Fly with Agile Creative

Rick Sellar

The common housefly is considered one of the most agile creatures in the world. From a still position, it can fly from every degree or axis possible and its reaction time is 12 times faster than a human’s. They can see your rolled-up newspaper coming, set a fly path, and move before you can even blink an eye. It’s no wonder why they’re so hard to swat!

What if your creative solutions could adopt the same, quick reaction time as the fly (albeit not quite as fast)?

In digital marketing today, there are multiple ways to measure and improve the efficacy of your creative. The agile methodology, well-practiced in interactive development project flows, has found a home in creative marking processes. Pretty pictures are no longer exclusively reserved for the subjective eye — they have a clear place in our strategic advertising efforts.

Impressions, views, clicks and visits are the new currency of the customer engagement bank account. During the creative process, strategy is the first step: you must immerse yourself in the customer, the product, and the intended outcomes your creative solutions can bring before diving into execution. The core of your team’s idea is the basis for your creative solution. Once built, it flies its course until it lands. But does it have to be that way? While we may not be able to change the engine of an airplane while it’s in the air, with agile creative we can change the type of wings it has… perhaps even a few times!

Just like user testing for software, we can iterate on multiple versions of the same creative idea for one campaign. We can measure the performance of a particular visual or messaging arrangement and then adjust accordingly, or push a different message at a different time for a different target. A/B testing two different calls to action with different button colors is just one example. It won’t be perfect out of the gate, but after some observation, we may be able to achieve — or even surpass — our goals through continual improvement.

You’ve heard the term “nobody’s perfect,” or “we’re all a work in progress.” In order to grow, we need to put ourselves out there; to admit where we’re wrong and learn from our mistakes. This also rings true for creative. Sometimes an idea needs to find its way in the world before you can truly determine if it fits in.

That being said, perfectionism is the enemy of action, so don’t try to make your creative perfect to start. Just set it up correctly so that it can become increasingly more effective as you iterate throughout the campaign.

Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. - Harry S. Truman

Before you get started, there are some factors that need to be considered to make the agile process work for your creative. Will your campaign media use digital marketing? Does your execution fit a model of agility?

Consider the following questions before tackling an agile creative solution:

  1. Can multiple images be created quickly?
  2. Is the design simple enough to accommodate fast iteration?
  3. Does the concept allow for multiple messages that can work independently of each other but still fit into the same campaign concept?
  4. Is there a budget for iterations and A/B testing?
  5. Will the campaign or ads be in the market long enough to produce adequate analytics?

Consider the agile creative approach for your next creative campaign and the results will speak for themselves.


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