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Mastering programmatic design: A game-changer for creative marketers

5 min read
Katie Oberthaler

By harnessing the power of algorithms and data, programmatic design automates and streamlines design creation. The result? Efficient, personalized, and adaptable designs for marketing and advertising campaigns. Think of it as a tireless teammate, churning out optimized, high-quality ad variations round the clock. 

What we'll cover

What is programmatic design?

Programmatic design is a method used across platforms and tools that uses algorithms and data to automate and streamline the design process. It harnesses technology, particularly AI, to create designs that are efficient, personalized, and adaptable. 

Here's the thing—programmatic design isn't just the latest buzzword in the marketer’s vernacular. It's an entirely new way of thinking, of creating, and of achieving phenomenal creative. This technique involves the use of algorithms and data to automate the design process and optimize KPIs. The result? Faster, smarter, and more personalized designs with better ROI.

Advertising platforms like Google Search and LinkedIn have been using the principle for years to test multiple headlines, images and CTAs (calls to action) to find the best performing permutations across different audiences. With the explosion of generative AI design tools and apps, programmatic creative principles will become a prevalent concept all marketers and professional creatives will have to incorporate into their campaigns.

When we invite AI into the creative process, it's like having an extra team member who never sleeps, can churn out high-quality design options and permutations, and focuses on results instead of vanity metrics.

The perks of programmatic design

This innovative approach is here to make life easier for creative teams. Think of it as a administrative superhero swooping in to save time, cut costs, and reduce stress.

Time efficiency

Programmatic design and AI tools speed up the design process. This means more designs and less time creating dozens of different variations manually--a huge time savings for your designers and creatives who may be working from specific brand design templates or need to quickly created several of the same type of asset for once campaign.

Cost savings in the creative process

Automation cuts down on the man-hours needed to get creative and marketing campaigns off the ground, and that translates to cost savings across your business. Plus, with programmatic design, you can innovate more quickly, responding to changing consumer preferences and marketing data. 

Design and brand consistency

With algorithms, the risk of human error is eliminated. You get consistent, top-notch design quality, every time.

Content personalization at a rapid pace

Using data, designs can be customized to target specific audiences in one fell swoop. You get the best of both worlds: quality creative tailored for maximum impact and engagement. 

Campaign scalability

Programmatic design can handle an increasing amount of work without compromising on quality or efficiency. Whether it’s ten varions or a million, any level of customization is achievable.

Practical use cases for programmatic design

Programmatic design has real-world applications across all types of marketing campaigns and creative processes. Here are some of the ways you can apply programmatic design into your marketing strategy: 

Personalized email campaigns

You know those emails that hit your inbox, tailored just for you? The ones that somehow know exactly what you need? That's programmatic design at work. By analyzing demographic data, web/product activity and personas, you can whip up personalized email designs for each recipient. So, whether it's a discount offer or a new product launch, your message hits the spot every time!

Dynamic web content

With programmatic web design, you can serve up personalized content to different visitors. It's like having a chameleon website that changes to suit each visitor. You can adapt design elements, headlines, CTAs, or linked content based on the user's behavior or Persona. Many tools use IP and cookie matching to identify visitors from targeted companies and will serve them special content specifically for them.

Customer campaigns

In the Mad Men days, it was common knowledge that you were wasting half of your advertising budget, but you didn’t know which. With digital tracking, attribution and programmatic creative output, 100% of your ad spend is producing results. Programmatic design can use data to create highly targeted ads. Depending on user demographics, behaviors, or interests, you can create bespoke ads that resonate with your audience. 

Social media variations

Ever noticed how some brands always have the perfect post for every occasion? Utilizing programmatic content principles allows you to schedule and customize social media posts. You can deliver the right message, to the right people, at the right time. 

Product design

Programmatic design isn't just for marketers and advertisers. It's making waves in the product design industry too. From customizing shoes to designing unique furniture pieces, AI tools can create products tailored to individual customer preferences. It's like your own personal factory!

Making the most of AI tools in programmatic design

AI will not replace human creativity. But why not let AI do the heavy lifting? 

AI tools can automate repetitive tasks and analyze loads of data at lightning speed. Just a few years ago, if you wanted highly personalized campaigns, you needed to spend weeks designing and reviewing hundreds of iterations of a single design. Then spend even more time analyzing spreadsheets to determine the best combination of images, text and audience. Now AI tools can help with every step of that process.

Ziflow: A trusty sidekick for programmatic design

While being able to run hundreds of iterations of an ad can generate amazing results, it can also be disastrous if even one of your foundational creative assets has an error.

Ziflow’s batch review functionality allows you to upload every piece of a programmatic campaign into a single proof. That way the entire team has visibility into the entire project and any errors or updates can be caught. 

This tool ensures that your designs aren't just churned out like a factory assembly line. Each design gets reviewed and approved to ensure quality, consistency, and compliance. 

You can also apply the ZiflowAI tool to brainstorm updates and improvements to your designs and copy, no matter where they originate. 

Time to embrace programmatic creative methods 

It's an exciting time for marketers and creatives. We're on the cusp of a seismic shift in how we create, measure and optimize.

Welcoming AI and programmatic principles into the creative process helps not only save time, get to the finish line faster, and drive results via segmentation and personalization.

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