Why Data-Driven Creative is so Powerful—and How to Use It

data-driven creative makes an impression on a mobile user

Data, data, data. It’s at the heart of just about everything today and getting cleverer by the minute. But what does that mean for creativity? Right now, data-driven creative is a much-discussed topic in the marketing world. And for decades, we’ve been marrying data and creativity to make amazing things happen. Here are just some of the reasons we champion the winning pair and some top tips for making it work for your business.

Data increases relevance and illuminates results

With people spending an average of four hours on mobile devices seeing countless marketing messages every day, they expect a whole lot more from brands. And that’s exactly where data can become your best friend. The days of posting ads and ‘hoping for the best’ are history. Insights drawn from data make creative more targeted and rewarding.

As Yahoo’s Chief Revenue Officer, Lisa Utzschneider, shares:

“Opening up some of the biggest opportunities in digital advertising today, data is becoming a currency all of its own. It allows businesses to better identify their ideal audiences and engage with them in a more meaningful, effective way.”

Insights gleaned from data provide focus, understanding, assurance. They give us a clear-cut and explicit view into audience behaviors, what they’re looking for and how they like to be engaged with. This offers brands the power to deliver the most relevant creative communications in the ways people want to receive them.

Insights also help to demonstrate the true value of creativity. Gone are the days of things just looking pretty. In an increasingly digital world, data uncovers results and plays an important role in confirming return on investment.

Emotion and efficiency

It’s undeniable that data holds great power. But as Stephen Beringer, Publicis Media’s Data, Technology and Innovation Chief summarizes, ‘an algorithm cannot come up with the perfect gift for your wife’ (not just yet anyway). That takes creativity. And when you bring the two together, you’ve got something special.

Creativity makes people feel and think. Data helps to ensure that they’re feeling and thinking the right things. It’s the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’. The foundations that spark those eureka moments of inspiration. Using data to fuel your creative keeps you from taking a shot in the dark and enables you to efficiently deliver the right, most impactful messages.

Making the most of data-driven creativity

So, now we’ve established it’s not an oxymoron, how can you use data to better inspire your creative output? Here are three top tips:

1. Question before you analyze

With a plethora of data out there, it can be easy to fall into the trap of collecting as much as you can. But to really make the most of data-driven creativity, you need to be clear on the answers you want from data. Have specific questions in mind, and consider the small data. Do you want to know the competitors your audiences are interested in? Or, perhaps, the sweet spot of time when people are most likely to buy from you?

Having clear questions makes it easier to uncover what you need from the data and shape well-informed, insightful creative.

2. Make it actionable

It’s not just what you know, but how you act upon it. Utzschneider explains:

“Understanding your audience comes first, but using that information to devise more relevant, valuable, creative and empowering experiences is the path to greater business success.”

When we translate data into easily understandable insights which inform powerful creative, we unlock its true value.

3. Join the dots

Silos are one of the biggest barriers to data-driven creativity. The best results are achieved when data, creative and technology work together. We favor a collective approach here, with our data experts working collaboratively alongside creative teams and technology people, throughout the process to build on clever insights.

Want to see how data can inspire award-winning work for some of the world’s biggest brands? Check out our Creative Services page.

Cadillac Shadows.

Following a series of successful digital and social campaigns in 2016, Cadillac tasked us with the development of a bold new campaign for the Cadillac Escalade that would not only be memorable, but also serve to drive consideration among the automaker’s conquest audience for the marquee model and deep cultural cache.

To drive earned conversion and help consumers to associate Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” brand platform with the Escalade, Rokkan created a social campaign featuring daring imagery to illustrate the Escalade’s power and style while encouraging viewers to “Cast a bold shadow.”

Centered around four unique cinemagraphs titled ”King of a Different Jungle,” “Force of Nature,” “Every Road a Stage,” and “The Undisputed Champ,” respectively, the campaign ran on Cadillac’s various social channels using organic and paid placements on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Snapchat.

Outperforming all expectations, the campaign assets were also used in reporting for Cadillac’s broader brand success story.

The post Cadillac Shadows. appeared first on Rokkan.

ROA: The Most Important Marketing Metric in 2017

Cashier provides ROA, the most important marketing metric

We’ve been discussing the importance of meeting customer demands for context and personalization in 2017. So far, we have established that we need to think beyond one-to-one marketing and focus on the small data to succeed in this Age of ‘Me,’.

The next area all marketing leaders must critically examine this year is content. Analyst Rebecca Lieb recently said,Context will be the foundation of the next phase of content marketing.” I agree, and context can be achieved by matching small data with small messaging.

Match Small Data with Small Messaging

We are living in an attention-based economy. There is real value to getting some of my attention, so you, as a marketer, better provide me something relevant and valuable in return.

This places a whole different obligation on marketing. Marketing itself has to impart value in the interaction separate from whether or not the consumer actually does business with you. This is a very challenging thought as a marketer. Once—and only once—you have shared value with the prospective customer, you can then start engaging in dialog about doing business with you. The point of content should always be first to inform, then dialog, then sell.

