Creative has always been valuable because it helps franchise brands better tell their story and show how they are different. But what is the return on investment on creativity?
What is the return on investment on creativity?
A number of studies have shown creative to be the biggest driver of ROI. A Meta study in 2022 showed that following creative best practices can increase sales by 1.2 to 2.7 times in the long term and 1.2 to 7.4 times in the short term.
Kumon North America, an education enrichment franchise, came to Curious Jane in 2021 looking to reinvigorate the brand’s creative and gain new students. Fresh creative and a new campaign slogan, practice makes possibilities™, launched in January 2022. That year, Kumon recorded the highest number of new enrollments in more than 40 years, up 10% year-over-year.
Creative spend grew by 6% between 2018 and 2021, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, while media spend grew by 5% during the same period. Those numbers were so striking they spurred Google to launch its Open Creative Project, which is using data and insights from industry leaders to put together a comprehensive look at the state of the creative industry.
Google’s Open Creative Project has identified several trends contributing to the growth of the creative economy, including the change in consumer habits during the pandemic, using tech tools to measure creative effectiveness and the rise in influencer marketing.
Consumer Behavior Shift
The rise in creative coincided with a digital media transformation, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the consumption of video content.
Among the many things that the pandemic apparently changed forever is the consumer preference for video and video ads. While people were staying home in 2020 – working, quarantining, shopping online, etc. – they were also exploring new ways to stay busy and entertained, and they came up with creative solutions to pandemic struggles such as supply chain shortages. They watched how-to videos about baking and gardening, streamed movies and clicked on ads for disinfectant.
YouTube, which launched in 2005, was already enjoying an impressive trajectory before the pandemic, having grown to 2 billion active monthly users by 2019. In 2020, that number jumped to 2.3 billion, and by 2022, 2.6 billion. TikTok, which just launched in 2017, already has more than 1.5 billion monthly users.
TikTok has quickly become a powerful tool for franchise brands to reach consumers, especially younger ones. In 2021, Curious Jane ran a national denim campaign for Plato’s Closet, a resale retailer that was excited to test a creative campaign on TikTok. Using video ads shot specifically for TikTok, and supporting collateral in stores, the goal was to drive customers to the Plato’s Closet website to learn more about buying and selling denim. The campaign yielded a 2.5% increase in denim buys (excluding other clothing categories) over the same four-week period in 2019. More than 4.2 million unique users saw the ads, and 35,551 Plato’s Closet webpages were loaded because of the campaign, with 27,825 clicking “find your location” or searching for a nearby store.
Better Creative Measurement
Savvy marketers have always tested creative to determine what works best and adjusted accordingly. Digital marketing made access to data easy, and data can help you determine which creative is working best.
Fortunately, tools that allow creatives to measure the effectiveness of ads have kept up with the trend toward video. Google, which owns YouTube, offers a free Brand Lift tool for measuring the effectiveness of video ads. And Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has a marketing tool called Robyn, which offers real-time analysis across multiple channels and variables.
Wyzowl’s 2023 State of Video Marketing report showed that a record 92% of marketers reported a good ROI on video content, saying it has led to increased traffic, leads and sales.
Influencers as Content Creators
Brands have always controlled some of their own channels, posting content on blogs, websites, social media pages and more. Publishing relevant content on their “owned media” allowed businesses to share their messaging without having to go through other media or platforms where they had less control over how it was presented.
The rise in influencer marketing has added a new dimension to that. Now franchise businesses are able to partner with influencers who will integrate the brand’s story into the influencer’s own story. Influencers are able to share valuable and branded content on the influencer’s own channels – often reaching huge audiences who are in the brand’s target demographic. Influencer payments grew by 50% between 2018 and 2021.
Creative ROI Takeaways
How can you make sure you’re getting the best ROI on your creative?
- Set high standards for creative.
- Establish benchmarks or KPIs to track progress.
- Test ad creative to see what performs best.
- Use tools like YouTube’s Brand Lift to measure success.
- Don’t neglect to track video ROI, as it’s crucial to determining success.
- Continuously assess and refine your creative approach.