Heart of a Creative. Mind of a Coder. How creative agencies can adapt to an automated marketing industry

Heart of a Creative. Mind of a Coder. How creative agencies can adapt to an automated marketing industry

By Matthew Witt

The most enduring advice I have received in my advertising career is that it is a business of energy and change. Every day we face another chapter of continual disruption, of ongoing evolution and revolution.

In fact, perhaps the only things that seem to be constant for advertising are the demands of efficiency and accuracy. I hear this dual charge from clients repeatedly, and I understand their stance.

Marketing budgets are being continually trimmed, as post-Great Recession companies are required to do more with less and be as productive and efficient as possible. At the same time, the need for real-time marketing intelligence to understand and drive the efficacy of the work is also increasing.

Programmatic marketing at its surface seems to solve both, providing a means to create and display online advertising with greater efficiency and ongoing optimization to ensure positive results.

I believe in managing for the trend, not the fad. So while some people dismiss programmatic as the latter, agencies must look at the inevitable greater trend in this landscape of change. Marketing automation is going to increase, as algorithmically driven platforms can buy, assemble, place, retarget and repeat faster, cheaper and more effectively than any human.

So does that render creative agencies obsolete? I’d contend absolutely not, but that we all must continue to evolve, using these new tools thoughtfully and offering our clients an enhanced solution.

Ideas that connect brands with people will still drive this business. We can only effectively market a client’s company if we still understand how to develop insights into being human in the first place. However, the manner in which we bring an idea to life is dramatically changing.

The successful balance that is necessary should connect an insightful idea to an algorithmic execution. In other words, successful marketing endeavors rely on insights into human behavior at both emotional and mathematical levels. This means, however, that creative agencies must move away from simply producing linear one-off ad formats.

Instead, the strategic and creative talents of agencies have to look at the potential permutations of a brand experience online to think through the logic of complex combinations and if-then results. In essence, we must all have the heart of a creative and the mind of a coder.

The constant change of the business is what keeps it exhilarating, and making sure we can connect the human experience with the data is the next challenge and opportunity we all face.


matt witt

Matt has a passion for working with teams of talented people to reinvent how we tell brand stories for our clients. He believes the greatest aspect of this business is the opportunity to be surrounded by energetic, avid storytellers, solving business problems through creative solutions. The work he has collaborated on has been honored by organizations that include the SXSW Interactive Awards, the Webbys, Art Director’s Club, Clios, One Show and FWA.

As the EVP, Director of Digital Integration at Trisect, he focuses on continually evolving the agency’s capabilities to meet client needs, collaborating across all departments within the company to develop and execute digitally-focused, integrated creative programs.

 Before joining Trisect, Matt was the VP, Director of Creative Innovation for Y&R, where he worked across all accounts in the Chicago office – and also collaborated on other WPP network projects.

@MatthewWitt

LinkedIn.com/in/MattWitt

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