Ian Taylor
Ian Taylor 27 March 2018

Data born, creative bred

In a world fuelled by creative marketing solutions, where does the creative spark get born, and who are its parents? Insight and data are, argues Ian Taylor, Head of Ticketing and Data Management at bigdog

Creativity is born of...

There are many answers to this depending on who you ask – anguish, chaos, need. Therein lies the subjective heart of all truly great creatives in many walks of life – but the ideas behind that need inspiration, crave direction and desire insight.

It’s the latter part of that – insight – that is often the answer to questions. Indeed, our clients ask us questions ALL the time; what is happening, why and to whom? What story is being told, and what’s the next one and the one after, the one after that?

At the root of all of this is data. Facts. The foundations of knowledge and what data tells us are key to feeding creativity and generating engagement with our customers.

Let’s be clear though that just having data is not enough. Data for data’s sake and wallowing in ‘how good is this/are we?’ isn’t enough. It must inform the execution of ideas, provide the insight to fuel the creative spark and ultimately engage with an audience.

This understanding is common among companies with a positive data culture, which has top down support and where the ‘dry & dusty data’ merges with the driven creative spark. Sounds easy, right? It’s not, of course, and it can happen organically, but this approach often needs an organisational realignment to merge data with the creative and embrace data as a creative force. Merged capabilities allow the data to be a driver of creativity.

Experiential and connected engagement is what customers now desire and more importantly, expect, from brands – understanding customers is the key to this working, and those insights come from data. But where and how do you manage or store all this information?

At bigdog, we are big believers in the benefits of having a central ‘hub’ for data, whatever form that may take. It requires the investment of talent and resource, and it has the potential to be an all-seeing eye where both the agency and the client can access campaign elements and widgets and can both drill down and see an overview. It is very much a nirvana, Shangri-La if you like, for us planners and data folk. We have it, we use it, and we believe that if you build it they (new clients) will soon come.

But this is not the end of things but the beginning as once you have that analysis - then what? This can result in more accurate targeting, focused spend, less guesswork and more certainty, stronger business case for commercial and sponsorship partnerships but most importantly - insight.

And at the end of the day, this insight is what makes that blank canvas fill up with creative ideas of how to nurture and curate the engagement of customers with your brand. And listening to what the customers say, do and how they respond is the engine by which this wheel keeps turning.

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