NEWS20 April 2016

Seven ways for data and creativity to work in harmony

Data analytics News UK

UK – A panel session at Adweek Europe in London yesterday – 19 April – discussed whether it was data experts or creatives who held the power in advertising.

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A marketer, a media creative and a number of digital experts identified some key themes in the panel discussion with an over-riding opinion that it is humans, not data, who find the insight:

1. Data is empowering – “As a marketer, data and analytics are key and my ability to test and iterate increases. Now I can put out ideas and see how they do,” said John Travis, vice-president, brand marketing, at Adobe (pictured, right).

2. The perfect solution is for data and creativity to work in combination – “You need the information to understand what you need to do. Spotting an insight is a creative process. If you get data and creative geeks working together you get some nice conflict; it’s important that you have that diversity,” said Ann Wixley, European creative director, OMD (pictured, middle).

3. Data has revolutionised measurement – “Data is a marker and measurement to evaluate creativity. When Netflix created House of Cards part of the go/no go discussion was based on data on viewers’ habits,” said Layton Han, CEO, Adara. Krane Jeffery, head of digital solutions at RTL Group added that data helps to “de-risk” a creative decision.

4. Avoid over-reliance on the data – “Human beings are not rational and they’ll be bored if you only deliver linear, rational stuff,” said Wixley.

5. Data is a marketer’s friend – “The unexpected thing about data is that now I can prove my value (rather than asking a CEO to ‘trust me’). It means I can take more risks, I have more freedom and more credibility in my company,” said Travis.

6. We have to stop stereotyping job functions – “Marketing has to re-invent itself. Analysts are storytellers not just number-crunchers. They have the skill-set and are responsible for the dashboards and insights so we look to them to understand the audience,” said Travis.

7. Everyone has a responsibility when it comes to data privacy and managing personalisation to avoid ‘creepy’ online advertising – “The rise of ad blocking is important but we can’t always control it with programmatic. Publishers need to educate users on how advertising pays for this content. Then it’s about creativity to enhance the user experience in the first place,” said Rob Bradley, global director, digital ad revenue and data, CNN.