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Data v. Creative – It’s No Feud

July 9, 2019

In a recent study conducted by Marketing Week, over 400 brands were asked if and how they measured the impact of their creativity. The good news? Most brands are using data to their advantage to get valuable metrics on how to refine the impact of their creative. The bad news? It’s easy to overemphasize the power of data over creativity. So how do you strike the right balance between the two so they complement one another?  

Google recently spoke with eight creatives from across the digital marketing industry for Think With Google to share their thoughts on how to better view the relationship between data and creative instead of pinning the two against one another. 

Data Doesn’t Limit Creativity – It Unlocks its Full Potential With Precision 

“Data isn’t powerful on its own. Our work as creatives is now to mine the data to ensure relevant, strategic and creative work,” said Justin Pahl, CEO of VMLY&R London.

Not only can data allow us to know who to cater creative messaging to, it inspires ideas of how to create that messaging and where to put it. Noble Studios’ “Do You RNO?” integrated digital marketing campaign compiled data to create six niche audiences to determine the type of messaging that was optimal for each, but data didn’t tell us how to make our ads look, or tell us the exact language and flare we could add to them. At least not at first.

Data empowered us to continually test the effectiveness of our creative throughout the campaign to switch out less optimal messages with better ones for greater performance. 

Combining Art With Science For Any Situation

“When we add art to the science, we can create experiences for people that are truly meaningful, motivating and valuable, ” said Jordan Doucette, ECD of Leo Burnett Chicago.

Being data informed instead of data-driven means we use the science to guide, not dictate, the creative. This was key to our rebranding and website redevelopment strategy for Crisis Support Services of Nevada, where properly communicating the right message with the right audience had the potential to save lives. Users visiting the website either in a time of need or simply looking for helpful information was a big difference that data and creative combined helped guide our creative team-best optimize content on the site.

No Guts, No Glory

“What we need to be careful about, though, is overreliance on data. It shouldn’t make us forget our gut instinct because, without that, our stories will be soulless,” said Sonal Dabral, Chief Creative Officer for Ogilvy South and South East Asia and Vice Chairman.

Letting data define creative impact too much has the power to weaken creative ideas when they should empower them. Knowing when to step back and consider your gut feeling about the effectiveness of your creative over data ensures we remain in control of the content we produce and not the tools that help us. Humanized data is still not human, and you shouldn’t be afraid to innovate through creative ideas because data will be your safety net and help you measure if it was worth the risk or not. 

Data And Creative In Harmony

The next time you hear industry chatter about how creativity is out the door as technology advances through things like machine learning and AI, tell them to put on their creative caps and think again. Creativity isn’t going anywhere because it was creativity that led to the very technological advances supposedly threatening it. 

Interested in striking the perfect balance of data and creative with your brand with us? Learn more here

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