DATA: CREATIVE FRIEND OR FOE?

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July 14, 2004

Since the big buzz words ‘big data’ came into existence, marketers have been quizzical about the evolution in insights and its impact on creativity. The question of whether data drives creativity, or stifles it, has been a topic of discussion at large this year. So how is creativity being challenged in a data driven world?

At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity last month, the Daily Dose panel discussed “data-magination”. The idea is that data is your creative partner, not your controller. The two should simultaneously work hand in hand and allow creatives to act on opportunities and guide the creative message with the support of insights.

“Human insight informs data, and vice versa. And reliance on data as prescriptive, informing next moves, must not crowd out an openness to unchartered – and intuition-driven – initiatives” – Daily Dose (Forbes).

There has always been some form of market research and industry insight available to marketers to guide their creative efforts.

Marketers have never, however, had the ability to fully measure the effectiveness of campaigns and makeup of their audience in the past with print, radio and television. With the rise of digital, everything (well, almost everything) can be accurately measured. Some might say scarily Orwellian, but I would say excitingly advantageous.

Data doesn’t dictate. It’s an instrument, a tool, and a guide to influence and inspire the creative process.

If we can see what’s worked, what hasn’t, and improve the way we spread the creative message, then why not leverage this?

Think of data as your big brother (pun intended). Data and creativity can be fused together to improve, empower and evolve the creative process. Creativity has, and always will be set by people. People create innovative new ideas. People inspire and evoke emotional responses and encourage us to act. Whilst an advanced segment won’t pull at your heartstrings, better insights can suggest what might.