By

Matthew Lowe

Drawing inspiration from cold statistics and clinical data can first appear difficult and counterintuitive for a creative. Data still carries a very unhuman stigma among many of those whose job is to create content and branding concepts that are supposed to reach their audience on a very human level.

However, this suspicion of hard information and metrics is misplaced.

Summary

Why drive with data?

There are a few reasons why you should bring data into your creative processes. First of all, data provides more information for creative marketers to operate with. Data, when expressed correctly, can tell you things about your customers that you never knew before.

It can show you insights that might have been missed or behaviours that have been staring you in the face all along. These all provide the creative opportunities to express the brand in more and different ways; ways that will reach the customer on a human level.

Real, quality data can also provide the restrictive walls in which creativity can be bound and forced to flourish. Creativity is often inspired by limitations. The key element here is that the limits data provides are honest indications of customer behaviour and what’s been working so far. It removes a lot of guesswork and narrows creative focus down to much more targeted and tailored outcomes.

The human touch of creativity is then far more likely to produce content that works and generates results for the business instead of something that may be artistic but completely misses the mark.

Great potential

There are three great areas in which data can transform your creative content.

First, it can provide new data on customer behaviour. Ask the right questions and you can unearth the emotions and thinking behind them. The answers then give you the basis of better content concepts for targeting.

Secondly, data gives you real time information to respond to. This means real time messaging from you; creative content that provides exactly what the customer wants, when they want it. This is a big save on wasteful content that falls on deaf ears.

Thirdly, data can provide a strong foundation to experiment with storytelling. Manipulating the data you have by asking better questions can tell you a lot about who you’re speaking to. You can then respond with authentic stories about them, your brand, or both.

Our tips for using data for creativity

  • Dig deep to find specific customer groups to target. Be as detailed as possible.

  • Test the conversion rates of your creative choices. Measure audience response and use rates to guide future campaign direction

  • Measure your content’s ROI. Irrelevant work that fails to generate engagement is costly

  • Begin new campaigns by reviewing past efforts. See if you can replicate or adapt previous success

  • See where your best traffic and engagement levels come from and focus on the better performing channels

  • Keep your focus on results and objectives instead of artistic impulses

Combine creativity with the logic of data to help your brand cut through the noise customers face every day.