Bringing creativity to digital marketing

Creative | Marketing | Technology

As the traditional methods for tracking users and serving digital ads are phased out, brands need to try out new tactics and technologies with creativity at the core

How do you reach more customers and convince them to choose your product or service over your rivals’ so you can scale your business at speed and secure a return for your investors?

That’s the question on the lips of almost every business leader and one that digital marketing agencies are tasked with answering on a daily basis for their clients.

Anthony Purkiss, co-founder and director of London’s Make Agency, says digital innovation, creative strategy and a strong digital identity are key to winning the race for new customers and standing out in a crowded online marketplace.

“As the world of advertising changes and third-party cookies are phased out, we’re seeing more clients ready to experiment with new tactics and technologies, such as live shopping, NFTs, audio, private communities and interactive virtual worlds,” says Purkiss. “In this ever-changing world, your creative strategy and digital brand will need to be the top priorities to get ahead of competitors.”

For tech firms, particularly those that use digital marketing as their main awareness driver, creative expertise is essential. Long before the pandemic, technology businesses enjoyed huge investment and growth, meaning competition for eyeballs and new customers was fierce.

Soho House-designed, tech-first hospitality brand Mollie’s faced that very challenge when it teamed up with Make Agency in 2020 during a period of rapid growth and development. Make Agency digitally redesigned and took over all outward-facing digital touch points, then developed a series of highly integrated digital marketing and creative techniques to help unify the physical and digital experience when on-site at Mollie’s.

One such development was the design and build of Mollie’s website, the design of the accompanying app and the design of all in-room digital features. The website is the first touch point for the business, while the app acts as the digital concierge during the stay. Make Agency also manages all social media content and delivers campaigns with the sole intention of encouraging user-generated content while on-site, further plugging the gap between real life and digital.

But paid media can be a jungle for brands that lack in-house expertise and don’t know how to create ads that grab the attention of customers on new channels. That’s why buy-nowpay- later brand ClearPay tasked Make with the creation of paid social media content to promote retailers such as Wayfair, Pandora, Steve Madden and Superdry across the 2021 Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

Make created more than 200 paid advertising creative assets, such as GIFs, static posts and videos, to sit on a host of platforms including Facebook and Instagram. That creative output resulted in nearly 340,000 clicks on Black Friday, an increase of 404% year on year, and more than 271,000 clicks on Cyber Monday, up 498% year on year.

But, there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution for all clients. For firms that want to win new customers in new territories, innovative creative solutions are essential. “We have a market-leading US-based tech client that approached us to target people specifically in the German market,” says Make co-founder and director Tom Witcherley. “The company wanted us to talk to Germans not just in German, but in their native tone and humour. It’s all about making that emotional connection.” As Make conducted research into the German market, it noticed some immediate differences. “Whenever we dig into international markets, we use data tools and real-time conversations to understand messaging and visual trends. This is what makes our campaigns successful; it’s a combination of data and native marketers from the target region” says Witcherley. Make has since hired three German speakers in a variety of roles to gain mastery of that market and hires native speakers in each new territory its clients wish to pursue. Other tools, such as SEO and social media listening, then help to paint a complete picture of what customers in different countries are searching for online and exactly what they want from their products and services.

What all businesses want is to maximise ROI and accelerate growth. Make ensures that data underpins all its creative decision-making so it can make accurate decisions and squeeze every penny out of its clients’ digital marketing spend.

“We have a back catalogue of previous campaigns with an array of clients across multiple sectors. We can use that as a data benchmark to show our partners what really works,” says Purkiss. “We’re also brave with how we advertise our own business – we’re happy to be the guinea pigs before we begin work with new clients, which has lead to us topping organic results for ‘digital agency London’-related searches.”