Marketers are struggling to get the balance right between great creative and data-driven digital advertising.

According to a new report from adtech company Sizmek, 67 per cent of marketers believe that the “digital growth in advertising has come at the expense of the quality of creative”.

The study, Marketers Survey Results 2018: An Insider’s Look at Creative Quality, Personalisation, and DCO is based on a survey of more than 500 senior brand-marketers across Europe and the US.

The study found 91 per cent of marketers are prioritising the need to make digital ads more engaging over the next year to meet their brand goals.

When considering the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), 84 per cent said the technology is useless without the right creative input; believing data alone isn’t enough to support marketers.

Ninety-one per cent also believe that the creative input is as important as the use of data in digital campaigns.

Further emphasising the importance of data, the clear majority see the GDPR as a necessary introduction in relation to quality of creative.

From the report, 79 per cent said the quality of creative will become even more important due to the regulation, despite the intense industry focus on data and privacy concerns.

Oren Regev, VP Product Management at Simzek said, “The explosive rise in digital marketing has generated a huge opportunity to create more targeted and personalised experiences for brands to deliver to their customers. It should also offer the chance for brands to be more creative and enable them to fine-tune their creativity to the perfect audience.

“There is a wealth of capabilities available to help brands achieve their goals that can be unlocked through technology. By combining data, creative and media together and building a foundation that is driven by AI, brands will become more empowered to build campaigns that meet their aspirations.”

Dynamic creative optimisation

Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) is already a widely used tool, according to Simzek 82 per cent of global marketers currently employing DCO in their digital media executions.

In recent years, brands have seen the value of one-to-one marketing that dynamic solutions facilitate, giving a personalised touch when communicating with customers and delivering ads that are hyper-relevant.

Brands have also seen the benefits of using DCO for creative optimisation, allowing for ads to evolve automatically and use the best-performing creative.

From the study, 87 per cent of marketers who have used DCO say they get better ROI from it compared to standard display. Looking forward, 79 per cent of marketers plan to increase their use of DCO.

However, 66 per cent of marketers say their organisations find it challenging to implement DCO solutions.

Among those who are not currently using DCO in their annual digital media plans, 53 per cent say there is a cost to implement, 37 per cent note there is a lack of knowledge to implement and 24 per cent say it is taking too much time to set up.

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