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How analytics data should fuel creativity

Contributor Loni Stark believes creatives, marketers and analysts need to collaborate to give digital users what they want and to lead brands into the future.

We’ve all been hearing that the quality of the customer’s experience is now what determines the success of a brand’s efforts. But, did you know that it is predicted that by 2020, 85 percent of a customer’s relationship with a brand will lack any human interaction? If that proves true, then dynamic and personalized digital interactions will be more important than ever.

How will you create heart-stopping, memorable experiences that will win over your digitally sophisticated customers? The same customers who might only give you seven seconds to make your case?

For all the creatives out there — don’t surf away! This isn’t just about implementing more (and more) marketing strategies. Something new is happening, and it involves the intersection of creative talents, data and marketing. Marketers, creatives and analysts must come together to figure out how creatives can respond to increasing demands from marketing departments.

Data should fuel creativity

While creatives don’t typically become heavily involved with analytical data, we may be entering a new era that will change all that. As Adobe Systems’ John Mellor (my employer) said at the 2016 Adobe Marketing Summit:

One of the most powerful tools we have is to take data, put it into context, and tell a story.

We have the ability to measure hundreds of rapidly changing online customer behaviors in real time, and that data is required for the dynamic development of personalized experiences.

While testing ads and content for user responses has been common for decades, there are a number of new and interesting questions to be answered.

For example, what is the relationship between creative variations in campaign content and the campaign’s long-term performance? Should one vary the content during a campaign because it performs better?

This might mean that instead of bringing only your best ideas to the table, you should bring all your creative ideas for A/B testing, which can be done easily with the right tools.

When Mattel was faced with how to reinvent itself in an omnichannel universe, they decided to return to their roots as a “creations” company. So, even though they were a 70-year-old brand in a thousand-year-old industry, returning to what made them special in the first place set them up for the future.

So, when Mattel reinvented Barbie, they queried moms and kids and began making the doll in their image — in greater diversity than ever before. And with one short film, Mattel transformed itself from a company made famous through television to a social media superstar.

The merging of creative inspiration, consumer feedback and marketing strategy was able to transform Mattel from an old to a new company. Today, more than ever before, creativity needs to be fueled by data — and Mattel has proved just that.

Data informs how to optimize creative

As John Hansbrough, creative director at Serena & Lily, said in a Visually survey:

In company cultures where creative works well, design isn’t just seen as people making things pretty. It’s viewed as the way marketers make their ideas come to life. Good creative solves the same problem that marketers are solving, but it does it on a different level.

Some call this “design-centric thinking,” and many organizations are making it a priority to have everyone consider themselves designers. Elon Musk has infused his companies with design thinking and, as one example, SpaceX’s rocket designers created an interactive interface where anyone can manipulate the wireframe of a rocket engine simply by moving their hands in midair.

When designers and marketers collaborate, they’re able to put customers first in creating goods and providing services.

Collaborate and listen

Today’s customers want their technology interactions to be simple, intuitive and pleasurable; and to accomplish that, the entire organization — especially creatives and marketers — will need to start using vocabulary that embraces the emotional elements of users’ experiences through every element of their journey with your brand.

The ability to think in terms of engagement, experience, desire and delight is necessary for empathizing with your customers. And the analytics data can tell you immediately how people are responding to your choices.

For example, surveys show that time-constrained consumers prioritize the content they consume. If they have only 15 minutes to check something out, 66 percent would rather see a video about breaking news than read an article. And when skimming articles about trends, 59 percent would rather skim articles than read one long one. Without this data, you might not make the right choice that will keep consumers on your site.

Creatives, marketers and analysts would do well to collaborate more closely, share data and create a more integrated workflow. Setting clear goals and expectations will help.

Together, you will be able to create a process that provides a new generation of digital users with what they want, maintain your brand relevancy and future-proof your brand.

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by Loni Stark
source: Marketing Land

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