Authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier say in their book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, that Big Data is “about extracting new insights or creating new forms of value in ways that change markets, organizations, the relationship between citizens and governments, and more.”
No matter how comfortable (or uncomfortable) you and your company are with using Big Data, it has undeniably transformed business–and will continue to do so. Marketing is especially affected, as access to more accurate data is driving marketers to consider the ROI of campaigns in terms of revenue and company growth metrics. Marketers that best leverage this data are earning higher ROIs and working more efficiently. Their data-based decisions allow them to spot new opportunities and customer targets and better serve existing customers’ needs.
But are marketers still allowed to be creative?
At Hawthorne Direct we view the coming together of data and marketing as powerful combination that enables companies to deliver effective, engaging and creative campaigns that are also accountable for results. True, Big Data has helped blur the line between marketing’s bottom line and creative, which have historically been seen as separate but equal. But that turns out to be a good thing.
While Big Data helps you accurately target a specific consumer group with precise definitions of their demographic, the regions where those consumers reside, and the best possible TV, digital, or other media placement opportunities, that information also gives the creative side exciting new ways to shape their message.
If the audience is Midwestern business women or Southern California single moms, data means you can build creative that really connects to the target market. Big data essentially makes you “smarter” and allows you to get even more granular with your creative messaging which, in a lot of cases, could benefit from better pinpointing and direction. Big Data analytics means you don’t have to hit everyone in the country with a general advertising blitz, you can instead target specific groups. This shifts your media, creative, and distribution decisions, moving you from guesswork to informed decision-making based on real information.
Factoring in creative decisions on the front end minimizes waste. Creative teams can focus on more important tasks, instead of tripping over ideas on the cutting room floor. They can put their brilliant brains to work coming up with approaches that truly engage audiences across the spectrum – from TV to print to digital to social, and everything in-between. This in turn frees up marketers to strongly push for maximum effectiveness because it’s operating at a lowered margin of error.
So whether you’re a startup or an established firm that’s dumped cash into Super Bowl ads, using creative for smaller and more focused campaigns is both a more affordable and far more effective approach. Marketers should embrace data and share it with the creative teams so that together they can create messages that precisely target audiences’ wants and desires. This new dynamic ensures marketers that their message is powered by finely-honed creative ideas that help them hit ROI goals.