Data-driven creative: Creative’s best kept secret

Croud’s Strategy and Planning Executive, Lisa Sajwani, recently attended a Drum event where panellists explored the topic of data within creative campaigns.

Whilst various themes were discussed, one that resonated strongly with Lisa was that some of the large brands still admit to using minimal data to inform campaigns. She shares her views on the notion of data-driven creative below.

Every time I hear about brands not utilising data in their campaigns, it doesn’t sit right with me. Not just because it’s 2019  and we have so much data at our fingertips, but also because there is a growing demand within the industry to deliver more relevant customer-centric communications, with 53% of marketers in 2019 highlighting this as one of the most important factors.

Data at the heart

At Croud we work with data every day, in everything that we do, so, of course we know the real value of data. It sits at the heart of Croud, and it’s the start of every story we put together for a client. What’s that famous quote from W.Edwards Deming? “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” – this explains what is at the basis of what we do every day, and what I love.

As someone who lives and breathes data storytelling, I would encourage every brand to use it within their pre-campaign analysis as well as in measurement during post-campaign. There is a multitude of ways in which data can be utilised within the pre-campaign stage; from ensuring that you are not only understanding who your audience is, to testing different components and seeing what performs well.

It is true that with every passing day, more and more brands (and agencies) are jumping onto the data bandwagon. However, it’s clear from the events we attend and the discussions we have, that when it comes to campaign strategy. there are plenty of brands who are continuing to resist the allure of the data.

One of the most prominent aspects of data storytelling in pre-campaign analysis comes in the form of data-driven creative. We can, for example, apply audience profiling to help a brand understand what interests and attitudes encompass their audiences in order to better effectively communicate through creative. It is no longer enough to be able to identify basic demographics of an audience – after all, if we were to target people simply based on their age, gender or locations, we wouldn’t be doing a very good job of reaching consumers on a personal level. And isn’t that what digital advertising is all about?

Whether you’re targetting a new audience or lapsed customers, data can help narrow down and create a prototype of your target audience(s). You can also use data to define at what rate your visitors are dropping off the user journey, who is converting and where. These are key data values in order to understand and better develop your digital strategy as a brand.

We’ve got a soup for that

In 2016, Australia saw the warmest winter to date, and as a consequence, Campbell’s Soup saw a drop in sales. Naturally, people are more inclined to think of, or desire to have, soup when it is cold. Campbell’s, therefore, took a data-driven creative approach, attempting to re-frame the traditional view of soup.

Campbell’s Soup collected data on YouTube search terms, categorised them and then used the power of language to target these segmented audiences in a way that would resonate with each audience based on what they searched. There are many segments that they used, my favourite, however, is the categorisation of audiences that searched for epic fail videos and targeting them with the tagline ‘Dinner an epic fail? We’ve got a soup for that’.

It may seem minimal, but using language that resonates with your audience and their interests has a stronger advantage in being able to communicate with them more effectively. This ventures into behavioural economics, which would need an entire article of its own, but there are metrics we can use to reach people on a personal level, and language is more certainly one of them. Because as I mentioned earlier, is this not the entire point of an online advert?

There’s much more that can be done with data-driven creative and a multitude of ways to do it; data-driven creative takes away the possibility of your ads becoming repetitive and boring, allowing them to be consistently innovative and thought-provoking. And if we have the ability to churn out incredibly relevant creative through data research, wouldn’t we want to take it?

Though not everyone has realised it yet, data is creative’s best friend. The sooner brands realise they need to start thinking of them as a duo, the quicker they can start churning out those marvellous data-driven creative campaigns.

To find out more about Croud’s creative and analytic services, get in touch.

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