5 Creative Tech Innovations (and How to Ride the Wave)
We’ve come a long way, baby! We at VidMob are problem solvers. So much so that one of the 5 core tenets of our product org is “Start with real problems from real people." In particular, we’re passionate about building the technology to solve as many problems for digital marketers as possible.
All that hard work over the last few years has been recognized by Digiday as we were recently named “The Most Innovative Technology Platform.” The Digiday Awards is the industry's annual recognition of the companies, campaigns and creative modernizing media and marketing. Over the years, these awards have honored industry-leading work from Edelman, VICE, HP, and more.
We appreciate and are incredibly proud of the distinction. To us, this award validates our mission to empower human creativity that drives meaningful, measurable impact. And as leaders in the transformation of a $300 billion industry through innovative technology that helps marketers measure, optimize, and increase the value of their creative, it seems like we’re on to something. And we didn’t get here overnight. As we think back on all the the problems we’ve set out to solve for marketers on this journey, as well as the road ahead for our platform roadmap, these are some of the areas for innovation that excite us the most:
1. More Production, More Problems
The first problem we set out to solve for marketers was the challenge of creative production. As the number of channels, formats, and ad types increased, marketers struggled to keep up – weeks-long turnaround times, multiple stakeholders, shrinking budgets – there was friction everywhere.
So, we set out to solve this in three ways: 1. build a marketplace of the best freelance, professional creators out there (editors, motion graphics designers, voice over artists, etc.); 2. Build a workflow platform to connect marketers with the right talent for their campaign and enable them to collaborate asynchronously; and 3. Empower organizations with a creator-matching algorithm that takes into account the creators’ skills/expertise and project details to match the right talent to the right project.
Our technology helped markers from different teams, locations, and time zones collaborate and efficiently create thousands of video ads in days, not weeks, completely tailored to the platform and audience.
2. Put Data to Work in Creative Performance
Eventually though, we started asking those same marketers a simple question – how do you know what makes a good ad? Yeah, we might have some data that says ‘ad A’ performed better than ‘ad B’, but what about ‘A’ resonated more? Turns out, nobody really knew. Because, traditionally, creative was too subjective to measure. The inability to answer that “why” — with data to back it up — has plagued marketers for decades.
So we sought to answer: How can we build tech to uncover the why behind creative performance to help marketers understand what works and what doesn't?
To do this, at a time when data was being used primarily to power media targeting, we chose to build a dataset and the tech to focus on the last remaining black box for marketers: Creative. True to product development form, we first built our creative analytics solution as a minimum viable product (MVP) prototype. This allowed us to test and learn quickly and validate our offering. It was pretty simple, a video player and a time series performance data graph showing a view % curve – the number of eyeballs on screen at any given time. The video plays and you can see exactly which creative elements are on screen when folks start to drop off, uncovering areas of opportunity to optimize your ad. If everyone drops off when that celebrity comes on screen, well, maybe the ad needs to be rearchitected so they appear later, or not at all. We received good feedback from early adopters, added more views and ways to visualize and manipulate the dataset. Before we knew it, we had what amounted to an entirely new feature set.
3. Bring Left and Right Brain Together
Both our collaboration and production technology, as well as our creative analytics solution, help create intrinsic value for users on their own, but by consolidating their powers we unlocked something even more appealing for marketers: A near real time optimization cycle. No more getting campaign results six weeks after the fact,when it’s too late to act on it. With our technology, data and creativity– left brain and right brain– came together to create new projects, collaborate with their teams, push new creative, monitor it, and then optimize based on creative data in real time.
4. The Brilliant Basics
This transition from a creative production to a platform for Intelligent Creative has powered a new wave of innovation within our product. In June we launched our newest feature, Creative Scoring, solving yet another problem for our marketers – how do I make sure all my best practices and brand mandatories are being adhered to within the creative all my teams are making? And how can I correlate best practices to performance impact to know which best practices are driving the results that matter to my brand?
5. What’s Next for Creative Innovation
Next up, we’re expanding our existing approaches to reducing friction in creative production and quantifying creative decisions. Last October, we acquired Chiligum Creatives, through which we not only gained new best friends and colleagues, but also an extremely well built technology capability in the creative automation space.
- This solves for different facets of the age old problem of “I can’t keep up with the demand for creative assets”
- Marketers struggle with scaling creative around structured product catalogs, taking full advantage of Dynamic Product Ad feeds, global-to-local creation, personalization, and many other aspects of the creative continuum that are best handled with technology.
- In 2022 we’ll be working towards fully integrating this capability into our tech stack.
In the realm of quantifying creative decision making, we’ve learned over the past few years that when marketers are exposed to data-driven insights, something pretty cool starts to happen. Pretty soon, they’re easily able to build their own brand playbooks and best practices, finally works for my brand specifically. Because we are problem solvers, we are always thinking about which questions we can answer and solve for next. Are these questions top of mind for your brand, too?
- What if there was a way to house all that creative data IP so you could easily share it with your team(s), your agencies?
- What if that creative IP was easily accessible to pull into your next campaign or creative project?
- What if you could track the performance of that IP over time, so that your playbook became a living, breathing repository of insights? Switch out learnings that have become stale for the latest and greatest, keeping up with the ever changing social zeitgeist.