Creative Marketing: Bridging the Gap Between Data and Creativity

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In the last year or so I have been hearing and reading a lot about the death of advertising, the death of email, the death of creativity…the death of blah blah. I think it’s important to understand that just like a healthy diet everything has a purpose and is recommended in moderation. The biggest clash recently has been the battle between ‘Creativity VS. Data.’ What I don’t understand is why does it have to be one or the other….why can’t it be both?

Some say when big data and creativity meet you get pure sex?  I agree and personally think you need a balance of both….some of us are even lucky enough to be able to do and understand both, they call us unicorns.

The questions we should be asking; Is creative marketing or advertising more effective in inspiring people to buy products? Numerous experiments have found that creative messages get more attention and lead to positive attitudes about the products being marketed, but there’s no firm evidence that shows how those messages influence purchase behaviour. Similarly, there is remarkably little empirical research that ties creative messaging to actual sales revenues. Reason being product and brand managers—and the agencies pitching to them—have lacked a systematic way to assess the effectiveness of their ads or marketing campaigns, it has been a crapshoot.

The Formula:

DATA (Insights + Analytics) * CREATIVE (Design Thinking + Experience) = Business and Marketing Brilliance

Top quality analytics still require a creative mind to interpret, position and act upon the data; these judgments demand more than just technical skills. The tactical know-how must be augmented by a strategic sense that involves intuition, business acumen, excellent communication skills and the courage to try new approaches in search of the game changing insights that create value from data. The best Data Scientists (I prefer the term Data Artists) in the business tend to have a great blend of business, creativity and story telling ability to communicate back their findings.

Companies all across the world have an enormous amount of data, however data doesn’t add value unless it is used correctly.

Think about the game of soccer for a second, hundreds of players around the world go through the same level of training and preparation before a game – however most fans idolise Lionel Messi because of the flare he brings to game. Athletes may have similar training, but there are additional layers of creativity and improvisation that go beyond just connecting the dots.

Fundamentals are important, however bringing your own perspective and creativity to life is the only way we can differentiate ourselves and our brand.

These days companies must adapt faster then ever to compete. They need a creative culture to generate new ideas, refine them and then go to market. Business leaders need to understand their companies specific strengths and blind spots when it comes to adapting to an ever changing market. The data will help you identify the pain points/opportunities and the creative culture will drive change and innovate. Both compliment each other and are vital elements to generate success.

Businesses tend to label the agencies they work with and categorise them into buckets. For example:

Creative agency

Data & analytics agency

Technology agency

Marketing agency

How about we create a hybrid agency that pure focus is on solving business problems and improving customer satisfaction? Let’s call it a ‘Customer Experience Agency’? A company that is focused on understanding your business, understanding your customer and helping you create innovative solutions using technology. That to me is the true art and science of bridging the gap between data and creativity.

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