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Has Data-Driven Marketing Buried the Creative Side of Advertising?

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

“Do more with less” might as well be the mantra for CMOs in 2015. Of course, marketing executives have always been in the hot seat to deliver leads and boost revenue, but an increased focus on data-driven marketing in the workplace means more scrutiny of hard numbers and the bottom line. With all this talk of metrics, what’s happening to the right brain side of advertising?

Visual content budget 2015As ad automation technology makes it easier and more efficient to launch and scale digital advertising campaigns, the importance of great creative has not lessened – in fact, it’s increased. In a recent state of innovation study, Digiday and Chute found that marketers will be investing 30% of their yearly budget generating and promoting visual content (including social media posts and ads) this year – up from 26% in 2014. Social media is an of-the-moment marketing channel, with targeting that allows extremely granular audience segmentation. However, the ability to reach the right customer only matters if you know what they respond to. When asked what roadblocks were in the way of creating impactful visual content, 35% of respondents to the Digiday study said that maintaining timeliness and relevance was a struggle.

Advertising software delivers millions of data points per day, reporting on impressions and click through rates, member registrations and cost per install. With the added functionality of custom metrics and insights provided by cohort analysis, the clues to what customers want to see and read are right at the end user’s fingertips – ready to be translated into insights. Depending on comfort level with data, a brand’s creative team may want to take ownership of report analysis, but in most cases the paid marketing manager or analytics team will want to translate findings into actionable takeaways. Either way, these questions and more can be answered immediately:

  • Do our customers respond well to limited-time language?
  • What kind of product photo shoots should we focus on – models or collections?
  • Should we include a logo in the creative?
  • Do women ages 18-24 like the color pink?
  • Should we advertise using 50% off or buy one get one free?

It’s easy to overlook advertising technology as a source of artistic inspiration – after all, it is based on algorithms and automation; two very left brain concepts. However, the data that software like Nanigans gathers is extremely valuable in the hands of someone who can take creative cues from customer behavior. It’s also worth pointing out that social media advertising brings the added benefit of direct feedback to the table; when your customers are able to comment on an ad they love or hate, they often do.

Armed with knowledge about demographics, purchase data, and consumer sentiment, graphic designers and copywriters can spend more of their time thinking up new and innovative ways to connect with customers.

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