LONDON: Much of the current discussion around programmatic is centred on technology but in future creativity will be seen as the key to fully exploiting the potential of this technique.

The rapid evolution of programmatic from fast-growing niche to mainstream practice is addressed in Warc's Toolkit 2015, a guide to six major marketing trends for the year ahead, produced in association with Deloitte.

While automating the trading of digital ads clearly has potential to increase efficiencies, the role of creativity has tended to get lost in the complex ecosystem that has emerged around programmatic.

But improved targeting and reduced costs are only part of the equation: some estimates say that, all else being equal, high-quality creative can drive four times the response of low-quality creative.

"The technology right now, today, is surpassing the art," according to Jim Kiszka, senior manager for digital media, North America, at Kellogg, a company which has investigated this area in some detail.

But he added that this was a necessary step, in order to "create this baseline of fantastic information that we can then build up from".

And now the focus was shifting. "Thirty percent is the media; seventy percent is the creative, as far as I'm concerned," he said.

For marketers to be able to make the best use of the new approach, however, some internal reorganisation may be necessary, with a move away from siloed teams to a more holistic model.

Peta Williams, consultant, customer advisory practice at Deloitte Digital advised that "if all functions are aligned, the right data can be sought to drive the right insight and drive creativity in the right way".

Data and creativity, she argued, should not be regarded as two pieces of a marketing puzzle but as parts of a four-strand process that consists of data, insight, creativity and impact.

"The creativity should lie within a complete understanding and application of a brand's strategy," she added. "Through this, the right data will be leveraged and used effectively to drive the desired results."

In fact, marketers may only be getting started as to where data can take them in terms of creating personalised and unique marketing which mirrors their overall brand and customer service strategy.

Warc subscribers can read the full Toolkit report at Non-subscribers can download a sample of this chapter here.

Data sourced from Warc