If you want to be truly creative, be insight-driven

Data does not kill but enhances creativity. The best creativity comes from contraints.

Brand building and marketing needs both art and science. Without creatives, data-driven insights cannot be exploited. Without marketing scientists, creative output will be less effective.

TL;DR

  • The effort to bridge the gap between marketing / branding teams and data scientists is non-existent. It is tempting to think that data is killing creativity because today’s CMOs are scientific marketers. But it is really the responsibility of business leaders to nurture a collaborative work environment; striking a balance between “just enough” data and “too much”.
  • Brand building and marketing needs both art and science. Without creatives, data-driven insights cannot be exploited. Without marketing scientists, creative output will be less effective.
  • The intuitive, trial-and-error approach of brand or product creation can only be improved with data-driven insights. By utilizing data you can create more accurate, efficient and effective strategies, before committing a single dollar to implementation.

Art vs. Science: Will Data Kill Your Creativity?

The debate has been ongoing for many years with articles related to data vs. creativity still fanning the flames today. Although authors on both sides of the issue generally arrive at the conclusion that branding and marketing is a balance of Art and Science, many creatives bemoan that too much data drives, dilutes or even kills the creative process. They wail about the “frustrations” of working with data, how data “polarizes” their teams, and view data as being completely “meaningless” in their line work.

While you can sympathize with the plight of creatives being buried under mountains of data, there is no doubt that at least some data is necessary, and even beneficial to giving creative direction. In the age of big data, human intuition and experience are not enough to create truly excellent branding and marketing campaigns. Similar to how Chefs seek out world-class ingredients to create great dishes, Creatives must seek out world-class information as a foundation to build work that resonates with audiences. To get there, the creative industry must be willing to consume rigorously researched data, review multiple data points and find actionable insights. In other words, we need data to inform our creative strategies.

Most creatives understand that the best creativity comes from constraints. Brands need to collect and analyze customer and market data, so that they can ask informed questions and tackle business challenges from multiple perspectives. Without data, figuring out whether your branding and marketing strategies will actually work becomes a guessing game. With too much data, creativity stagnates and the output becomes is just as useless, as you try to craft a message that fits every data point. Charts, graphs and data points are just a starting point to base the work on. Creatives must be brought into the data gathering process to turn these insights into something consumers can digest.

Forward thinkers have the best of both worlds

Business leaders have to put in the time and resources to nurture a collaborative work environment for creative and tech teams. Nothing will emerge without the cross-pollination of ideas you get from collaboration. Without artists, the insights that emerge cannot be converted into a real business advantage. Without scientists, artists can only create based on conjecture, stereotypes and personal preferences, which usually results in campaigns of stunning mediocrity. Even when a truly disruptive campaign emerges, the creatives face an uphill battle from upper-management as greenlighting the unfamiliar always appears incredibly high risk to those signing the cheques.

When they work together from the beginning, marketing scientists and creatives can come together and devise more successful strategies to drive company growth. With their combined knowledge, it becomes easier to convince clients and upper management that the perceived risk of an innovative campaign is minimal, and that executing on disruptive strategies actually make sense when backed up by thousands of data points that culminate into a formidable argument.

It is much harder to argue about intuition when it is faced against data.

Forward thinkers know that all business decisions are commonly backed by enormous quantities of data. They know that the intersection of creativity and technology is where effective branding and marketing is made. They lead their companies’ teams toward the ideal state:

Effective branding and marketing is made by intersecting creativity and technology.

Data Does Not Kill Creativity. It Enhances It.

The intuitive, trial-and-error approach to branding and product marketing is no longer competitive. It can only be improved with the addition of data. Data allows you to eliminate the guesswork and uncover insights that can guide you to better positioning your brand or product. It is the way for you to create more accurate, efficient and effective strategies. By utilizing data it can significantly reduce internal barriers and minimize the cost of failure. Today, with data being plentiful and becoming better and better with advances in Machine Learning and AI, creating million-dollar marketing campaigns without utilizing data is unjustifiable. Scientists and Creatives are not rivals, but an evolution of the process that will usher in new possibilities and more powerful creative work.

Read on to know more about why your strategies can only be improved by data.


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