Dear Creative Guru,
The war between creative and data is over! Congratulations, you won. Good news, so did data.
Creative is an iterative process, requiring your work to go through a series of evolutions until you delivered the perfect piece to the client, or presented the ideal solution to your colleagues and team.Data and insights in the creative process has been notoriously slow, and painful. As a result, it is often left to the very end of the process, with the ultimate goal left to gauge “go or no-go” and calculate the media-spend. Until that point, your have no idea what the target thinks of your work, everything is an assumption, and it is a nervous wait to see the impact of the creative on the market. As a result, creative has viewed data as a source of conflict, a final hurdle to overcome en route to market.
As a result of this conflict with data and its inefficiencies, creative has allowed opinion to seep into the decision making process under the guise of expertise.
While expertise can certainly not be ignored, it cannot be taken as the pillar from which to hang your success on. Every opinion should be validated, every idea tested, to confirm the best path forward. However, in the past, gathering insights and data could not move as fast as the creative process, or as fast as the creative process needed it to be. In addition, gathering insights was cost prohibitive and strangely required the expertise of analysts whose only claim to any value add was simply that they were smarter than you.
Today, with companies such as Zappistore, and Survey Monkey, leveraging technology to automate the market research process (especially Zappistore, who have automated the entire process end to end) market research has become agile and allowed the research function to become iterative. If research can be completed in as little as three hours, then there is no reason not to leverage that capability in order to provide feedback on your creative work at each stage in the creative or design process. By leveraging technology you can test fast and test often. Opinion is removed from the process and replaced by data, insights fuel improvements, and the right idea comes through at an early stage.
Creatives, data is no longer your enemy! Data is your friend, and it is going to give the right creative the chance. It is finally a tool that can help you act faster, and have greater impact on the business. Marketing departments will praise this new found alliance, and their ability to move the needle more for less. The war is over, let’s celebrate the alliance.