In this blog we detail the reasons why you need to use a creative management platform (CMP).
We’ll explain what you need to know, how they work, and how they’re changing digital advertising for the better.
After all, in the age of transparency, in-house marketing, and the need for ever greater return of investment, CMPs are powerful ad-tech. They help to simplify complexity, make processes such as programmatic creative easy, and mysterious acronyms like DCO (dynamic creative optimisation) a reality.
But what are they exactly?
What is a creative management platform?
A creative management platform is a range of display advertising technologies all rolled into one cloud-based platform. Most basic CMPs offer the following capabilities:
- A builder tool to design creative
- A scaling tool to mass produce creative
- A publishing tool with integration
However, that’s not enough for today’s digital marketer. The more premium CMPs shine by empowering users further through:
- Collaboration being at the heart of the platform
- The capability to work across multiple markets
- Analytics, and optimisation for all campaigns
- The ability to schedule and publish in real-time
- Enabling live data driven dynamic content
In some ways, CMPs act as an in-house agency for brands, reducing time, maximising production efficiency, and enabling better creative – all with full brand control.
Now let’s explore the different elements of a CMP in a little bit more detail…
1. Build creative banner ads easily
Sounds simple enough? But at the heart of all creative management platforms is usually a WYSIWYG design tool to create HTML5 banners.
In some cases, you’ll begin thinking mobile first, or you might be more adventurous with your banner template. The choice is yours. With intuitive interfaces and the ability to upload all campaign media into a CMP, you can create ads without the need for expert skills.
Yet, in the hands of a more skilled designer, a CMP encourages the mass-production of highly sophisticated creatives. Essentially, a CMP enables quick and easy ad production, plus intricate creative – all via the same tool.
Another thing, premium CMPs offer automatic optimisations in the ad builder tool as standard. These assist with image re-sizing, and file size control, for example. After all, the lighter the weight of the ad, the better the user experience.
Take-away: All CMPs must have an intuitive builder tool
2. Use rich media to enhance your message
Here’s where using a CMP starts to get interesting. Thanks to HTML5, rich media is already at the heart of all your creatives built in a CMP. For a start, all your campaign creatives are responsive as standard.
A CMP takes care of all your HTML5 coding needs. Adding rich media HTML5 components, or widgets, should just involve dragging and dropping. Want to add an animation? You do it. Want to add more frames? You do it. Want to use in-banner video? You do it. To put it mildly, widgets are a much better solution than coding.
As well as being faster to build a single banner, using a CMP means exceptional scalability and performance. Ads are lean by default and a rich media campaign can take minutes, rather than days, to produce.
Plus, the best CMPs listen to customer feedback, producing ever more custom features and ad formats.
Take-away: HTML5 components help rich media come alive without coding
3. Scale your campaigns efficiently
Forget everything you know about producing your campaigns. A creative management platform changes all your in-house processes. Weeks become days, days become hours, hours become minutes. Designers everywhere smile, and brands save big time.
From a single master creative, a campaign built via a CMP possesses unlimited capabilities. Scale efficiently for countless devices, platforms, and markets. Plus, the more banners you build, the smarter a premium CMP becomes; learning from each new size. With design alterations and changes made in seconds via A.I. Meaning tweaking each banner in a campaign becomes effortless.
One last thing, let’s say you need to produce multiple variations, all wildly different, for the a programmatic creative campaign? Produce as many you want. A CMP has it covered. Thanks to scaling, designers are freed to do what they do best, which is of course: design.
As a result, don’t consider a CMP unless it offers exceptional scaling.
Take-away: The better your CMP, the quicker you scale
4. Improve collaboration within teams
Building display advertising campaigns is a collaborative process. It involves individuals and in-house teams. That’s why ease of collaboration is a critical part of any premium creative management platform.
Moreover, traditional workflows of sending campaign files via email are not optimal ways of working – even if colleagues are in the same building. Things can go missing, overlooked, or approval can take too long. It’s a productivity killer.
Thanks to being cloud-based, a CMP makes accessibility to files and creative painless. Copywriters can make changes directly in the ad, graphical elements can be altered, and approval performed by a single mouse click.
Better yet, use a CMP when working with affiliates, or multi-national teams, and all ad content is in a single place. The truth is, use a CMP to its full potential and you could rebrand all your creatives in minutes if you so desired.
But a word of warning! Not all CMPs offer such collaboration features. Don’t settle on a CMP if you still have to copy and paste a link into an email. Commenting, and approval workflow is so much more.
Take-away: If you work in-house then you need to use a CMP
5. Reach multiple markets with translation
Translation and creating advertising for multiple markets is something that can get overlooked when building campaigns. Not anymore. There’s too much at stake: think about issues of Brand Safety and treating viewers with respect. Dodgy Google translated copy, or countless excel spreadsheets, isn’t going to cut it if you work in over 20 markets.
