Can Creative and Data Peacefully Coexist?


June 8, 2018


James Crolley

Head of Media

James leads Ansira’s integrated media teams to support clients using marketing automation, data analytics, CRM, and performance media capabilities.

Data gets a bad rap from creatives.

Maybe it’s the fact that data is seen as linear and therefore a creativity killer. That its scale can be difficult to wrangle or whittle down into something actionable. Or that its eponymous reach is poised to take over the world (not really, of course).

As lovers of both creativity and data, we see the value of using intelligence to shape marketing — but not at the cost of imagination and spark. Data and creativity can, and should, coexist. Here are four reasons why.

No. 1: Data helps brands do creative better.
Some creatives think that data forces them to think inside the box, but really it helps us define a specific chunk of information. As marketers, we must always maintain our creative spirit and passion, but thanks to modern intelligence gathering and analysis, we can now adjust our ideas to fit what data is showing us. By doing so, we can more efficiently and accurately reach our target customers in ways that resonate.

Data is a direct feedback loop for our creative effort’s performance, showing us insight into real human responses.

No. 2: Effectively using data can cut costs and save time.
The key to optimizing your marketing dollars is using data efficiently. If we can give customers what they want while saving time and money, why wouldn’t we? Work smarter, not harder.

For example, one of our teams was working with a fast-food delivery client that was trying to implement creative ideas in the social channel. When we analyzed the data, we found that users preferred pictures of real food taken by real customers, rather than a slick creative marketing campaign. Realizing this not only helped the company boost its social content performance, but it also saved time and money.

No. 3: Data helps brands avoid costly mistakes.
In marketing, facts have a better track record than gut feelings. Why take uncalculated risks in an age when we have data to help guide our decisions? Data is a tool to help ensure that our ideas track with what customers really want.

No. 4: Data helps brands create more meaningful connections.
Data can be used to pinpoint how individuals think and feel. With this advanced insight, we can better market to unique customer segments. Data also empowers marketers to reach customers where they are — and through the channels they prefer.

Data-driven marketing is the future, and our agency’s creatives embrace it. One is not less than the other; both data and creative play a significant role in reaching customers in significant, relevant ways.

A version of this story originally was published in Adweek

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