This Holiday Season, Doing More is More
As the pandemic wages on, people are shopping online more than ever. And with the holidays upon us, brands are preparing for the wave of e-commerce-driven shoppers. In fact, 56 percent of people haven't visited a brick-and-mortar store since the start of the pandemic. However, that doesn't mean that shoppers have stopped spending. A recent survey found that e-commerce sales increased by 218 percent in May 2020 compared to 2019. This trend will continue throughout the holiday shopping season, as this is a time when consumers tend to spend the most. Last year, total U.S. holiday retail sales exceeded $1 trillion, marking the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season.
As more brick-and-mortar stores feel the effects of the pandemic, online shopping is expected to increase even further in Q4 and, in turn, has made the job of creative teams that much more important. A recent survey found that 67 percent of consumers want more variety in brand storytelling. However, the ever-growing number of channels, platforms and formats poses a new production challenge brands and creative teams have yet to overcome.
The Content Gap is Getting Coal This Holiday Season
The demand for more holiday content is nothing new for creative teams. However, production resources and budgets aren't increasing to meet the demand. As brands start to accelerate their creative advertising engines to battle it out for consumers’ attention, they're expected to do more with less. This unmistakable "Content Gap" leaves many advertisers feeling stretched thin. Additionally, a Forrester survey discovered that 70 percent of advertising decision-makers are devoting more time to content creation than they would like.
It's more critical than ever to charm and convert shoppers come Q4. Creative automation is the one step brands can take to achieve that.
Creative Automation is the Gift That Keeps on Giving
Not only do brands have the challenge of standing out and telling their story in a provoking way, there are the additional challenges of creating enough content to reach across platforms. From Instagram to Facebook and newsletters, creative teams are tasked with creating enough volume and variety tailored to every digital media format. Any creative team knows that this task is incredibly time consuming.
With creative automation software, in-house creative teams can eliminate manual and repetitive work and multiply their capacity and output. Here are some of the benefits:
- Scale production and variety: Brands can expand their creative assets across multiple variations of templates, designs and languages. With automation, marketers can also test and run multiple storytelling approaches to keep shoppers interested.
- Increase speed-to-market: With the right technology, teams can cut back on time-consuming tasks and instead focus on ideation. By eliminating outdated processes, brands can expect two times faster creative production cycles.
- Foster creative excellence: Creative automation is all about scaling production by separating design into templates and content into feeds. This way, brands can generate endless amounts of beautifully designed, on-brand variants.
- Achieve brand control: Brands can maintain control over campaign designs even if they’re localized for different markets. Central teams can lock template layers and elements in order to ensure consistent designs across the globe.
Making the ‘Nice List’ This Holiday Season and Beyond
E-commerce will continue to reign supreme throughout the holiday shopping season. Brands will need to invest in variety to cut through the competition. How? Embrace new ways of producing creative, focus on scaling multiple storytelling angles, and refresh your campaign creative often. Brands that capitalize on the demand by embracing automation will see success both this holiday season and in years to come.
Miha Mikek is the CEO and founder of Celtra, cloud-based, self-service software for automating creative production.
Related story: 3 Essential Marketing Strategies for a Successful Holiday Season