How to Align Paid and Creative Teams for Amazing Campaigns

by Emily Bliss | September 17, 2020

The intersection of spot-on audience targeting, ads that drive action, creative that stops a person mid-scroll is a territory that paid and creative teams must venture into together. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google or YouTube, marketers are offered a window of opportunity that can be missed if paid and creative teams aren’t aligned. 

This alignment has already shown itself with the advent of creative inspiration build into ad platforms. Create with Google provides more than just placement specs and ad format overviews. The narrative provided answers not only the basic questions, but provides a narrative about the creative capabilities and audience connection that can be formed. 

Similarly, Facebook Creator Studio provides a space for content libraries to come to life with insights related to performance so paid and creative teams can make informed decisions together.

Stumbling Blocks Between Paid + Creative Teams

Collaboration between these two teams often runs into three key stumbling blocks:

  • Tight turnarounds. A sense of urgency to push something out to key audiences can result in cut corners and less-than-ideal creative that misses the mark. It’s crucial that we work with the client, as well as internal teams, to map out campaigns as far in advance as possible. 
  • Empty toolboxes. If the creative team doesn’t have the assets or knowledge they need to build the creative suite, some placements or formats can be compromised. If the paid media team isn’t aware of the creative possibilities, new opportunities could be left on the table. Bottom line: not having the right tools from the start can result in missed opportunities. 
  • Lack of communication. It’s essential for both parties to understand the full ecosystem of the campaign. Do we have a landing page? Is there a video component? How do the static formats maintain a cohesive look with the dynamic pieces. What are the value props that must be included in the copy? 

Effective collaboration between these two teams must start with both parties having a firm understanding of what the other knows and needs in order to be successful. This goes from campaign goals and target audiences to brand guidelines and ad platforms. 

A Model for Paid Media + Creative Partnerships

Building out the relationship between our paid media and creative teams has been an ongoing priority because we know the power of quality creative assets in paid media. Here’s how we did it. 

  1. Connecting outside the creative brief. “The Paid Team is responsible for getting them a standard amount of information for our Creative Teams to take and run with. This information includes goals like awareness, traffic, leads or sales; platforms; the CTA; brand guidelines; and the desired look and feel, if that’s been specified by the client,” Andrew Fuchs, Director of Paid Media and Analytics says. With that information, a face-to-face meeting allows both parties to ask questions and brainstorm ideas that a Slack or Google Doc doesn’t enable. 
  2. Making room for creative iterations. This principle is typically working against the tight turnaround curse we mentioned earlier. Making room for creative iterations in the beginning can ultimately save a lot of time for future campaigns. “Whether it’s color, typography, layouts or visual elements, it’s essential that we carry the same aesthetic throughout all visual assets,” says Amy Zepf, Silverback’s Creative Director.  “As designers, we are responsible for defining this standard look and feel based off of the brand guidelines. From there, we create an adaptable process so our assets are cohesive. This typically results in the success that both we and our clients need.”
  3. Making data and insights readily available. We are performance marketers through and through. It’s not just about brand alignment or platform best practices. Did the campaign drive the intended result? The Paid team shares these insights with the Creative team so they can digest the results and identify opportunities for improvement, or more learning, in the next campaigns. 

It’s in these conversations where the collaboration really shines as we discuss campaign learnings, creative iterations, A/B testing opportunities or new platform experimentation. 

Two-Way Communication is Key 

Each team brings a valuable expertise to the table and once the other party trusts that expertise and leans into it, innovative campaigns that drive results are the output. The Creative team needs to know how these audiences are being formed and what additional signals we may know about them – and the Paid media team needs to understand creative trends on ad platforms so we can maximize our impact.

Enhance Your Paid Media + Creative Partnership

Silverback’s team of experts can help you supercharge your paid media campaigns with performance creativeactionable insights, meaningful experimentation and new platform exploration. Find out how. Contact us today.

Emily Bliss

Emily is an insatiably curious, experienced marketing leader helping organizations build trust with buyers. She helps clients thrive at the intersection of a powerful brand story and business growth.

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