Merkle, a Columbia-based technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has released The New Rules of Creative Performance playbook, exploring creative performance in the age of the customer.

The playbook outlines a specific set of principles for driving action and for generating results, particularly in markets that have been radically reshaped by digital acceleration, data transformation, and the impacts of a global pandemic. Merkle will also present a webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 1 p.m. (ET) to discuss the report.

For decades, creative performance has had a clear, mostly stable definition: driving consumer actions that translate into strong return on investment through measurable marketing approaches. However, much has changed during the past five years and creative teams can no longer rely on a set formula for moving customers through the purchase funnel. Now more than ever, customers control the content they consume, what channels they prefer, and which brands they allow into their lives.

“Today’s consumer is more savvy and more in control of their brand interactions than ever,” said John Lyons, vice president, group creative director, and author of the playbook. “Consumers also expect more. They demand content that is curated to them and adds value to their everyday lives. In this playbook, we explore the forces that shape the new rules of creative performance – and dive into some of the trends and specific tactics that we are leveraging to drive action for our clients.”

The personalization of content at scale means creative needs to be data driven and dynamically delivered. Key points in the playbook include:

  • Bring the branding. In the age of the customer, every touchpoint is part of an individual’s brand experience, which means the emotional elements of a brand should be ever-present.
  • Real time = relevant. Making your communications relevant in the moment will enhance the customer experience and drive better results.
  • Simple copy wins. One of the most important aspects of a successful campaign is message clarity; don’t make the reader think too much to understand your message.
  • Video is key. While not a new trend, using motion and video consistently outperforms static executions across digital channels.
  • Content should be creative and inspiring. Map out creative journeys that go beyond sales, and mix in content that will educate, engage, inspire, and invite participation.