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Is Data-Driven Marketing A Threat To Creativity?

Joyce Camille Reyes
May 21, 2020

Influencer marketing has only been on brands’ priority lists for a short while but the industry has already amassed a wealth of numerical data on channels, strategies and executions that worked or didn’t, ushering in a shift to data-driven marketing.

This fast-paced shift, however, also surfaces the great debate on whether a fixation on data threatens creativity and innovation—with some even arguing that algorithms and computer-generated data are hampering our chances at reaching truly creative breakthroughs.

It’s a valid concern, given that banking on the same data to deliver an iteration of the same marketing approach can lead to old-hat executions being used excessively, until the brand becomes too safe and predictable to even attract new market segments.

Still, we can’t do away with data entirely. At GetCraft, data is crucial in helping us make certain decisions in our influencer marketing campaigns. Metrics have also made it easier for us to gauge campaign success, and with all the digital tools available at our disposal, gathering relevant data has never been more convenient.

The real challenge is using data to fuel creativity and innovation in our marketing campaigns. It’s about finding new patterns in even the most boring and repetitive data, and using our insights to create unique strategies for the brands we work with.

Here are a few ways you can start using data-driven marketing for your brand:

Use behavioral data to better empathize with your target market

In markets of one, it’s crucial for you to build your strategy around behavioral data and analytics to make your brand relevant, relatable and trustworthy. “[M]eaningful success will come to those who can augment data with creativity to empathize with the customer,” Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins said.

So to tug at the heartstrings of your customers and give them what they want, you must have a solid grasp of your target market’s buying habits, preferences and lifestyles. With this data, you will be able to structure your influencer marketing campaigns to meet them in spaces and situations where your product or service will be most welcome.

Use data-driven marketing to choose the right influencers

Using behavioral data to understand your audiences better will also help you seek out influencers who are most likely to anticipate the needs of your customers. A more data-driven approach, however, would entail using a mix of quantitative and qualitative data to gauge whether an influencer is a right fit for your brand.

Successful and scalable influencer marketing campaigns factor in more than just reach when choosing the right influencers with whom to launch a certain campaign. Whether your goal is awareness, engagement, or conversions, it is important that you find influencers who are capable of delivering the results you need.

To do this, you can leverage demographic and geographic data to find influencers whose audiences reflect the segments you are trying to reach. This entails knowing the exact age range, gender, and location of your influencers’ followers to help make your influencer campaigns more cost-efficient and effective.

Finally, to obtain qualitative data, marketers are strongly encouraged to personally vet their influencers to see whether or not their offline personas truly fit the lifestyle and personality of the brand.

Back up your marketing strategy with powerful metrics

In the midst of this ongoing debate involving data and creativity, marketers are still faced with this important question: Is a marketing strategy creative if ineffective?

To a lot of marketers, there is no escaping the need to justify marketing proposals and executions using data and metrics. Besides, isn’t marketing budget secured by the promise of quantifiable results? Data-driven marketing can help you project and reach those results.

Traveloka social media manager Ces Vitan encapsulated this well when she said at a panel discussion hosted by GetCraft and Facebook Philippines that metrics ultimately convince executives. “We had to show them that this kind of content works,” she said.

Don’t be intimidated by data

The data versus creativity debate is a false dichotomy. Do we really need to choose between one or the other when using bother can allow us to tell powerful stories, find the people who can tell those stories, and reach the right people they need to tell those stories to?

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