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Special Creative Prevents Superficial Targeting

B2B publishers have lagged behind their B2C counterparts in adopting programmatic, but that’s beginning to change.

The increased number and channels of interaction is helping to fill the data disadvantage void. Impressive algorithms enable advertisers to aggregate, book, flight, analyze and optimize the creative users are shown in an attempt to engage with them in a more personal, effective way.

But marketers can’t just separate targets into buckets and assume a job well done. Ads created and divided among machines are efficient. But people still react to things emotionally, and the way they feel about something impacts how they think about it. So advertisers can’t rely on the most sophisticated software and algorithms to get closer to consumers, and then hit them with generic, uninspiring messages. Users will tune these out.

James Hurman’s the Case for Creative takes this further, applying an analytical review of creative to uncover its value. His research showed that creatively awarded work drove a business result 84% of the time, vs 70% for advertising in general. This applies to all creative, not just creative with goals like raising brand awareness, where breakthrough can seem more reasonable.

“The difference between the forgettable and the enduring is artistry.”

This Bill Bernbach quote gets to the heart of the matter. Creative should make people feel something, not check the demographic boxes that ensure it’s seen by the right people. We’ve become near experts at tuning things out, so even a message that’s effectively delivered right to our faces won’t matter if it’s not compelling. We’ll see it, ignore it, and forget it.

Specialized targeting without inspiring, memorable creative is a superficial (albeit impressive) way to reach consumers. It loses sight of the inherent human interaction between brand and user. Sophisticatedly slicing and dicing audiences feels like a marketer’s dream. But neglecting breakthrough creative is a sure way to pat ourselves on the back for doing something that seems great, while being totally ignored and forgotten.


PROGRAMMATIC I/O SF: As B2B Marketers Move Into Programmatic, Creative Can’t Be An Afterthought