Big Data Requires Marketers To Embrace The “Science And Art” Approach

Published: May 20, 2016

Jessica Hawthorne Castro 300x300The impact of Big Data on business practices such as marketing are profound, and will continue to be more impactful as the insights derived from Big Data become more targeted and refined. Defined by Gartner as “high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making,” Big Data is pushing marketers to consider the correlations between marketing campaigns and bottom-line results. The marketers that are most adept at leveraging Big Data insights into their campaigns are the most successful at achieving high ROI and more efficient processes. Advancing their company’s brand and its capabilities is accomplished by sophisticated marketers that know how to use data to acquire and service various customer bases.

In the book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, authors Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier define Big Data as a task completed on a large scale that simply does not work on a smaller scale. They state in their book “It’s about extracting new insights or creating new forms of value in ways that change markets, organizations, the relationship between citizens and governments, and more.”

With the wealth of data at their disposal, are marketers still able to be creative, or has Big Data destroyed creativity in the pursuit of maximum efficiency and metrics? At Hawthorne Direct, we see a balance between the data and creative campaigns. We understand marketers need to be held accountable while having the freedom to engage past, current and future customers. We believe Big Data is not limiting; on the contrary, it should be a driver for creativity as it helps customers build targeted and relevant campaigns that produce results.

In an article from the Advertising Week Social Club, author Heather Taylor writes that “the more creative steps outside of the marketing pool and wades into others – including design, research and development, and customer service – the more it becomes just as vital to contributing to the support and growth of a business as analytics.” Campaign metrics and creative can no longer be apart as they were in decades past. The line has been erased as Big Data becomes more popularity and accurate.

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To view Big Data in action, consider specific consumer groups that need a product. Big Data gives marketers insights into that specific demographic which then informs the right TV, digital, or other media placement choices. Whether you’re targeting Midwestern farmers or Alabama business owners, Big Data is an important part of developing relevant content that makes the most sense for a target market. It essentially makes decisions smarter and allows granular messaging that can best speak to a target’s needs and wants. This data-driven focus means more specific and effective creative, distribution and media channel decisions.

Baking-in Big Data to the front end of creative decision making means a drastic reduction in wasted efforts and money. Creative times will go through fewer content and strategy iterations when armed with Big Data, and can instead focus on execution and content placement. Marketers can push their creative as fast as possible because it’s backed by data, so the margin for error is greatly reduced. For CMO’s, this is an ideal situation, where campaigns become more effective while spending is streamlined.

Dumping millions into a fun Super Bowl spot can build mass awareness, but turning that same creativity into data-identified target markets is the smarter play for most start-ups and established companies. Mixing the pot with data and creativity means they two are not mutually exclusive, instead they work in tandem to deliver ROI and content that delivers excitement.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is the CEO and Chairman of Hawthorne Direct, an analytics and technology based agency that specializes in Accountable Brand Advertising. Contact Jessica to learn more.

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