AMA on Implementing the Right Creative Testing Strategy with Adam Fricke, Head of Creative at Tuff

Welcome to our AMA with Adam Fricke, our Head of Creative at Tuff. 

Adam leads our Performance Creative team, collaborating closely with our media team, designers, animators, and UX copywriters. With his expertise, he’s spearheaded creative strategy and testing for numerous early-stage startups and scaleups. His focus? Enhancing media results, cutting down on customer acquisition costs, pinpointing value propositions, and most importantly, crafting ad creatives that drive real conversions.

Below, Adam talks about winning ad creative, creative testing, and how to make the most of your budgets. 

Why do you think there’s a surge in businesses, ranging from multi-million dollar established brands to small startups, seeking assistance with creative testing lately?

It’s easy to spend your budget on reaching the right audience with the wrong message. Here’s why:

  1. Marketing and advertising are more accessible now, with more businesses vying for consumer attention. Standing out is tougher than ever, so it’s crucial to keep refining your advertising strategies.
  2. Consumer behaviors change constantly, especially with tech advancements and cultural shifts. What worked yesterday might not work today. Creative testing helps businesses keep up by figuring out which ad creatives connect best with their audience.

Whether you’re new to paid ads or a big spender, performance creative is key for getting results.

How can a business determine whether investing in creative testing is worth it or not? 

Creative testing can really boost your ad results, but it’s crucial to weigh the investment. We use this performance creative ROI calculator to gauge if it’s right for your marketing budget. Typically, if you see a 5-10% improvement in CPA, performance creative becomes a powerful growth tool.

On a broader scale, every business should think about the consequences of skipping creative testing. In today’s fast-moving digital world, staying stagnant means falling behind. Neglecting creative testing risks losing relevance, market share, and ultimately, revenue. It’s not just about short-term gains; it’s about future-proofing your strategy for long-term success.

Is there a notable difference in the approach to creative testing between early-stage startups and well-established brands? Or do they follow similar methods?

For early-stage startups, stretching tight budgets means they have to be smart about creative testing. They should focus on lean and agile methods like A/B testing and quick changes to find winning ad ideas without spending too much. Getting creative right is super important for ad success, but the lessons learned can also improve messaging and product promotion across all marketing, like on websites and in emails. As a startup marketing agency, we’re pros at testing different messages to find what works best for your brand.

Big brands usually know their products and market really well. For them, using performance-focused ad creative helps make every ad dollar count.

Whether you’re just starting out or already a big name, using data and trying out new ideas in your ads can pay off big time. Stay flexible, keep learning, and focus on getting better, not being perfect. That’s the way forward for everyone.

What would you say to a company that believes “any creative will do?”

Good ad creative isn’t just about showing off what you’re selling. It’s about telling a story that grabs people, makes them feel something, and really connects with them. When your creative is spot on, it can grab attention, make people love your brand, and get them to do what you want, like clicking or buying.

Testing out different creatives is key. It helps you figure out what really clicks with your audience so you can tweak your message, images, and overall strategy to make the biggest impact possible.

In what ways can effective creative testing contribute to the overall success of a business, regardless of its size or industry?

  • Better bang for your buck: When businesses find and fine-tune top-performing ad creatives, they get more out of their ad money, scoring a higher return on investment.
  • Brand boost (and more loyal customers): Great ad creatives help businesses build a shiny brand image and connect better with their audience. That means happier, more loyal customers who spread the word.
  • More sales: Testing out different creative bits like what you say, show, and ask for can uncover the magic combo that gets people to buy.
  • Get to know your audience: Creative testing clues businesses in on what their customers like, do, and need. That means they can tailor their messages and pictures to hit the sweet spot.
  • Smooth sailing for customers: When businesses match their ad creatives to each step of the customer journey, it’s like rolling out the red carpet. Customers love it, getting involved more and feeling happier overall.

Want to connect with Adam? Shoot him a message on LinkedIn. You can also see some of the cool stuff his team’s been up to in our performance creative guide or check out examples in our Ad Library here. Happy browsing!