We call this providing return on attention (ROA) for the consumer. It’s the most important marketing metric, and it can only be achieved by matching the small data you’ve gathered to small messaging. Contextual interactions are achieved by understanding who your customer is in the moment (through the small data) and matching the exact right message to her needs in the right moment—or at least as close as we can get (small messaging).

Measuring Content with ROA

The success of our content therefore needs to be measured by return on attention (ROA). There are two sides to measuring ROA. The first is having an understanding of whether or not your content actually provided some value for those that interfaced with it. Second, did getting their attention get you a better, faster buyer? While it’s simply arrogant to think we can change a buyer’s individual journey to purchase, we can make the buyer journey more effective, remove obstacles, and accelerate the buyer down the path to purchase.

This is really new. We’re currently grappling with how to quantify and measure ROA, and it’s something we’ll continue to explore in 2017.

For more insight on ROA, check out this article by John Hagel on MarketingJournal.org. Then make sure to read the last post in my 2017 recommendations series next week: Make the Move from Manual to Automatic with AI.

The Livity Enterprise Programme is here!

Youth event

Entrepreneurs’ Collective

The Entrepreneurs’ Collective is a thriving community for future CEOs to connect and collaborate.

It is open to young entrepreneurs, aged 16-25, who are starting or have started a business and who want to meet other like-minded people whilst getting more targeted support for their business.

Join the collective and get the latest news about our bi-monthly events and workshops, hosted by Google, ASOS, Facebook and more.

The collective is open to entrepreneurs in any sector.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

We’ll also hand pick 20 entrepreneurs who will be further supported by Livity to establish and grow their business through accessing the following for free:

Office space – Use the Livity office as a workspace from as well as for meetings and events.
Mentoring – 3 months mentoring from the Livity team to help with your personal and business development
Skills – Book time with our experts in finance, design, strategy and more, to produce tangible outcomes that take your business to the next level
Corporate contacts – Get access to Livity’s black book of industry contacts, clients, brands, etc

To apply for this opportunity, fill out this form and if you get through to the next stage, you will be invited to come and pitch your business in front of a panel.

Dates for your diary
● Deadline for submitting your proposal – Sunday 29th January 2017
● Finalists Pitch to Livity – Monday 6th Feb 5pm – 8pm
● Final 20 notified Friday 10th Feb

Fill out this form to apply

The post The Livity Enterprise Programme is here! appeared first on Livity.

Giving Technology a Familiar Face

Illustration of humanoid technology.

If there was one lesson to take away from CES 2017, it’s that soon all your technology will talk to you (according to the exhibitors, anyway). Many of the connected devices on display — from ovens, to baby monitors and vehicles — boasted built-in AI personal assistants. In Fast Company, Meg Miller asks if the physical design of these gadgets is taking on more human-like qualities to ease us into this world of talking technology:

“Everything about them—their silhouettes, movements, and conversational tone—is meant to relieve some of the friction that people may feel introducing this level of technology into their houses.”

A prime example is Toyota’s Concept-i car, which is “Less of a machine. More of a pal”. The kawaii cuteness of its exterior matches the cheery personality of its on-board virtual assistant ‘Yui’. The vehicle was designed according to Disney’s ‘12 Principles’ to seem lifelike —  it even has LED eyelashes over its headlights.

Making new technology feel familiar is not a new trick, whether it’s giving a calendar app a leather-like texture or putting horses heads on motor cars. Moving Brands’ UX Design Director Mia Chuang explains:

“It’s much easier to stretch beyond one’s comfort zone in baby steps, rather than asking us to adapt our behaviour completely. If these technologies respond with familiar cues – at least initially – learning to work with virtual assistants becomes far less intimidating.

Something similar happened when cars were unleashed into cities when horse-drawn carriages were the norm. Learning to ‘drive cars’ required a huge behaviour shift and they scared horses into causing accidents. One left-field (and unused) suggestion was called Horsey Horseless, which installed a horse’s head on a car’s body.”

Words by Jed Carter, Illustration by Minji Sung.

This originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20170111.

Subscribe to Moving World Wednesday here.

The post Giving Technology a Familiar Face appeared first on Moving Brands – an independent, global creative company.

How to Boost Both Awareness and Conversions with Facebook

boost conversions with facebook in digital funnel

How big of a role should Facebook play in your organization’s digital funnel and overall conversion process? Bigger than you might think.

I’ve spoken with a lot of marketers who think Facebook isn’t the right place to get in front of their target audiences. The assumption: spending money on Facebook ads won’t translate into conversions.

While that used to be the case, it isn’t anymore. In fact, Facebook has introduced some powerful tools that let you target people by job titles, company revenue and other variables. Both B2B and B2C marketers can leverage these tools to drill down and reach their most relevant audience segments.

Lookalike audiences (LALs) is one example of how Facebook allows you to do just that. Simply upload your customer list, and Facebook will analyze it to determine key characteristics, behaviors, demographics, etc. Based on the findings, you can develop personas and target people who are likely to be interested in your offer because they share similar attributes with your existing customers. We’ve found LALs to be a very effective way to get in front of just the right audiences.

Where Facebook Sits in the Funnel

Now let’s consider where Facebook should be situated within your digital funnel.

