What’s the Theme of 2024 for Marketers? Efficiency.

Each year brings brands a bounty of new technology and trends that define their marketing playbooks. So every year, we hit the drawing boards trying to predict just what those plans will entail. 2024 has specifically been a tricky one as AI has simultaneously attempted to level the generative playing field, while increasing demand and quality expectations. So with that, the one main concern on everyone’s mind: efficiency.

We’re calling it the theme of 2024 — with social media-driven demand for more content challenged by unchanging budgets and shrinking timelines. No matter what tech you’re using, removing inefficiencies from the process is going to be a must in order to keep up and stand out, all while staying on budget.

The bottom line: in order to do more and get more with less, you have to have an experienced partner with the technical knowledge to uncover and eliminate inefficiencies in your creative process by taking advantage of the right technology and automations for your specific needs.

To ensure efficiency is the main theme of your creative process this year, Contact Assemble to learn more. In the meantime, here are the top four tips to get started:

  1. Automate Whenever & Wherever You Can
    Repetitive or redundant tasks is a surefire way to slow down your process — resulting in longer turnarounds and higher costs. When you’re generating dozens of asset variations for a single campaign, eliminating manual efforts is key. Consider every step of the process. Can you generate reusable code scripts? Link layers through APIs? Create customizable templates and design blocks? Whenever you can avoid the need to start from scratch, there are huge cost and time benefits to gain.

    There’s a lot of technology out there that can help you do all of this, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. This is where having a production partner is a huge advantage. These experts bring a strong technical understanding of how automation works with experience across a variety of digital platforms, vendors, email clients, etc. to simplify the needs of each. They understand what can be automated and how to create those efficiencies for your specific workflow. If this level of expertise isn’t already on your team, consider outsourcing for it. The impact on the overall speed and quality of your process are well worth the investment.

  2. Have the Right Tools in Your Kit
    Let’s talk more about technology. It’s important to create a strong ecosystem of solutions that addresses needs for the specific media you’re developing frequently and in high quantities. Again, there are a lot of tools out there that can help expedite the development process, and finding the right ones depends on your unique offering and process. Cookie cutters won’t cut it. That’s why at Assemble, we often prefer to create our own.

    For example, we’ve created BAM! (Build-a-Mail Interface), an independent, easy-to-use module that hosts a large collection of reusable code snippets to plug and chug into unique email designs, simply by using a keyword. For banners, we’ve developed BannerForge, a platform supported by an entire library of reusable templates and comprehensive utilities that streamline repetitive tasks — like resizing, optimizing assets, previewing, and hosting on staging servers to share. And for VEEVA CRM presentations and websites, our team created boilerplate templates that provide the perfect canvas for us to input the specific stacks of CMS that a client prefers, instead of developing a new framework from scratch — saving us at least a day in development.

    We’ll break it down even further: Thanks to the most recent additions to our tool kit, we’ve been able to cut Creative Production time by 25%, Digital Production by 40%, and Web/Development by 15% for a grand total of 55% overall savings. (We told you having the right partner is super helpful.)

  3. Establish a Development Workflow
    There’s no better way to incite pure madness to a creative process than to have several developers working on the same site, all with their own method of styling. In order to avoid the chaos, standardize the way your developers work. Give them a common framework and knowledge to help maintain alignment on their approach. Everything from creating CSS for styling, JAVAscript for styling, writing HTML, remaining compliant, and implementing SEO best practices should be included to maximize the quality of the output for your clients.

    Create a repository (Assemble uses GitHub) where multiple developers can all connect internally, make their individual changes, and update their local code based on the actions of others. Without a common ground for your team to stand on, it’s nearly impossible to avoid mishaps throughout a project.

  4. Understand Those Workflows on a Deeper Level
    The only way automation will work in your process is if you know your process — really well. Think about it, you can’t automate something you don’t understand. So before anything else, do a deep dive into your current workflows. What are the tasks and steps required to get to delivery? What types of assets are involved? How do they need to be parsed/analyzed? And don’t forget about your approvals, hand offs, and communication in general. Are there certain areas that cause additional back and forths between departments? Are there multiple places where assets are stored? Are there often items missed along the way?

    Conduct a full audit. Then create however many checklists it takes with detailed instructions — from which files to use, where each type of file should be, and how to send them — to ensure seamless handoffs and complete accuracy. Assemble actually did exactly this for a client recently — helping them eliminate all their bottlenecks with a new, strategic internal workflow.

    Commit to a mindset of continuous improvement; one that constantly analyzes your workflows and questions how you can make things better and do things faster and what emerging tools are now available to help you do that. And make sure everything remains flexible! Just because you establish a process, doesn’t mean it is going to fit every client’s needs to a tee. They have their own workflows too, so make sure it can expand its functionality and incorporate the ability to accept plug-ins to enable a more customizable solution for each client to meet their specific requirements and needs.

If you’re looking to work faster and smarter this year, let Assemble help you do it. Contact us to learn more.