What makes strong Performance Creative?

What makes strong Performance Creative?

By Allita Crasto, Global Head of Creative at M&C Saatchi Performance

Performance Creative, measured via Creative Analytics, is where the beauty of art meets the science of media measurement. These two elements come together when performance advertisers need to ensure they have sophisticated operational structures in place. 

“Creating a compelling Performance Creative involves a strategic mix of multiple factors. From understanding audience psychology to mastering technical aspects, it’s a delicate balance of creativity and data-driven strategy, where each element harmonizes to engage viewers.” 

Allita Crasto, Global Head of Creative


In the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, two types of creatives stand out: Performance and Brand. While both are equally essential to the success of any marketing strategy, they both serve specific purposes and require unique approaches in their development. 

In this blog, we examine the nuances that differentiate Performance creatives from Brand creatives and discuss best practices for their creation and optimization.

Performance Creatives vs Brand Creatives

Performance creatives are conceptualized with a specific goal in mind, i.e., to drive an action from the audience. The goal might differ according to the advertiser’s objective; for example, goals could be to drive a click, a sign-up, an install, or a purchase.  The Performance creatives must be developed and optimized to deliver conversion and fulfill specific goals. 

Performance Creatives are data-driven in approach, crafted to resonate with specific target audiences and motivate them into action. 

Conversely, Brand creatives are crafted to build awareness, cultivate brand affinity, and evoke emotions in an audience. These creatives generally prioritize storytelling and brand identity over immediate conversions, aiming to foster long-term relationships with consumers.

What are the elements of successful Performance Creative?

Good Performance Creative strikes a balance between creativity and strategy. It marries compelling storytelling and captivating visuals with data-driven insights and detail-oriented optimization techniques. This combination of art and data-driven science sets Performance creatives apart, allowing them to cut through the noise and capture the audience’s attention.

When we discuss how to execute a good Performance creative with a client, we must take a step back and understand the process of developing the creatives. First, outlining specific performance goals for creative campaigns is of utmost importance. Clear objectives provide a roadmap for better development and optimization.

While brainstorming creative ideas and concepts, ensure creative teams are aligned on the defined objectives as well as market and audience insights. Cultural nuances such as slang, language variants, format variations for different channels, key communication, and compelling key visuals that are likely to drive action should also be considered.

Lastly, test your creatives across various platforms and devices to ensure functionality, visual appeal, and alignment with brand guidelines.

 Best practices for developing and executing Performance creatives:

  • Audience & Market Segmentation: It’s not just about demographics and interests but also about understanding customer needs, pain points, and motivations. Good Performance Creative resonates with the audience personally, speaking directly to their wants and desires. Personalization plays a crucial role here, tailoring the message and creative elements to each individual based on their preferences and behavior.

  • Clear & Compelling Messaging: Craft concise and compelling copy that clearly communicates the value proposition and prompts immediate action. Avoid jargon and unnecessary complexity, focusing instead on delivering a clear and persuasive message. Every word, every image, and every element should serve a purpose, guiding the audience toward the desired action.

  • Visual Impact: Leverage eye-catching visuals that grab attention and convey the intended message effectively. Use high-quality images, vibrant colors, and engaging graphics to captivate the audience and drive engagement.

  • Mobile Optimisation: With most internet users accessing content on mobile devices, ensure that Performance creatives are optimized for seamless viewing and interaction across various screen sizes and devices.

  • A/B testing: Experiment continuously with A/B testing different creative elements such as headlines, visuals, and CTAs. Analyze the data to refine and optimize creatives for maximum performance.

  • Tracking and Optimization: Monitor your creatives and utilize tracking and analytics tools to get real-time insights into performance metrics, trends, and areas of improvement. Leverage this performance data to provide recommendations to your creative teams to fine-tune creative elements such as copy, visuals, and CTA, thus enhancing the effectiveness of your campaigns. This also helps provide insights on ad fatigue and conduct timely creative refreshes, which further helps maintain audience interest and engagement and prevents further saturation.  

  • Embrace AI where relevant: With rising trends and development in AI, embracing tools and machine learning tech is essential to amplify optimization efforts by automating adjustments to your creatives at scale and maximizing efficiency.

In Summary

Performance creatives are the workhouses of digital marketing, fueled by the trifecta of data, clarity, and conversion. By adhering to industry best practices, implementing a strategic development approach, and embracing data-driven optimization, marketing, and creative teams can unleash the transformative power of performance creatives, realizing tangible results for their brands while efficiently achieving campaign objectives. And in that delicate balance lies what makes a good Performance creative exceptional.

Further Reading

What is Creative Analytics, and why should growth marketers care?

Innovate & Grow: How TikTok Smart Creative Can Improve CPI