Creative Recommendation Tool

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My Role: Visionary, Interactive Designer, and Researcher

Team: Consisted of Developers, Business Analysts, and members of Sales team

The Creative Recommendation Tool is an application that enables various teams in an agency to collaborate on pitching and designing advertising campaigns to achieve greater success in campaign performance based on campaign roadmaps and key performance indicators.

The Challenge

Confusion of product offerings in a fast-paced and changing market

As a senior designer for the interactive advertising design team, I saw the confusion and discrepancies come through with design requests from the various sales departments in the company. In the world of advertising, there is constant change. How does one keep up with knowing which ad formats are available, which platforms they perform on, and what features are achievable in the various sizes? The design team would get requests and often have to go back and clarify the details or explain to the salesperson what they really meant to be requesting. There was a lack of clarity and guidance on what offerings were achievable. 

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Issues:

  • Communication issues between teams

  • Confusion of ad sizes

  • Confusion of where ads can be displayed

  • More visualization needed for accurate requests

Sales team member
Business Analyst

The last time we ran a mobile ad for them, it did not perform well, not enough click throughs.

This is for their new campaign. What would a mobile ad look like for them with a gallery?

We need a mockup to present to a client.

We would like to see a desktop banner ad.

I am not sure, let me ask the Account Manager.

What features do you want to see? What size? What format?

We can do that, where should I grab graphic from? Is this for a specific campaign?

Designer
Account Manager

Let's show them a rich media ad on the home page with a gallery, a video, and a twitter feed.

We would like to see a gallery, a video, and a twitter feed.

Sure but I still don't know anything about placement, format, or if it's for a specific campaign. 

My Role

Visionary, Interactive Designer, and Researcher

The Creative Recommendation Tool was my breakthrough and solution to the struggles I saw the salesforce having as well as trying to find a way to better monetize our offerings. After presenting the initial designs to the Art Director, I was given the green light to keep developing the idea. Working alongside a team consisting of project managers, art directors, business analysts, account managers, sales team members, and developers, we took this idea of creating a tool in which the sales teams and clients could visualize the company's offerings for their templated advertising solution.

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Discovery

Competitive Analysis

After the initial sketches were presented and the idea approved, I researched other advertising platforms. Since this is a very specific need and the typical audience is business, it was challenging to find other products that offered exactly what I was trying to do but this research enabled me to glean some additional features that would be beneficial to the application to make it more useful for the entire team.

 

Concepts I discovered included:

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Campaign

Objectives

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   Viewer

considerations

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Conversions

   Viewer

considerations

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Ad

placement

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Boost Sales

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Which sites

will ad go on

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Audience

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Awareness

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Engagement

Interviews

Initially, the idea of the tool was to show the formats and features offered and this was the MVP that was presented for the initial buy-in. After speaking with various stakeholders, additional requirements were gathered on what was needed for the application.

This is when the tool started to shape from a show and tell to an application that would be more interactive and smart, suggesting advertising formats and placements.

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These user stories were developed to guide the design for the application with consideration various stakeholders :

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As a sales team member, I want to pitch the various features that can be designed into each ad format type.

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As an account manager, I need a way to select the client's campaign objectives based on their line of business. 

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As a business analyst, I need a way to help clients' campaigns align best with their key performance indicators.

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As a project manager, I need a way to request demos and mockups from the design team to get client approval.

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As a designer, I need clarity on which ad formats and apps are needed for each request.

Design
Iterative Prototyping

The tool went through rounds and rounds of iterations and reviews in which enhancements were being added to better improve the functionality and the results provided by the tool.

 

These additional features included:

A key to show the various platforms the different ads could be launched on (i.e. video, native, etc.)

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A contact/help form which included an FAQ page of functioning demo links to help guide the users and to alleviate any confusion

A checkout feature so the staff could download the results so they could share them with their clients or the design team when putting in a project design request

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The Solution

Creative Recommendation Tool

 

The final product, the Creative Recommendation Tool, was successfully launched to serve as a tool for internal teams to communicate more effectively and work cohesively, as well as for clients to gain an understanding of the various advertising offerings.

 

The Creative Recommendation Tool was designed with guided steps that allowed for account managers to provide better service by being able to select clients' campaign objectives that align best with their key performance indicators (KPIs) with an easy-to-understand and compelling user interface. Tying in the BA team, the tool was smart and able to recommend advertising formats and features based on analytics from previous quarters. This allowed for a more targeted and successful campaign for each client. The tool also removed any friction between the design team and the sales team by providing visual guidance to keep everyone on the same page. 

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