Take Bannerflow’s creative management platform. Founder, Daniel Jacobsson, made easy translation a key component of the platform. He merged the role of the translation manager into the product. Offering external translators, the ability to see campaign copy in context, and send it directly to a designer – in the actual ad. Thanks to using a CMP, extra work is removed, copy edited, and creative variants easily optimised.
Finally, there’s one more thing to consider: personalisation. Dynamic creative optimisation, or programmatic creative, for just one market is fine. But don’t you want more? Hence using easy translation, via a CMP, can broaden your horizons even further.
Take-away: A premium CMP works across multiple markets, not just one
6. Campaign scheduling is easier
There’s another feature that makes a creative management platform unique: scheduling. CMPs will often have a tool that enables you to plan and manage your programmatic publishing. From days, weeks, or months in advance. It’s an easy way of targeting different viewers, at different times, to make sure that you reach the right audience.
A scheduling calendar allows you to update your programmatic campaigns with a specific time and date. It can also help to focus on when to start and end campaigns. Not only that but when to release different variants, or swap out different objects in the ad, such as copy.
For example, you might be an e-commerce brand that plans to change its graphical elements for different shopping days.
Other unique uses of scheduling are building branding campaigns that reach large audiences. And product releases that cover multiple markets and time-zones.
Take-away: Schedule campaigns via a CMP and increase ad performance
7. Easy publishing and real-time updates
Using a creative management platform makes publishing effortless. Integrations with all the major ad networks, social platforms, and DSPs is something that CMPs offer as standard – or at least they should.
Being able to upload entire campaigns directly means saving yet more time and money.
Of course, if you’re using a premium CMP, publishing isn’t the end of your campaign, it’s just the beginning. The beauty of a CMP is that because all the creatives are hosted in the cloud, they can be updated and changed in real-time – all the time.
If you’re so inclined, you can edit your banners as much as you want. Make a single change to your master creative and witness that change spread across all your live banners. Moment marketing is one of the things you can do; likewise testing ad performance. While, adding a constantly refreshed data feed is another…but more on that later!
Take-away: You must be able to publish to all networks and optimise in real-time
8. Build landing pages just as easily
An added bonus (of very few) creative management platforms is the ability to manage your entire campaign in one place, including landing pages. Therefore removing the need to endlessly jump from tool to another tool.
Most of all, just like your display advertising you can localise, translate, and scale out campaigns. Producing responsive landing pages that can be updated in real-time. Meaning you can both a/b test and optimise your landing pages in the same CMP as your creative. And, as a result, increase potential conversions and sales.
Combine this with a compatible tracking platform and you have yet another reason to use a CMP.
Take-away: Only very few CMPs offer landing page building tools
9. Analytics tools that let you optimise
Another key component of a creative management platform is its analytics offering. CMPs let you see what’s driving performance, and optimise. They give insight into all objects, across all ad variants, and sizes of a campaign.
Knowing which size, or graphical element of design is the strongest driver of clicks via data and heatmaps is essential. It helps improve not just future campaign performance, but real-time performance. A creative management platform lets you update your live banners remember! So problems are dealt with instantly, and ad spend saved.
Use analytics in combination with a CMP and a/b testing becomes much easier to put in place. Plus, monitoring the performance of many different creative variants is even less of a chore.
Take-away: Analytics must be at the heart of your chosen creative management platform
10. Feeds and dynamic creative optimisation as standard
Dynamic creative, banners that use data feeds, and dynamic creative optimisation (DCO), what do they have in common? They’re all built and controlled via a creative management platform. Whether you’re looking to display the latest odds for an EPL iGaming campaign. Or an airline targeting only London-based professionals, who enjoy skiing. CMPs make it possible.
Premium CMPs enable advertisers to build numerous creatives for different viewer segments too. With dynamic creative options that can include audience, context, day of week, time of day, and location…etc. The list is endless.
According to eMarkter Dynamic creative optimisation is the only way to do truly personalised messaging at scale. Need an example? Bannerflow’s CMP allows companies to import both first, and third-party, data to vary themes, or features of an ad. Thus providing true dynamic optimisation.
Using DCO means producing advertising that changes and improves. Via the use of a CMP you can set up the guidelines, and the creative assets needed to make this a reality.
Take-away: Only a premium CMP will deliver data driven dynamic content
There you have it, our top 10 list of why you should be using a creative management platform. Hopefully, you agree, that for display ad production, a CMP is the best technology available. It’s why we think using a creative management platform is good practice for today’s digital marketer.
One more thing, this is where we are today but already changes are coming to CMPs. Expect creative management platforms to become format agnostic. Eventually encompassing formats as varied as digital out-of-home (DOOH), social, and video (in all its formats).
Finally, here at Bannerflow we’re striving to remove the mystery of digital advertising. And creating the best creative management platform in the world is one way we can achieve that goal. If, like us, you share this goal, please get in touch and see how we can help your brand improve its digital advertising.