Data-Driven Creative: Taking Marketing to the Next Level


ADOTAS — Data-driven marketing is nothing new. Marketers have long relied on data to shape their campaigns, from determining which audiences to target and how to segment those audiences, to choosing which channels to tap into to best support sales teams. Data-driven marketing can drive business growth and support specific sales initiatives. But creative teams have for the most part been exempt from the data-driven directive. However, that is about to change.

Technology enables creative teams to use the insights garnered from data analysis to create smarter, more relevant, more personalized and more effective ad creation — all automatically and dynamically. Now, greetings, images, videos, messages and more can be tailored to each individual prospect. Data-driven marketing is taking on a new shape in the form of data-driven advertising creative.

Marketers have realized the value of delivering content and experiences to consumers that address their personal interests at that particular moment. With the use of data elements, marketers can specifically select each message for every viewer to deliver a truly relevant ad. Data can influence everything in the ad, from what scenes to pull, which narrations to trigger, and what flow, length and style to present. Beyond simply adding a layer of personalization, brands can use data to generate the optimal combination and the most specific stories for each viewer. For instance, a soccer mom persona could generate a “buy now, pick up in store today” ad story, while an urbanite persona receives an “overnight delivery in Manhattan” message.

Additionally, based on what a consumer has browsed on a brand’s website and her previous purchases from the brand, coupled with behavior targeting such as what videos she searches for on YouTube, marketers can personalize the advertising to her in real time to present her with an offer or a product she just viewed, upsell her with something that would complement a previous purchase, or drive repeat purchases later in the relationship. And based on the data about the viewer, not only would the message be adjusted, but the creative elements, scene structure and content would as well. For example, if this viewer was a Beyoncé fan who had previously searched for running shoes and was now looking up music videos on YouTube in the evening, she would receive a video ad with creative skin, music and pace that would offer her something different than what would appear for a college basketball fan viewing ESPN’s March Madness highlight reel in the morning after missing the game.

While personalization and relevance are important to make advertising more engaging, it is a fine line between using data to deliver advertising creative and messages that are most likely to resonate with a viewer versus using data to intrude on the consumer. Though the privacy walls are beginning to break down due to a changing of the times and gen Y’s online behavior, personalized digital advertising is not the medium to address the consumer by his first name or pinpoint his exact location. Rather, brands can offer nearest retail store locations in the vicinity of a postal code or city, or reference recent purchases to personally engage with consumers.

In addition to creating a better customer experience, personalized creative can also support business objectives by reflecting real-time promotions and sales offers. Personalized advertising drives 10 percent more conversations with consumers spending up to 30 percent more than those who did not receive an ad tailored just for them. Just as data drives the creative and content, it should also drive the narration and calls to action to present consumers with the most relevant next steps, motivating them to take action that delivers business results.

Every brand has a plethora of messages that they want to convey, but they shouldn’t limit one message per target audience. Opportunity lies within incorporating personalized data elements into advertising creative to deliver unique, relevant experiences that effectively engage each individual consumer. As marketers collect more and more data on consumers, they must also share this data with creative teams, who can then use it to support the marketing and sales function by tailoring advertising to not only be more engaging and entertaining, but also smarter and more effective.


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