Climbing The Creative Effectiveness Ladder

Braze, the customer engagement platform, and WARC, an authority on marketing effectiveness, released a new report which lifts the lid on how some of the world’s most admired brands are pioneering the way technology is used as a hidden enabler for creativity, driving standout customer engagement.

The Invisible Enabler: Unlocking the Creative Potential of Technology taps into the highly respected WARC rankings, the views of those judging the world’s top creative awards, and new empirical data. It delves into award-winning creative campaigns from brands such as Adidas, Burger King, Lexus, Nike, Snickers, Spotify, sharing learnings around five key themes that explore the magic of tech, creativity, and customer engagement.

“Brand marketing has entered a new era – for too long, there’s been a false tension between creativity and performance,” said Mariam Asmar, VP of Strategic Consulting at Braze. “The work showcased in this report shows that art and science are natural partners in successful customer engagement, and technology can be the catalyst that frees great ideas by removing complexity and barriers to effective execution. Now, marketing teams must examine what’s preventing them from hitting the sweet spot that combines great brand messaging with effective bottom-line outcomes, removing the obstacles to creative effectiveness.”

The five themes explore the various ways brands have switched up their customer engagement strategies in the past years, including:

Top of the Ladder Technology

The Creative Effectiveness Ladder – a framework created by WARC and Cannes Lions shows that brands are driving customer loyalty by using technology in customer acquisition and engagement campaigns. The ladder categorizes the six types of effects that creative marketing produces, starting with the ‘influential idea’, through to becoming an ‘Enduring Icon’ once sustained commercial outcomes have been achieved.

Data Inspires the Creative

This theme demonstrates how data used holistically can be the creative foundation for any great campaign. Consumers today demand unique and personalized experiences, therefore using data, especially first-party data, enables marketers and advertisers not just to replace existing capabilities, but to unlock new ones with more creative applications than ever before.

The Memorable Middle

The path to purchase has evolved in a post-pandemic world. Consumers require a seamless and rewarding omnichannel experience that engages them throughout the purchase journey, which is best achieved through mixing both the physical and the digital.

Collapsing the Funnel

Brands’ marketing and performance teams are working more closely together. WARC’s 2022 Marketer Toolkit showed that 60% of marketers say that more brand marketing is now taking place through digital channels. This collaboration can build stronger consumer relationships and facilitate more personalized customer experiences.

From Gaming to the Metaverse

With marketers experimenting with AR and VR, consumers expect new platforms to be engaging. By taking inspiration from the gaming industry, brands can start to build relationships through Martech with current and potential customers, further building brand recognition and driving effectiveness.

Imaad Ahmed, Head of WARC Advisory EMEA, added, “COVID-19 undoubtedly spurred innovation. We’ve seen a considerable increase in Martech spending as part of digital transformation. That has been motivated, in some measure, by noticeable shifts in consumer expectations and behaviors post-pandemic. The insights from this report show that customer experience is a key and necessary priority for all brands – some of whom can now draw insights from a wealth of data but all of whom must prepare for significant shifts in regulations and the availability of third-party data. This has led many brands to strive towards building stronger first-party relationships with their customers – a move which will bolster their long-term growth prospects.”