Commentary

Creative By Numbers: Putting Data At The Forefront Of Creative

Historically, the team to deliver an awe-inspiring creative vision was composed of copywriters, art directors, producers and directors, each concept born in the creative department and matured through production. 

Luckily for innovators outside of those departments, today’s winning creative concepts are grounded in data: tapping science, analytics, and technology to deliver an innovative output that transcends previous barriers of traditional campaigns where creative was driven by data and insights, not only look and feel. Analytics and technology, once seen as “added value” disciplines within the advertising industry, have proven to be pivotal to campaign success and inextricably linked to innovation. 

Data gives the audience what it wants. 

Even for non-traditional, non-ecommerce businesses—where financial currency is not involved—data is driving creative vision and helping surpass recruitment goals. 

Using first- and third-party data sources, multiple recruitment commands within the U.S. Armed Forces used past results and modeling history to help support large creative changes for 2017. These updates made for more generally diverse, combat-themed creative executions that led with insights and kept brand imagery top of mind. For one branch, data helped increase brand equity and recruitment performance by double digits.

The analytics and creative paradigms are shifting: data comes first. 

Data helps foster an integrated, solution-focused team with creative execution as the sum of all parts. From the recommendations and analysis that are presented at the project kickoff meeting to highlighting critical business-centric performance indicators in the creative brief, to establishing goals pre-launch, data ensures creatives know the path forward, even if this path is rapidly changing.

Data also alters the production process in a unique way. Production departments (both internal and external) now have a new capability to consult and factor into process. Producers and project managers alike are starting to understand the depth and foundation insights brought to the table. For example, they no longer set up meetings to document and explore the unique selling proposition. Now, PMs are implementing a new, integrated workflow to ensure all parties know the 360-degree view of the customer experience.

Clients agree great creative is not enough. 

Innovative technology can play a significant role in furthering a brand’s strategic vision. Leveraging tools like Chatbot and GooglePlay can fundamentally transform creative exploration and execution. 

This new way of “creating” is a major player in understanding real-time insights and business impact. This is changing the business world. For brands such as Walgreens (with its 3D-mapping technology) and Starbucks (implementation of Chatbot), using technology and data to feed the business is changing how marketers do business.

Now what?  

Beyond evoking emotion, influencing action and winning awards, creative must now act and impact clients in a direct, measurable way. We use a simple and quantifiable formula to do so: 

Analytics + Insights + Technology + Creative = Mind-blowing creative that helps fuel passion and increase business value.

At your next kickoff meeting, ask the team, “Do we all know exactly what makes this successful?” If not, it’s time to call in the analytics team.

1 comment about "Creative By Numbers: Putting Data At The Forefront Of Creative".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 9, 2017 at 3:06 p.m.

    What surprises about the persistent plea to use "data" in helping---or even dictating----the "creative" employed by advertisers is the implied assumption that they usually fashion their brand/product positioning strategies as well as their ad executions---especially in TV---more or less by the seat of their pants. Actually most branding advertisers know quite a bit about their markets and brand users as well as those who prefer rival brands. There is plenty of "data" to define potential targets for a proposed campaign not only by demography but by the level of product usage and by all sorts of mindset combinations. And such information is rountinely built into the campaign development process---and has been for many decades, going as far back as the 1960s. The fact the most TV time buys use simplistic age/sex rating metrics as the "currency" for "guaranteed" audience tonnage delivery, has nothing to do with how ad campaigns are created nor how TV commercials are designed. So my comment is, sure, good idea, but most branding advertisers and, probably those involved in other types of promotional efforts already use "data" in thinking about their "creative". Unless we are talking about some new type of information never before available, this is nothing new.

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