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Bynder’s 2021 State of Branding Report Finds that Marketers are Ready to Embrace Automation in Branding to Support Digital Experience

by wrich

As digital experiences increase content demands, marketers and creative professionals no longer hesitate to embrace technology’s potential

AMSTERDAM – June 15, 2021 – New research conducted by Bynder, the global leader in digital asset management, reveals a shift in perspective as a vast majority of marketers report they are increasingly willing to embrace technology and automation in new ways, especially as it relates to enhancing creativity and scaling content creation.

Brands undertook an immense amount of digital transformation in the span of a year. Half of the marketers surveyed reported that they accelerated digital transformation and digital experience initiatives in 2020, and an impressive 24% of respondents report they are already “fully digital.” However, nearly 10% still don’t have any initiatives in place, and nearly 20% report that digital initiatives slowed or came to a standstill.

The rise in digital initiatives means success depends more than ever on brand story and a flawless digital experience powered by compelling, personalized content. At the same time, 8 in 10 marketers saw an increase in the demand for content as a result of the pandemic, and not a single respondent working in video, design, or a creative role reported a decline in demand at their organization. As content needs soar, it’s clear that marketers need new tools and processes to fuel the creative content necessary to power the digital experience.

According to the research, they are ready to turn to technology to solve these challenges. The vast majority of respondents (89%) believe technology will help creativity at their organizations, while also allowing them to maintain output. Further, only 1% of respondents reported that branding cannot be automated – a steep decline from 23% in 2020 – and 58% plan on implementing digital experience technologies.

“Marketers have long embraced technology across most aspects of marketing. We’ve seen it across email, programmatic advertising, and more. Yet, automation hasn’t yet been broadly applied to upstream creative work, resulting in a ‘content crunch’ that leaves brands struggling to keep up,” said Andrew Hally, CMO at Bynder. “While marketers were more reserved about automation’s potential impact on branding in the past, the acceleration of digital transformation wiped away any lingering doubts about the need to apply automation to creative processes. Marketers are now ready to tap its potential to meet the demand for growing volumes of content and achieve the agility required for digital marketing, With the right technology in place, their creative teams can stay focused on the higher value creative work needed for powerful brand storytelling.”

The 2021 State of Branding Report also identified other key trends, summarized below:

  • Breaking through on digital channels is a top concern: Over a quarter of respondents shared that reaching their audiences on increasingly crowded digital channels is the biggest concern for their marketing efforts. Keeping up with creative and content requests is the second biggest concern (25%) and maintaining brand consistency is the third top concern (17%).
  • Marketers’ views on ‘overhyped’ marketing trends relaxes: 27% of marketers said chatbots were the most overhyped marketing trend in 2020, but this dropped to 18% in 2021. Further, only 17% of marketers thought podcasts were overhyped, compared to nearly 23% in 2020.
  • Marketing leadership and creative teams are slightly disconnected: Looking across job functions, respondents agreed that customizing assets for specific digital channels and one-off requests that don’t contribute to larger goals are the two biggest time-wasters. Despite this, nearly 80% of CMOs surveyed are “completely confident” in their team’s ability to meet content demands, while only 62% of respondents working in video, design, or another creative position agreed.

Bynder commissioned independent market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake the research for this report. A total of 1,600 marketing and creative respondents, including senior/C-suite employees, were interviewed during January, February and March 2021, with representation in the US (600), the UK (400), Germany (225), France (225), and the Netherlands (150). The full report is now available for download here.