Facebook works wonders at the top of the funnel, where the focus is on exposure. It’s great for introducing your brand or product/service, with the goal of increasing awareness among your target audiences. Some of these users will translate into conversions right away (either through avenues like Facebook lead ads or by visiting your website). It should also be noted that Facebook has excellent retargeting options (custom audiences and website custom audiences) that we use liberally for both great direct response and for re-engaging past customers with upsells, renewals, etc.

What about the rest of those users? Well, they’re still going to keep your brand in mind. And later on, when they have an intention to buy, some of them will head to Google or Bing to search for what you have to offer.

Coordination with Paid Search

This is where a smart paid-search strategy will pay dividends. You need to buy highly relevant keywords so that people who can’t remember the name of your company, product or service will still see your ad on the search engine results page. That means bidding not only on your brand terms, but also on keywords related to your product or service.

By leveraging Facebook in tandem with paid search, you’ll ensure more of the right people know your brand — and are converted into customers.

For more on this topic, check out our free whitepaper, 3Q Digital’s Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising.

Great Marketers Will Focus on Small Data for Success This Year

small data about your prospects paints a clearer picture

We’ve established that this is the year of the consumer. We’re living in The Age of ‘Me’, and that means that as marketers, we really need to understand who our customers and our prospects are—and we need to use that to speak to them contextually.

I started off my 2017 recommendations series by explaining that—rather than interacting contextually—marketing has been neglecting to seek out and react to our consumers’ cues as they provide them (like my experience with the online retailer and the shoes). The first step to remedying this is thinking beyond one-to-one marketing to one-to-one in the moment marketing. The next piece of the puzzle is looking at the small data for a better picture of your consumer, at a particular point in time.

It’s the Small Data that Matters; Stop Counting Everything

You don’t need to have a ton of information on me to understand what’s driving me. You need the right piece of information about me at a moment in time.

Robert McNamara was the Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. He espoused the notion that for any problem, you should define objectives, make a plan and measure your success. In order to determine whether or not we were successful in the war, he measured what he had available to him: bodies. He concluded that, because we were killing more people than we were losing, we must be winning. Clearly, that was not the case.

In marketing, our vision is often clouded by the same mistake: measuring what is easy or readily available to measure at the expense of what is useful to measure. We rely on clicks, store visits and other single data points that don’t really tell us what is happening in any given situation. And we collect a whole bunch of this information. Another CMO I know likes to say, “I’m looking for a needle in a haystack, and you people keep throwing hay on top of it.” We count everything we can count, but we are counting things that don’t matter—or we don’t understand the information we have.

Instead of looking at all of the data that’s readily available and possible to collect, we need to look at the real indications that we have a ready buyer. It’s our job to determine what an interested buyer looks like—and if there are some data points in that description that we can’t easily get to, it’s our job to figure out how to get them. This often means breaking down walls inside the organization to share information at a human level rather than at a channel or interaction level. It can also mean bringing in third party enhancing data that help you understand who the buyer is.

Once we know what this buyer looks like, we can build algorithms to help us identify more buyers and a content engine that allows us to match the exact right message to the right person in the right moment—or at least as close as we can get.

For more insight on small data, see Martin Lindstrom’s article on MarketingJournal.org.

The Next Step is Content: Small Messaging to Match Small Data

The importance of that message and the content it’s contained in is the third thing we must rethink as marketers this year. Check it out in my next post next week.

Using Keyword Research to Boost your PR Campaign

Digital marketing simply wouldn’t be the same with keyword research and PR. Search engine optimization (SEO) can greatly benefit PR efforts, and vice versa. Here’s how.

Write Headlines That Attract Your Audience

Headlines can’t be written quickly and without thought. They need to be a certain length (words and characters) and they also need to include valuable keywords, all the while staying true to what readers will find once they click. For example, if you use keywords that are only loosely based on the content, this can be considered a bait-and-switch tactic, which will quickly put you in a bad light. PR campaigns require all types of headlines – anything that’s going to be online needs to include keywords so that it’s easy to find in searches.

Maximize Website Copy and Blog Posts

If your next PR campaign is going to have some type of website or blog post support, such as with a landing page or a themed blog post, you’ll want to include a variety of keywords in the copy. This will make the content searchable – when someone goes online to find information related to what you’re promoting, your web pages are more likely to show up if they include the right keywords and phrases.

Optimize News Releases

It can be difficult to encourage news outlets to share press releases – they get so many every day that yours can get lost in the mass. When your press releases are optimized, though, they’ll appear higher in search rankings – news outlets want to share content that’s going to get re-shared over and over. By setting your content up in a way that’s shareable (or even viral), media will take notice.

Regularly Research New Keywords

As time goes on, seasons change and trends emerge, your keyword research will need to be refreshed. If you’re running your PR campaign for an extended period of time, you may even need to update its keywords while it’s still running. For example, if your blog content is related to a current trend that just popped up, you may want to go in, update the blog posts and re-post them with the new keywords.

Digital media is constantly changing and evolving. This requires marketing efforts to work together more and more. Channels, like SEO and PR, don’t perform well on their own – they need to lean on one another to be truly successful.