Now in its third year, IAB’s “Make Mobile Work” webinar series continues to provide marketers and agencies with practical strategies and tactics for connecting effectively with their consumers on mobile devices. This year’s first webinar: “Build Creatives that Work Cross-Device” attracted two hundred attendees and hundreds more have viewed the webinar recording. During the webinar, Campbell Soup Company, Kargo and AvatarLabs offered valuable perspectives on how to build impactful mobile experiences and to optimize creative to work across devices.
With the goal of continuing the conversation, Andrew Lindsay, VP of Creative Technology from Conversant, shares his thoughts below on how to support multi-step collaboration between creative design and development teams.
Rethinking the Creative Process
One of the most daunting challenges facing brands today is how to create effective and consistent marketing strategies that succeed across the varied digital landscape. Bridging today’s cross-screen divide is of paramount importance for brands aiming to thoughtfully engage the “liquid consumer.” While the dialogue has largely focused on merging creativity and technology, the rise of decision based creative demands that we continue to invest time in developing the most scalable and flexible support systems possible.
Adopting a Framework-First Approach
To ensure that the creative ad units are capable of responding to these various data points, it is critical to adopt a “Framework-First” approach—focusing on the core features, messaging and functionality that are present in an ad unit. This approach employs a responsive and flexible codebase that accounts for full compatibility across devices and operating systems, while also being able to factor in all of the available individual user data.
A Framework-First approach splits the creative process into a multi-step collaboration between the design and development teams, and the cross-screen efficiencies are undeniable. Instead of simply running mocks through to dev to launch, this method couples a team of developers with a team of designers to focus on developing an extensible, creative-first codebase which houses all of the core features and functionality, no matter the individual campaign. To ensure broad compatibility, testing of the framework takes place prior to it being released for use by the teams. This process also informs best practices and provides design teams with an understanding of the framework’s creative capabilities before they even open a design program or respond to a proposal resulting in full alignment across creatives.
Creative teams are able to respond to a client brief involving a cross-device strategy with confidence, knowing that all of the common questions around how to execute and what can be accommodated have already been answered. With a thoroughly tested framework, teams can focus on rapid implementation. Scaling designs across multiple ad-sizes, formats and devices can now be done by configuring a few easily accessible parameters or natively by the framework itself. This largely relieves the need for developers to take part in the creative process at all. This simultaneously gives designers more creative control while allowing developers to focus on continuing to evolve the core functionality, exploring new technologies and researching current trends.
On the countless cross-device campaigns launched, it is now possible to focus internal efforts on designing the most rewarding end-user experience with strict adherence to our clients’ brand guidelines without adding in extra time for testing, R&D or troubleshooting. Generally, 3 to 5 days are cut from the time the creative brief comes in to when the media is pushed live.
Through this restructured approach, we are optimizing our resources, bringing dynamic, bulletproof design solutions to the table and executing faster than ever before. Simply by putting the framework first.