StitcherAds’ Chats: How Media and Creative Work Together

Periodically, we’ll interview our media, analytics, product, engineering, and creative teams for insight into what they’re working on. This week we interviewed Kate Siakpere from our creative team and Bryan Cano of our media team on how they work together and what projects are exciting to them.

StitcherAds’ Chats: How Our Creative Team Works with Media

Kate Siakpere, Creative Operations Manager

How does your team work with the media team to help ensure that our clients are successful?

I think our approach is twofold. From a creative standpoint, the designers really like to understand the brands. That means–combing through everything from social media accounts from 2016 on and working with success to figure out the most optimal mock-up that we can bring out into the world. We work with success and our clients’ metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not working. Then we’ll collaborate to decide if a different iteration will produce a better outcome. 

What would you say would be most helpful for clients to bring to the creative team? 

Even though it sounds negative, the most helpful thing for clients to bring to us is an understanding of what they don’t want. Of course, we then want to see examples of what they do like. We also want a good understanding of their brand guidelines. Then we’ll discuss which products that they want to use for their ad campaigns and how they want to present on social media.

When you create dynamic ads, how careful are you to implement a consistent look and feel? 

We try our best to create a narrative with all of the iterations that we do and really get that brand voice out there. So whenever we create something it’s never something that’s totally different from what we ran previously because that’s not a great narrative and could be jarring to consumers. So we really try to make it consistent. 

Is there an ad element or creative ad element that you’re especially excited about right now?

Yes, we have been working very closely with TikTok to create dynamic product placement. In fact, we just completed production a couple of weeks ago to create a proof of concept. It makes me excited because it kind of goes back to old-fashioned filmmaking where you overlay elements on film. It was important for me to create a story by doing an actual production setup with integrated parts where the product feed shows up. I’m really excited about what we can do on TikTok because no one’s really done it before.

This work is also significant because it opens up the door for us to work with clients and their influencers to create content that helps the product feed shine through. It’s important that TikTok DPA videos don’t come across as intrusive. This platform is known for the organic look that Gen Z cares about. The products need to shine in great lighting in a way that easily integrates with other videos.  Hopefully, we can get to the point in these videos where consumers can swipe up to shop. It will be interesting to understand how these videos translate to ROI.

StitcherAds’ Chats: How Our Media Team Works with Creative

Bryan Cano, Director of Media Strategy

How does your team work with the creative team to help ensure that our clients are successful?

So let’s break it up into two parts since I’m a big fan of using pillars. The first pillar is going to be the data. Our platform does a really great job at being able to tag ads and use these tags to roll up and review performance in an aggregate view. So rather than having to export this data and put it in a pivot table and review it in Excel. I’m able to very clearly review the performance of ads that are branded or have price and promotion versus ads that are more focused on ad elements, and I’m able to do it on our platform. This allows me to have immediate actionable insights to decide which ads resonate the best in the account such as type of ad and ad creative.

The platform data allows us to review, create actionable insights, and pass these learnings on to the creative team. We can easily look at our reports and communicate which elements are and aren’t performing. For example, price and promotion might not do that well, while star overlays do. Perhaps it’s because viewers prefer ads with larger product sizes. I like that the team has access to the platform. So I can create a saved view that they can refer back to previous tests. This keeps everything in one house, in one organized manner, so that we’re not chasing down Excel spreadsheets, it’s all within the platform.

The next step of this is understanding that creative is not a one-size-fits-all. So with our tool, we’re able to select which creative to assign to each of our audiences. This allows us to find the creative and ensure that the creative speaks to that audience. For example, someone that’s not new to the brand may not want to look at the price. Whereas someone that’s already familiar with the brand and has purchased before may appreciate having the price in a design because they are familiar with your brand and products. So we take the data from the first pillar, apply it to the audience’s perspective, and begin to understand which creative resonates best with each audience. I can then relay that information back to the creative team for future designs.

What’s your favorite part of this process?

I love digging into the history of our ad performance. Test and learn allows us to work collaboratively with the creative team to look at historical performance and understand what has worked previously in the account. One of my favorite things is to look at conversion campaign objectives or static ads and see what worked best. Then we want to use our creative suite technology to make all of that manual work scalable in a feed format. We’ll take your sweat equity from all these manual designs and then we’re going to apply what worked into dynamic ads. By creating a test and learn agenda we have iterative testing that builds off of where we were and the learnings from each test. So, where we start with that is understanding what’s worked before, and then from there, we start to iterate.

For example, perhaps something that worked before was including a border on your ads. Previously, your teams would have to manually add this border to every single individual ad that you would have to do. Now we can incorporate that border into your dynamic ads and test that border versus no border. When we identify that the border wins, we can test things like making it more abstract or a solid color that is branded. We can start to compound our wins and have these iterative tests to build off of insights. That’s how we get to actionable data; understanding what works through our reporting suite with the understanding that it’s not one size fits all, and understanding which creative works best with which audience.

Is there an ad element or creative ad element that you’re especially excited about right now?

Yes, I am analyzing as many past tests as possible to have a holistic view of what tends to work for each vertical. 

Have you found anything surprising from your research?

Not necessarily surprising but it’s led to confirmation of the work we’ve been doing.  What you don’t want to do is cause someone that is browsing or new to your brand to have a reason to not go to your website. You want to keep your website front doors as open as possible, so that these individuals have an opportunity to stop by your site or walk into your store, and begin to browse. We aim to take your prospects and start to qualify them a bit more. Since they haven’t bought from you yet, but are interacting with your brand you can start to understand what elements will encourage them to make a sale. It could be star ratings, or different angles, or sales banners. It was pleasing to see that each audience should be treated differently.