Ad production can often feel overwhelming but identifying the challenges behind it can bring you closer to your goals. In this interview, we talked to Guido Derkx, CCO at Storyteq, on the importance of facilitating creativity in the ad production process – and more.

As the old adage goes, you’re probably not scaling as quickly as you’d like. And if you’re not using your resources efficiently, you’re going to get stalled.

If you’re experiencing challenges – or anticipating a period of high growth – you need to put a plan in place so you can manage high volumes of content in a way that still allows you to build personalized relationships with your audience.

We talked to Guido about the growing pains in ad production, the triggers behind it, and how creativity comes into the picture.

Hey Guido! Could you introduce yourself and what your role at Storyteq is?

Guido: Sure! My official role within the company is CCO which means I’m working together with sales, marketing, and customer success to build and execute our commercial strategy and deliver great value to our clients.I am also responsible for building partnerships and pursuing joint business opportunities. 

What makes you excited about working at Storyteq?

Guido: There are three things that immediately pop up:

1) The combination of tech and creativity. We’re a product organization, which means that we are process-driven, yet we operate in a creative market which is in the middle of a huge transition – this is a great combination for me.

2) The continuous growth we’re experiencing. It allows us to keep growing personally and enjoy the challenges and excitement that come with it.

3) The team. It’s great to see everyone being motivated and really focused on reaching their goals.

How would you define creative automation to people who have never heard about it? And why is it important?

Guido: It’s eliminating the repetitive work within creative workflows. Once a concept is finished and production is done, creative minds often spend a lot of time making the assets suitable for different channels, markets, and audiences.

If you think about it, you don’t add any new creativity at this stage.  We believe that this work is often performed by people, while it can easily be done by computers. People can then spend time on the creative process and find ways to improve it, instead of doing boring and repetitive work.

Can you give a few examples of great turnarounds you’ve seen as a result of creative automation?

Guido: Creative automation strongly supports a couple of market trends we see. 

On the one hand, creative automation can help global brands to safeguard creative excellence by centralizing their global ad production, driving down costs while enabling a faster go-to-market strategy. In addition to this model, it also allows local markets to re-use content and adapt it to their needs within certain boundaries.

On the other hand, it provides marketers with a new methodology to build new ad strategies and adopt a more iterative approach on how creatives are used within those campaigns. 

Creatives don’t fall into the one-size-fits-it-all bucket anymore. They can – and need to – adjust themselves to channels, markets, audiences, etc. This gives a whole new perspective on how you can build and execute ad strategies. 

“Creative automation can help global brands to safeguard creative excellence by centralizing their global ad production, driving down costs while enabling a faster go-to-market strategy.”

Guido Derkx, CCO at Storyteq

How should companies approach and incorporate Creative Automation into their ad strategy? Could you share some tips and best practices for someone who’s just getting started?

Guido: It depends on the type of ads you’re running but first, understand that the value of creative automation comes from simplifying your work.

For instance, if you want to create a video banner, you can quickly edit and create variants for testing whether you need colors, logos, copy, layout, scene sequencing, or other elements. So the value is in doing this fast and without asking your designer for a change every time.

My advice would be to consider the entire value chain as one integrated flow – from ideation all the way up to ad optimization –, everything is fully connected. The creative concept should allow room for optimization based on data from your ad performance. 

That doesn’t mean you need to completely re-organize the way you’re doing things, but you must stimulate different teams (or external agencies) to work together. 

The one can not perform without the other. In addition to that, don’t directly throw away your current way of working and take an agile approach. Start small, think big. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes (because you will and that’s okay).

What is the biggest shift you see coming in digital marketing in the next couple of years?

Guido: Digital marketing forces company structures and internal departments to be less siloed and provides the freedom to work in a less campaign driven way. 

We already see some nice examples here. For instance, look at how D2C brands are organized. I think this way of working will continue to grow and eventually force more traditional organizations to restructure.

Finally, what inspires you to do your work better every day? 

Guido: It’s really tempting to come up with a real cheesy answer here. 

On the professional side, I see that the advertising space has changed a lot in the last decade and I find it exciting that today, there’s a growing acknowledgement for both creativity and efficiency. That may sound counterintuitive but more brands work towards being at the intersection of creativity and optimization. So it’s great to work towards finding a solution for brands while solving a real challenge every day.

And honestly, I just like what I’m doing and have a natural drive to make things slightly better every day.

Thanks, Guido for this interview. If you’d like to connect with Guido, feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn.

Andreea Serb
Content Strategist at Storyteq
Andreea is a content strategist at Storyteq and is passionate about writing, storytelling, and cross-functional collaboration. When she’s not busy typing away, you will always see her reading a good book.

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