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Bridging the gap between data-driven & idea-driven

You got your data on my creative! You got your creative on my data! When you mention data to an agency creative, they either run out of the room screaming or immediately fall into a deep and glorious slumber. The reason is that many creatives see data as an idea killer instead of an idea generator. But when we look past the spreadsheets and truly understand the ways data can have an impact on what we create, a new day of deeper storytelling begins.

Data for conceptualization

Many creatives already use data and don’t even know it. They are given a brief that describes the customer, the challenge, the objective, and are asked to formulate an idea that connects all those points. Great briefs do the heavy lifting for mining of insights – however, sometimes the creative just needs to dig a little deeper to move past the obvious solution.

This is where having access to visualized data can help form some amazing ideas.

See data in its raw form is mind-numbing – but when visualized and categorized – it can become the catalyst a creative needs to break through. So, what kind of data? Depends on the problem. A great place to start, is with social affinity data. Or how about fully understanding a consumer journey and how many touchpoints to go from browsing to buying? Anything that can provide more than just the base-level want of a customer can spark a flame and ignite a full campaign.

Data for optimization

Most creatives will agree that more closely an ad speaks to an audience on a personal level, the more powerful and impactful it is. Nike speaks to athletes. McDonald’s speaks to families on a budget. And Taco Bell, well they speak to those who love weed and don’t mind being gassy for days. What if we could be even more personalized than that? You guessed it – we can by using good ole data!

Not only can we slice and dice media placements, we can do it with our messaging and our designs. We can use XMPIE to create one-to-one experiences across a variety of touchpoints. Evergage uses data to swap our website content based on which audience is visiting your site. We use IBM Watson to power our dynamic emails, which creates personalized experiences based on audience profiles, CRM data, previous site and email interaction and chosen preferences.

This all empowers the creative team to create more personal and more powerful stories that will connect and convert at a much higher rate. These tools allow us to scale beyond what was possible just a few short years ago.

While ideas are king, executing the idea in a way that the consumer connects to it is the emperor. And even the best minds sometimes underestimate the power of a simple word swap or color change. That’s the beauty of the age we live in; by using a Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) platform, we’re able to test, try, and perfect new creative executions – all in real time! The best part is that we set the parameters and the platform does the dirty work.

Even beyond the DCO, letting the creative team know what’s worked, what hasn’t, and why is a critical component for them refining and refocusing their work in the future. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?  Yet, I know many agency creatives that have no idea how well their campaign actually drove results (other than awards).

What’s to come?

While it’s true that data is a dirty word to many creatives, it’s just because they’ve been told that it replaces creativity. When really it enhances it. When we see data as another color of paint in our elaborate brand portrait – creatives then can unlock another layer of deeper connections with customers they never thought possible.