Data and Creativity: A Symbiotic Relationship

Author: Bob Lausten
Posted: Sep 28, 2018

Topics: Creativity

In an age where algorithms have replaced editors and digital dweebs overrule creative crackpots, there’s a misconception that data is dulling ideas and pigeonholing creative possibilities.

However, that’s far from the truth, especially in the marketing world.

Data isn’t killing creativity. It’s strengthening it… and vice versa.

3 Ways Data Strengthens Creativity:

1. Data proves us wrong.
When brainstorming ideas for creative campaigns, we often default to our own intuitions to empathize with audiences. We get blinded by our own experiences and tend to exaggerate their relevance. This is problematic, because we’re often wrong about how the world works. Data tells us things we don’t know.

For example, let’s say we’re selling strollers. It’s not exactly crazy to assume we’d target parents. You know… people with kids. But Google recently reported that 40% of baby products are purchased by people without kids. Sometimes our gut can be dead wrong.

Pie chart

2. Data amplifies relevance.

With data-driven marketing tools, we can put our creative in front of the right people, in the right place, at the right time. This bolsters the impact of the creative. Plus, when ads aren’t being wasted on people who don’t need the message, the budget goes further. Way further.

In our stroller example, rather than focusing on age, gender and other demographics, we can leverage massive data sets to put our creative in front of people who have purchased diapers online, visited the Babies-R-Us website or searched for baby clothes on a search engine.


3. Data lets us see what’s working… and what isn’t.

These days, we can A/B test just about anything — especially creative. Headlines. CTA buttons. Images. Email subject lines. The list goes on. By undertaking these rapid, controlled experiments, we gain valuable insight on which creative is effective — and which isn’t. And we can use these findings to optimize campaigns and influence future ideas and strategies.

Magnifying glass

Remember, Creativity and Data Are Symbiotic.

Data and analytics can give us essential information about our audience. They can help us understand their needs and wants. They can expand our thinking and narrow our focus. They can help us map our customer’s journey and experiences with our brand. But it’s our creative that closes the deal.

Creative ideas are the lifeblood of campaigns, transforming data into something unique, interesting and engaging. Through copywriting, design, videography, animation and so on, it’s up to the creative professionals to frame messages in a way that makes people pay attention. Creativity can trigger emotions and motivate audiences to take action — the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign.

If data is the steak, creativity is the sizzle.

Steaks on grill


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