Creating Smarter Creative with Data

What if we could build a brand’s creative based on truths rather than a hunch?

Many brands have yet to make the shift from big data to the right data. Frankly, most brands don’t know where to start. The sheer volume of information available can make it hard to focus and stick to a data-driven brand strategy. Layering digital sources such as Google analytics with traditional research methods offers a smarter outcome. This is the evolution of how we do creative and branding strategy.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the rise of big data has ushered in a reckoning for creative industries who have been scrambling to adapt their business models, capabilities, and processes to a faster-moving and more exacting marketplace. In the face of this sea change, we think there’s never been a better time to be a creative. Why? Because creative people are highly trained experts in observation, and data gives us new ways of seeing the world. It opens our eyes to truths people are sharing and allows us to build more informed and more effective creative strategies to lead creative concepting. This is not an overhaul of what makes creative teams what they are it is an additional tool in the tool belt to make us better.

At the Creative Department, we look at a range of data inputs to inform our work, pairing traditional research methods with search, social, behavior and analytics. Together, these are powerful and predictive methods for uncovering deep insights into consumer behavior—from what questions or needs the consumer has, to what the consumer cares about and what content and messages the consumer shares or interacts with. This ensures that our work is grounded in accurate and meaningful insights. It also gives us the criteria we need to evaluate creative concepts and proposed messaging, so that we aren’t making decisions based solely on gut reactions.

Here’s how we help brands draw on data from multiple sources to inspire powerful creative outcomes.

Look at Google search queries as windows into user intent.

There are three types of search queries: navigational (the consumer wants to find something specific), informational (the consumer is looking for an answer to a question or challenge), and transactional (the consumer is looking to buy). Each reveals consumer intent, which can inform powerful and focused concepting because it gives you the language (keywords) that people are actually using when they search. It can also help you prioritize how to spend your time and marketing budget.

Embrace rapid prototyping and test, test, test.

Search, YouTube and social ads can be cheap to run and fast to market. Digital channels offer a great opportunity to test messaging and imagery before committing to larger long-term investments like print and broadcast campaigns. You’ll get real-time information about what is generating interest, engagement and conversion—that allows for adjustments without breaking your budget.

Uncover insights in online conversations.

Not only do product reviews and social media comments reveal how people are talking about your brand (monitoring them and responding should be an everyday task in your marketing communications plan), the off-the-cuff nature of the messages people leave online can provide a deeper understanding of sentiment. People are less likely to censor themselves in these forums (as opposed to more formal research and surveys) and more likely to tell you how they really feel.

Dig in to audience understanding.

Between your own website, your social media channels, and information supplied to you by your media partners, there is a tremendous number of potential data points to sift through. Not all of them will be relevant to your marketing strategy and goals. This is where knowing how to identify the right data becomes critical. There are a few we consider standard when it comes to understanding who is engaging with your brand and how: traffic channels, pages visited, bounce rate, demographics (age and gender), device preference, geolocation and category interests.

Use data to take creativity to the next level.

What can data do? At the Creative Department, we use data as a tool to enhance and amplify our work for brands. Contact us to find out how we can use the data you have at hand to fine-tune your creative strategy and engage the audiences with whom you are seeking to connect.