-time and then rapidly put that information to work to improve their creative mid-flight, it’s becoming increasingly clear that continuing to work the same old way is downright, how do I put this nicely…. outdated.
Horses were great for getting around, until the combustion engine was invented. But now the only people with Model T’s are collectors. Technology always moves inexorably forward. In marketing, the specialization and separation of creative and media was a great advancement. But now, the only people who should be interested in siloed creative and media practices without a connective creative technology platform tying creative and data together will soon be business historians, doing research on how things used to work before Software Ate the Marketing World.
It’s not about being physically under one roof. While this can help, it’s not necessary in today’s digital world. Creative and Media are different disciplines. The people in each approach the world with different mindsets. But their goals are aligned — they both want to drive client results. A unified software platform that joins the creative learning side with the creative production side can preserve the old system of working with different entities on each side as long as it accomplishes two main objectives: (i) provides data back to the creative side so that it can improve running ads, and (ii) enables rapid and cost-effective new, data-informed creative to be sent back to the media side for improved results.
Where this breaks down is when media agencies refuse to share the client’s data back to the client and the creative side. We have seen multiple instances where media agencies outright refuse to connect their clients’ digital/social media ad accounts despite their clients begging/demanding that they do so. As marketers become increasingly aware of what’s possible, and the efficiencies that they should expect by utilizing data to improve creative, this type of behavior will only serve to hasten the in-housing movement to bring it all under one roof. We don’t have a dog in this fight other than to advocate for what is clearly in the best interests of marketers, and hopefully show a path along the way to help a lot of really talented people in legacy businesses continue doing what they are doing.
So let’s tear down the wall. But let’s do so thoughtfully so we don’t all end up with the roof on our heads.
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