Using AI to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Strategies for driving creativity, and increasing marketing productivity and efficiency with AI.

by Tatiana Mejia

posted on 09-06-2018

Despite its name, much of the content “creation” process isn’t about creativity. Often the process is very manual and even tedious as designers and marketers dig into time-consuming activities such as image searches — time and talent that could be spent building a creative vision. While it’s necessary work, it’s not ideal for the designer or the organization they support.

That said, with more content available and more content velocity demanded, resources are constantly being allocated to keep pace with consumer demands. “You have to be in the consumer’s line of sight 24/7,” says Shambhavi Kadam, group product manager, Adobe Stock. “It’s hard to compete for the consumer’s attention when they get information instantaneously, and review it across multiple channels and devices. To do that, you have to create content much faster and at a larger volume,” she says. At the same time, the content still must be high quality and personalized.

A new paradigm for marketers

Given these heightened demands for increased quantity, quality, and velocity, more and more companies are leaning on artificial intelligence (AI). “By weaving AI into core workflows and processes and integrating a large content repository, such as Adobe Stock, marketers can gain the added time and bandwidth they need to be more creative,” Shambhavi says. This streamlines communication, collaboration, and overall success, enhancing and elevating the creative process from concept to kickoff.

Leveraging Adobe Sensei, our AI and machine-learning technology, creatives and marketers can quickly, easily, and accurately search millions of assets to find the desired content. Layer in AI-powered features like Visual Search and Aesthetic Filters in Adobe Stock, and marketers can realize gains that differentiate them in the marketplace. With Aesthetic Filters, for example, you can apply unique search filters such as depth of field and vivid color with a single click. This instantly — and significantly — streamlines image results by only showing images that match these photographic properties. It’s a simple added step — and one that saves time and improves workflow efficiencies.

Here are three benefits companies realized once they incorporated AI functionality into their creative process:

1. Streamline the creative process.

Cushman & Wakefield, one of the leading real estate services firms in the world, frequently uses custom visuals in its marketing team’s sales collateral. Given the demands on the team — in 2017 they produced more than 300 presentations and 500-plus distinct deliverables — they needed to find targeted solutions to help them produce bigger, better deliverables in less time, relying on remote team members and digital collaboration to get the job done.

The Cushman & Wakefield team was particularly challenged when it came to obtaining stock images that they would customize for their marketing collateral. At the time, their process involved first a designer, finding a stock photo then emailing a link to an account administrator. From there, the admin would pass the asset back to the designer, closing the loop — and, often, taking a good deal of time from request to completion. It was a very tedious and manual process that created significant inefficiencies and bottlenecks.

After converting to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Stock for enterprise, Cushman & Wakefield creatives and marketers gained immediate access to high-quality photographs, illustrations, graphics, and video that can be readily shared within the organization. What’s more, the team also began integrating Adobe’s Visual Search and Aesthetic Filters into their processes, gaining even greater creative efficiencies and broader capabilities. Visual Search allows the team’s designers to quickly and easily drag images into the search bar and, from there, instantly find the right Adobe Stock image. “Being able to work with Adobe Stock directly through our Adobe Creative Cloud apps is a huge time-saver,” says Sheila Cheng, creative director, business development, Global Occupier Services at Cushman & Wakefield.

This is the common design challenge that Visual Search was built to solve. “Instead of going through pages and pages of office building images that don’t fit what I need,” Sheila explains, “I can find an image that’s almost right, and start looking for similar images. With Adobe Sensei powering intelligent search options in Adobe Stock, we can get a lot more creative because we know we’ll find exactly what we want.”

By weaving Visual Search into the creative process, organizations can articulate their visual wants and needs with an image, instead of trying to capture the request in simple words and phrases. “It’s really hard to describe something that you have visually in your mind into a search engine, and get the same results,” Shambhavi says. Visual Search instantly makes the process faster, smarter, and more intuitive, eliminating countless hours of manual work — no more searching and sifting through thousands of image results with the hopes of finding “the one.” Now, that time can be applied to bigger business-building and creative initiatives.

2. Find the right image.

Dentsu Aegis’ Global Center of Excellence for Social Content — a central piece of the Dentsu Aegis Network — helps customers produce more engaging content and rich visual experiences for a variety of platforms and channels. To support this diverse work, the organization consistently seeks high-quality stock images and videos for member agencies. “Previously, every group and market found their own stock photos, using resources ranging from creative commons to subscription services,” says Sabrina Rodriguez, global head of social content at Dentsu Aegis Network. “Often groups weren’t getting the full value of their subscription, perhaps paying for 50 images a month but only using a handful.”

Since the shift, though, Dentsu Aegis has standardized the process, driving cost savings and production efficiencies. This, Sabrina says, “improves cost and production efficiency while helping ensure compliance over ad-hoc methods.” Now, creators “can access Adobe Stock content through Adobe Creative Cloud apps to work faster and elevate creative content.” Additionally, with Adobe Sensei’s Visual Search and Aesthetic Filters, teams can spend more time developing innovative deliverables and less searching for the right image.

3. Leverage AI so you can do you.

At the core of these benefits is an eye on the tasks that only you or your creative leads can tackle — and, beyond that, what you or these critical players can and should be focused on. Often, the answer isn’t image licensing but, instead, tasks involving significant creative energy and a “human” touch.

By tapping into AI to handle tasks or simply to reduce the time invested, creatives and marketers can spend more time, talent, and resources on high-value projects, leaving the mundane to the machine. “For artists and photographers and other creative professionals, that’s bringing creativity — something a machine isn’t going to be able to replicate — that something that’s inherently you, and the reason you were hired into your role,” Shambhavi says.

A good example is GP PRO, a division of Georgia-Pacific that delivers hygienic and food services solutions to corporations in a variety of industries. The company recently brought its marketing function in-house in an effort to better adhere to stringent brand guidelines while ensuring improved consistency in its corporate messaging. By leveraging Adobe Creative Cloud and, ultimately, Adobe Stock for enterprise for stock photos, video, and vector graphs, the team was better positioned to simplify and streamline these processes, while delivering strong creative outputs.

Now, the GP PRO team utilizes intelligent search capabilities anchored in Adobe Sensei, making the creative content search process more turnkey. By taking this approach, licensing compliance is simplified as well, thanks to unified stored and shared rights incorporated in Adobe Stock — GP PRO’s designers and legal team no longer have to spend time on common compliance issues which, again, reduce resource allocation and talent investment. “That’s the benefit of our artificial intelligence,” says Shambhavi. “We’re really trying to give you back a lot of time, so you can focus on the things that only you can do.”

Read more stories on artificial intelligence and find out more about Adobe Sensei.****

Topics: Digital Transformation

Products: Stock