When you think of creativity, what do you usually think of? You might imagine vibrant colors, intuition, playful visuals and the arts. Conversely, what comes to mind when you think about data? You may be more likely to picture computer screens, lines of code, graphs and spreadsheets.
Creativity and data can seem like two completely different sides of the marketing coin. Yet, like the left and right sides of the brain, they are more intertwined than we might think. At frog, our work often involves merging these two aspects of brand and marketing expertise to create valuable, cohesive and emotionally fulfilling experiences for the customer—and drive business results.
Recently, I participated in the fourth installment of Conversations for Tomorrow, a series from our colleagues at the Capgemini Research Institute (CRI). Titled “The New Face of Marketing,” the report profiles leading marketing and business executives who share their perspectives on the transforming role of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).
The future of marketing will depend on a fusion between the analysis and interpretation of hard data as well as the intuition required to present said data in a relatable, creative way. Leading with emotion and compassion builds consumer trust and, in turn, ensures that your brand has a higher degree of trust associated with it.
Even data-driven real-time marketers must nurture creativity, seeking innovative applications of data to imagine new brand strategies and identities. At the same time, creativity can enhance agility and flexibility in data-focused areas of the business. Recent research from the Capgemini Research Institute clearly displays this. According to respondents, 79% of data-driven marketers can be more agile in responding to customer and market needs than their counterparts. The “New Face of Marketing” report also shares key benefits of creative, data-driven marketing, including improved response to fast-changing trends, generating ideas for customer personalization and inspiring new paradigms for hyper-targeted customer engagement, among others.
This precise intersection of creativity and data can be seen in dynamic virtual advertising—an innovative approach that uses augmented reality to show targeted content depending on the broadcasting channel and location of the viewer. Achieving this requires equal parts creative heft and data-driven digital savvy. To reach the widest possible audience, creative content must intersect with the technology needed to build these assets out. In addition, there is also a need for data-led analysis to determine where a particular piece of advertising would be most effectively placed within the digital consumer landscape.
Let’s take a look at how this already plays out in a real-world setting. Imagine you’re watching a football match and (behind the live action on the field) you see billboards running ads. The ads you see on TV are usually different, depending on where you’re watching the match and on which particular channel you’re tuned into. Broadcasters are testing dynamic virtual advertising technology to superimpose virtual ads so discreetly that the viewer has no idea that the billboard ads they see are different from what the spectators see in the stadium. This allows broadcasters to tailor the ads’ schedule more precisely to the target audience.
Data-driven creative experts no longer must rely on their instinct alone during content development. They can utilize, draw on and embrace the interconnectedness between collaborative creative processes and rigorous, data-driven research. The ability to respond to customer trends in real time—and in a way that your consumer base can relate to—requires equal parts creative intuition and data-driven research.
As the metaverse continues to take shape, creativity will be crucial to harnessing data to create truly awe-inspiring, sensory-driven, virtual experiences that better connect customer and brand. Unlocking an individual’s surroundings to layer a new digital reality inspired by and actively drawing from real-time data signals requires world-building to act on understanding where a person is, who they’re interacting with and in what context. The marketing teams best positioned to lead into this new domain will have data scientists that can tell compelling stories and marketers who can leverage real-time insights.
Creativity and data don’t have to be a “versus” or an “or” anymore. It never had to be. The new face of marketing can accommodate both. For companies and organizations looking to thrive in the new advertising and media landscape, we can (and should) arrive at the meeting point of creativity and data.
Download the Capgemini Research Institute report to learn more about the fusion of creativity and data, as well as the new role of the CMO.