How Prudential developed a creative strategy that delivers
Customer expectations have evolved significantly over the past decade — and even the past two and a half years. People have come to expect connected, digital-first journeys filled with highly relevant content, personalized for them and delivered how, where, and when they want it.
Good content is important to customers, and creative teams know that. But this can leave many creatives scrambling to figure out how to produce more content faster than ever while also trying to one up what the competition is generating.
Creatives need more time for creative work
According to Adobe research, only 30% of a creative’s day is spent on creative work. If you’re on a creative team, tasks like tracking down information for a project, capturing feedback and making changes, getting approvals, completing repetitive tasks, toggling between systems and browsers, attending status meetings, and more can leave you feeling drained and defeated.
To keep up with customer demand, creative teams need technology and processes to help them produce better content faster than ever.
Here are some of the pain points that creative teams are trying to overcome:
- Too many review and approval cycles slow down work
- Not getting all the relevant information in creative briefs
- Missing deadlines and redoing work too often
- Processes put in place often have a negative impact on creativity
- Reviews and approvals are too manual and require switching between programs and applications
- Creating the same assets over and over
- Complications when repurposing existing assets
Customer expectations are driving the need for more content
As customers continue to raise their standards on what good content looks like, there is increased pressure on content teams to produce and deliver content to customers right when they want it. McKinsey & Company reports that 71% of customers expect companies to deliver customized experiences, and 76% get frustrated when it doesn’t happen.
Despite this increased pressure, creative teams are still spending 70% of their time on other duties besides creative work. Creative teams know how important content is for providing great customer experiences — but they need a way to create more content faster. Unfortunately, existing work processes are inconsistent — and leave your team feeling burned out with resources stretched thin.
Prudential’s creative team developed a creative strategy that delivers
Bridget Esposito, vice president and creative director at Prudential, a financial solutions company, shared her experiences around creating great content for Prudential’s customers at Adobe MAX 2022. Esposito and her team execute on 8,000+ projects per year. They’ve been able to seamlessly integrate creativity and process in a way that delivers for both creatives and clients with the help of Adobe applications. Using Adobe Workfront and Adobe Experience Manager Assets, Prudential’s teams have been able to transform their creative processes — to make creatives’ lives easier — by improving content briefs, establishing a strong creative strategy, and empowering team members to drive change.
By driving transformation from ideas to execution, Prudential’s creative team can deliver more impact for their customers.
The power of a good creative brief
Creative briefs are the starting point for creating the best content for your audience. A good creative brief can be the difference between a project that flows smoothly and one that’s filled with one roadblock after another. Briefs should provide all the relevant information related to a project — what it is, why it’s happening, why it’s important to you and your audience, and how it ties back to your strategy.
What really makes a difference, according to Esposito, is understanding where your target audience is right now, where you want them to be, and how to get them there. is right now, where you want them to be, and how to get them there.
Also consider how the brief is used. Having a centralized intake as well as a standardized brief template means your creative team can see all the incoming requests and get the information they need in one place.
Prudential used Workfront to standardize their process and improve efficiency for their team. They worked with their partners to develop one single brief across all business lines — streamlining the intake process and getting rid of the need for teams to go back to stakeholders to track down important information. This means no more dealing with annoying back and forth emails between teams.
Now, when they receive a new brief, it goes right into Workfront. “That is the only source of truth for Prudential creatives,” Esposito says.
Put creative work at the center of the process
For many creatives, just hearing the word “process” can fill them with dread. But there’s no way to work faster and better without a process in place. In fact, the right processes can even make it easier for creatives to focus on creative work by speeding up intake, reviews, approvals, and asset delivery. This balancing act of process and creative freedom gave Prudential’s creative team exactly what they needed — more time back to create.
“[Adobe Workfront] is the only source of truth for Prudential creatives.”
— Bridget Esposito, VP and Creative Director, Prudential Financial
Prudential partnered with its IT and marketing technology teams to rework their end-to-end creation process with reps from all upstream and downstream organizations. The most important part, Esposito says, is “speaking your partner’s love language. And IT’s love language is completely different than the creatives.” Using the right words and addressing everyone’s biggest concerns ensures that you’re building a process that both the creative team and other stakeholders can get on board with.
How Prudential integrated Adobe Workfront
One of the biggest things Prudential’s creative team wanted was to integrate Adobe Workfront directly into Adobe XD so they could move faster — and take some of the process off their plate. The five minutes it takes to jump back and forth between browser windows to look at project changes adds up when you have 30+ projects at any given time.
Online proofing with Workfront
Workfront is a major time-saver because it streamlines workflows with automated review and approval cycles. Sending proofs to multiple stakeholders can result in conflicting reviews made in silos. This leaves creatives going through multiple reviews, doing duplicate work, and dealing with version control management issues. Workfront online proofing allows everyone to review content quickly, provide feedback in the same document, and keep the content supply chain flowing.
Together, Adobe Workfront and Adobe Creative Cloud let you manage all your work — from request to approval — directly from your creative tools, including XD, AdobePhotoshop, AdobeInDesign, and Adobe Illustrator. You can add comments and updates to Workfront tasks directly from Creative Cloud so you don’t have to switch back and forth between applications. All of this means fewer meetings and interruptions.
“The little things can make a huge difference. Because at the end of the day, we want creatives to feel like when they’re diving into their brief, they have the knowledge they need. When they’re diving into their tools, they have all the tools they need, and they’re all connected and it’s all in a space where they can act quickly,” Esposito says.
Prudential saves time with Adobe Experience Manager Assets
Another roadblock that Prudential faced was repeatedly creating the same assets again and again. And if there’s one thing that drains creativity, it’s repetitive work. Sadly, this is common across organizations of all sizes as they scale up their content production. Experience Manager Assets helps creative teams save time by turning one asset into many — getting reworked into an infographic, banner ad, email visual, print ad, newsletter, social media post, or web banner. Creatives only create it once, and it can be used again a thousand more times.
This can be scary for creatives, knowing that an asset is out there for others across the organization to use. Will they follow brand standards and guides to use it appropriately? Fortunately, Adobe Experience Manager Assets integrates with existing tools to make approvals and review processes easy. It notifies the team when anyone uses a piece of content so it can be reviewed to ensure it meets guidelines.
Experience Manager Assets helped Prudential’s team rethink how they build creative assets to deliver a bigger impact. They must consider the entire lifecycle of an asset — how it will be used, how it’s going to get tagged, and how it’s going to get pulled into the ecosystem of customer experiences.
Empower creatives to be the catalyst for change
One of the biggest drivers of success for Prudential — and Esposito calls this her “special sauce” — was empowering creative team members to be connectors, sharers, and learners. When creatives are curious about how something can be done better, you change the way creative work gets done. Her advice for creative leaders trying to change the narrative is “invest in your people and empower your people.”
Creatives often get stereotyped as the people doing the cool stuff and not necessarily as strategic contributors — and if you’re a creative, you know that’s not how it works. When creatives become the champion for the work they just did, they alter that narrative. And when creatives have the power to drive change, other teams in your organization will start to see you as a strategic creative force that understands the process of how to make things better.
Adobe powers exceptional experiences for your creative team
Adobe helps teams of all sizes produce creative, high-quality content beyond human scale to power exceptional experiences. Integrations between Workfront, Experience Manager Assets, and Creative Cloud are helping creative teams collaborate better, manage content creation end-to-end, and deliver amazing assets.
Watch Esposito’s Adobe MAX session to learn more about how Prudential leveled up their creative process with Adobe Workfront, Adobe Experience Manager Assets, and Adobe Creative Cloud.