November / 1 / 2017

Use And, Not Or, When It Comes To Big Data and Creativity


by Ken Dec, EVP Marketing & Client Strategies with The Expo Group

I’ve been watching a pitched battle playing out between Creativity and Big Data when it comes to getting the most from your sales and marketing efforts.

As if a choice is to be made between the two.

Choose and you lose.

Choose and you lose.

Great marketing has always been about the combination of Art and Science, of Power and Magic.

It has always been the desire of marketers to reach increasingly discrete audiences with optimally relevant messages. However, the economics of doing so were once prohibitive (versions in broadcast and print media, direct mail versioning costs, etc.).

What’s largely changed those economics is the leverage the web, and its associated analytics, has made possible. The web has made the ability to reach more and more discrete audiences more cost-effective. Testing is faster, easier and cheaper. Continuous improvement of both targeting and messaging has been greatly enhanced.

What it has also changed is the ability for marketers to know what works and what doesn’t, on-the-fly, in real or close to real-time.

What hasn’t changed is the requirement that you tell an emotionally compelling, optimally relevant story to each of the audiences you are trying to engage. Behavioral and decision science tells us that isn’t changing any time soon.

The Big Data vs. Creativity issue seems to be that too many on each 'side' have an ‘or’ mentality rather than an ‘and’ mentality.

Using data that can help content creators better understand, reach and emotionally connect with increasingly discrete audiences for its client’s products and services is incredibly valuable in helping craft brand stories that are optimally relevant to those audiences.

That combination means we are now able to deliver, better than ever before, on the Power (data) and Magic (creative) of marketing.

We just need to think AND, not Or.

As the saying goes, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Ken Dec is the EVP of Marketing and Client Strategies with The Expo Group and wants you to know that he believes in both Big Data and Creativity.