How do you measure creative?

Posted by Veronica Wainstein on October 19, 2017 at 7:55 PM

How do you measure creative?It’s one thing when you have data to measure the success of your marketing strategy, but it’s often difficult to put a number to creative content. Here’s some tips to help you analyse the performance of your creative content.

People often confuse creative (the noun) with creativity and creative (the adjective). Before we talk about how to measure creative, let’s start off with a working definition of what “creative” is - in the marketing sense of the term.

Creativity vs. creative (the adjective) and creative (the noun)

Creativity is solving a ‘problem’ in a unique way. It’s about looking at a problem statement from different perspectives, turning it inside out, upside down and translating it into a new language to reach a specific goal. It’s about creating links between things that might not have anything to do with each other, taking bits and pieces from everywhere, adding something and combining it in an innovative way to create something new.


Creative is the physical result of the process of creativity.


“Creative” is traditionally an adjective and it implies originality in approach and execution. Marketers, however, often use it as a noun, for example: “with such a solid strategy and insightful brief, we expect the creative department to deliver award winning creative”.

When marketers and advertising people use creative as a noun, they refer to the above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL) collateral that a creative department develops to answer a specific brief, using their creative approaches.

To measure the creative, we must determine if it answered the brief. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be creative (in terms of creativity) though, but it did what it was intended to do. To measure whether the creative (noun) is truly creative (adjective), we have to ask ourselves if it is original in its approach or execution. In order to be successful, creative needs to be eye catching and attention grabbing. It needs to entice the viewer or listener to continue reading, watching or listening to your ad.

Personally, I don’t think creativity can be fully defined. If we were able to put it in a box, it would become worthless. It must remain magical. It might be one of the only areas of business where computers can’t replace humans.

Now that we’re all on the same page about what creative is, how do you measure it?
To measure the success of a piece of creative, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did the creative answer the brief?
  • Was the project within budget?
  • Did the project meet its deadlines?
  • Did the creative meet or exceed the customer’s expectations?
  • Did your intended audience interpret your message correctly?
  • Was the creative met with a positive sentiment?
  • Did the creative spark discussion around your brand?
  • Did viewers share or engage with the creative?
  • Did your audience take the action you intended them to take after interacting with the creative?
  • Were sales/new business generated from the creative?
  • Did your creative achieve the goals set out at the beginning of the campaign? (e.g. generate leads, increase website traffic, and so on)
  • Is the result greater than the action before the creative was implemented?
  • Do people remember your creative (did it have the “wow” factor)?

If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, you’ve got yourself a successful piece of creative. If you’ve answered no to any of them, you’ll need to revise why this element didn’t work, and tweak it so that next time your creative delivers even better results.

Excellent creative will deliver excellent ROI.

Tips to help you produce excellent creative

  • Always start with data. Analyse the data and make sure you know and understand your target audience, and how they prefer to consume information.
  • Don’t expect to find good ideas at your desk. Look outside for inspiration. Immerse yourself in the market and identify what challenges your customers are facing. Make sure you speak to your audience’s pain points, helping them solve a problem and creating a need for your product.
  • Don’t create something that you think works. Create something that you know your audience will love. Be aware of trends. Be aware of which spaces your audiences seek information, and make sure your creative is produced in context of this space.
  • Brainstorm with people who share different perspectives. This will challenge you and create a holistic strategy.
  • Allocate adequate time and budget to the project. Nothing great ever came from a project which was slapped together at the last minute, with a skeleton staff and minimum resources.
  • Don’t be afraid to make abstract connections between offerings, environment and the target markets behaviour. Always be willing to try new things - don’t just follow whatever the competition is doing.
  • Don’t overthink things. Avoid restricting your creative team - trust them to do what they do best. Creative is part art, part science, but nothing is ever cast in stone. Test the message, test it on multiple people, put it out there and then refine it to the best possible version of itself. Look for which emotion you want the creative to elicit, and what action you want from stimulating that emotion.
  • Make sure you have a clear message and a strong call to action.

By keeping all of these tips in mind, you’ll be producing winning creative in no time.

Need some inspiration? Contact us. Our passionate team of marketers will help you come up with with a marketing strategy that your audience will love.

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Topics: Creative

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