The Future of Creativity is Atomic


To meet customers where they are in their journey, more marketing and creative teams are delivering “atomic” ad elements.        

Meet Your Customers Where They Are

In today’s increasingly complex landscape, marketers are challenged to meet customers where they are in their journey and deliver personalized experiences. According to a study by PwC, 73% of people report that customer experience is a key factor in their purchasing decisions. Despite this, only 49% of U.S. customers feel like they have a positive experience. If you aren’t delivering personalized customer experiences, you need to find a way to quickly keep up. Artificial intelligence can help close the customer experience gap by making it possible to create tailored, relevant customer ad experiences through atomic creative.

What is Atomic Creative?

Gartner defines atomic content as “dynamically, and often in real-time, combining different content ‘atoms’ to create a more relevant overall marketing asset and experience that specifically meets the needs of the recipient based on where they are on the customer journey.” These “atoms” are customizable, reusable content elements, such as copy, images, videos, or CTAs, that can be assembled into whole assets. Because atomic creative involves creating ad elements once and reusing them, it can be a huge time-saver for marketers. More importantly, the overall benefit of atomic creative is delivering tailored, relevant customer experiences that deepen relationships between audiences and brands, and in turn, increase conversions and loyal customers.

How to Develop Atomic Creative

Developing an atomic creative strategy requires a comprehensive review of data from previous touchpoints and interactions in order to understand what ads have resonated with your target audience at different moments. Marketers, creatives and customer experience professionals need to be hyper-focused on what they want to test and optimize. To effectively personalize ads for different segments and journeys, teams need to bring an experimental mindset to mix and match creative development so they can learn what works. In addition to identifying effective marketing propositions across key touchpoints, teams can discover that the customer journey itself may not be what they thought. To that end, it’s important to experiment with different value propositions that can reveal previously unknown patterns in the customer experience.

Get by With a Little Help From AI

All of the analysis, testing, and optimization that is necessary to deploy atomic ads and meet customers where they are is impossible without advanced technology. Artificial intelligence tools can parse through assembled ads while pulling in different data sets such as audience and budget to provide a holistic view of the customer journey. In Forrester’s new report, AI is a New Kind of Creative Partner, Analyst Thomas Husson writes that “content intelligence – defined as the use of AI technologies to understand and capture the qualities inherent in any content (its emotional attributes, subject matter, style, tone, or sentiment) – is crucial to improving engagement throughout key moments of the customer journey.” Armed with a deeper understanding of the customer journey and what audiences are engaging with, marketers can accurately pinpoint creative elements and messaging that delights consumers.

Even the most data-driven marketers don’t have the capacity to test as many permutations and combinations of ad elements at the pace and scale of a machine. AI tools can autonomously conduct multivariate tests by exploring combinations of creatives, headlines, copy, and more, to identify winning combinations of atoms that deliver higher engagement. Marketing and creative teams can leverage these rapid tests and become capable of answering ongoing strategic, creative, intuition and emotion-related questions. They find they can learn faster and produce exponentially better outcomes together with an autonomous AI than either human or machine could alone.

Surprise: AI Makes Your Creative More Human

Brands that prioritize agility and innovation in their marketing and advertising strategy will leap ahead of the competition. AI can be the fuel for delivering atomic creative, and marketers who incorporate insights from AI into their creative processes will see higher engagement. Leveraging AI as a creative partner will be the key to delivering relevant, targeted, and personalized ads throughout the customer journey.

by Diana DeMallie
Marketing Manager