Most marketers claim creativity ‘harmed by digital advertising growth’

Nov 22, 2018 | Digital marketing skills, Online advertising

Marketers face a challenge as they try to balance technology innovation with creativity, with digital growth in advertising coming at the expense of the quality of creative, according to a new survey.

The study, from Sizmek, surveyed more than 500 business decision making brand-marketers across Europe and the US, found that over two thirds (67%) believe digital growth in advertising has come at the expense of the quality of creative.

When looking at the impact of AI, 84% understand that it is entirely useless without the right creative input to support it. In a similar vein, the GDPR is being seen as a positive for the industry as 79% believe it will support the growth in creative.

Key findings:

  • 67% of marketers believe that “digital growth in advertising has come at the expense of the quality of creative”
  • 84% say Artificial Intelligence (AI) means nothing without the creative to support it
  • Almost eight-in-10 believe the GDPR will put greater importance on the quality of creative
  • 91% of marketers say the need to “make digital ads more engaging to meet brand goals” is a priority over the next 12 months

Exploring the potential impact of technology, the study found 91% of marketers are prioritising the need to make digital ads more engaging over the next year to meet their brand goals. When considering the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), 84% said the technology is useless without the right creative input; believing data alone isn’t enough to support marketers. 91% also believe that the creative input is as important as the use of data in digital campaigns.

Further emphasising the importance of data, the clear majority see the GDPR as a necessary introduction in relation to quality of creative. Almost eight-in-10 (79%) said the quality of creative will become even more important due to the regulation, despite the intense industry focus on data and privacy concerns.

“The explosive rise in digital marketing has generated a huge opportunity to create more targeted and personalised experiences for brands to deliver to their customers. It should also offer the chance for brands to be more creative and enable them to fine-tune their creativity to the perfect audience,” said Oren Regev, VP Product Management. “There is a wealth of capabilities available to help brands achieve their goals that can be unlocked through technology. By combining data, creative and media together and building a foundation that is driven by AI, brands will become more empowered to build campaigns that meet their aspirations.”

To view Sizmek’s new report on the deteriorating effect of digital advertising on creative please click here.


Sizmek surveyed 522 brand marketers about their current marketing activities, priorities, challenges, and views across the spectrum of digital display marketing. The professionals surveyed ranged from vice president to managerial level across the United States and Europe. The group has a combined annual digital advertising spend of more than $500 million. Sizmek partnered with third-party market research organisation Qualtrics to achieve anonymous and impartial results.

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