It's the crescendo of the marketing year: the Q4 holiday season. Yet, as belts tighten in response to the cost-of-living squeeze - the IPA suggests ⅔ of adults are spending less in 2023 as the cost of living crisis continues - the crunch is also hitting senior marketers and their teams. 

The Pressing Need for Precision in a Budget-Conscious Era

A palpable 64% of marketers we surveyed for our latest report, “Compounding Creative” felt more pressure to deliver efficiency, than in 2022.  Moreover, over 44% anticipate budget cuts in 2024 if targets are missed, with over a quarter expecting a chilling cut of at least 20%. This isn’t just more with less; it’s a highwire act without a safety net.

The Safe Bet Fallacy

Confronted by this reality, the temptation is to default to the tried and true: established campaign toolkits, letting agencies shoulder the risk of new creative platforms, and a ‘launch it and leave it’ approach to media. 

Worryingly, 71% of marketers indicated below average to poor communication between the creative and media functions. But if they’re not being asked to collaborate once your campaign goes live - who can blame them? It's clear: the lack of collaboration post-launch isn't just an oversight, it's an opportunity missed.

Navigating the Q4 Fog 

With Q4's onslaught, marketers confess to a blind charge: a staggering one-third have no strategy for in-flight optimisation, citing data deficits or a lack of confidence in the team’s ability to execute. Yet, launching a campaign without in-flight adjustment is akin to a moonshot without mission control — audacious but ill-fated.

Put media value back in your budget - immediately

The gains from in-flight optimisation will soon be a non-negotiable part of plans. Our analysis found that the average baseline improvement from strategically tagging and tracking which ad variables are performing well, and getting more of them into rotation - led to nearly 1/5th added media value on your digital spend.

And there’s proof. Take Jack Daniel's: our methodologies skyrocketed their media value by up to 300%. We also see pivotal Q4 performance metrics like CPA’s on conversion campaigns - reducing by an average of 53%.

Insight is the new currency 

The key is to take observations from live campaigns and structure strategic tests to turn them into actionable creative intelligence. This leads to rapidly iterating creative toolkits and messaging. 

Agility in adaptation isn’t a luxury; it’s a prerequisite. The faster your team can see what’s working, the quicker they can react. 

We were surprised to find that only 1/3 of marketers we spoke to have access to live campaign data to see performance and aid decision making. So how might data get your functions talking and channelling their efforts in the right direction? 

Bridging the Communication Chasm

Of those marketers who felt communication between the creative and media functions was poor to below average, a lack of collaboration and understanding came out as a crucial pain point. It’s a significant bottleneck. This disconnect often stems from a well-intentioned division of expertise that ironically creates blind spots in campaign execution.

Automated Creative bridges this divide by serving as the expert intermediary — a 'third voice' that not only measures and reports on live campaign insights but also swiftly integrates new, optimised ad creative variations. We don’t disrupt the core creative concepts or media strategies; we enhance them.

Acting as the neutral ‘Switzerland’ of agency partnerships, we champion and translate for both sets of expertise. Both partners, in turn, sense check the work. We leverage technology to make this possible at speed and scale, helping mitigate the chaos around peak season deliverables and teams at their point of maximum delivery fatigue.

Getting started is what counts

Our partners at the World Federation of Advertisers found marketers are most often struggling with ‘Process’. The greatest weakness in many organisations was the ability of marketers to ‘measure the impact of marketing ability in a timely manner.’ 

Yet, by embracing a ‘learn as you go’ ethos, you can catalyse your team’s mastery in:

  • What’s being measured in your current creative - and what you’re missing
  • Tailoring multi-platform tests - creating bespoke approaches for each digital channel
  • Harnessing automation for scale and efficiency
  • Compressing ad trafficking timelines drastically

Your Q4 Campaign: Elevated

Discover the transformative potential of in-flight optimisation and how it can pivot your Q4 performance in just weeks. Download our white paper “Compounding Creative or get in touch with Automated Creative to take pressure off decision making and take command of your campaigns.