John Markham, Chief Technology Officer, RAPP UK
Left brain, rational data can tell you exactly what a person is like, what they have done in the past and allow you to build predictive models for the future. But that could benefit from a creative's input into what emotional triggers are likely to work and when. All too often number-crunchers and creative thinkers are siloed - so do we need to re-think our cultural borders?
Big data sends shivers down the spines of even the most experienced data analyst: how are we going to use it differently and show innovation to our clients? This is where our new creative friends can think differently. For example, if we can map how people are searching for a new car - by colour, whether the kids will fit in the back and the pram in the boot - we can help showrooms re-arrange their display models based on trending searches.
By design, creatives aren’t constrained by the technical “how-to”. They can think freely without the left-brain kicking in, seeking a technical solution that can sometimes limit free thought. Changing how data analysts and planners collaborate, share and think with creative teams will see significant cultural and organisational change.
With facial recognition technology looming (along with ubiquitous wearable tech), how long before we are targeting based on data-driven insights of how we appear and why we are feeling that way? It’s a new playground of endless ideas – and creatives are arguably best suited to take us there, but with a reality check provided by data itself and, perhaps, a little bit of left-brain coaching?
From my experience, creatives are desperate to understand how data can improve their work. Is it time for the left-brain and right-brain cohorts to embrace and open a new chapter in data-inspired marketing? As a technologist with roots in data, I am excited by the opportunity ahead and how creative will use our 1s and 0s to create innovative campaigns.
Jason Andrews, Executive Creative Director, RAPP UK
The very best creative ideas are rooted in absolute truth. And numbers don't lie. Creatives used to have to rely on intangibles, like gut feel and intuition. But these are now complemented by hard facts. A lot has been written about data stifling creativity, but most creatives will grudgingly admit that the tighter the parameters, the greater the potential leaps.
Data provides insight. And culture provides context. The sweet spot for creativity is where the two collide. Ideas happen when insight into people's true motivations and behaviours is coloured by the cultural context in which they exist. Breast Cancer's Race for Life started from an idea about women coming together to fight cancer and grew into a race against illness in a society where staying fit is a key cultural driver.
Coke's Small World Machines were rooted in irrefutable evidence that people share confidences over a drink. This truth was extrapolated into a political context where divided countries could set differences aside over a can of caramelised sugar water.
The underlying data about human truth allowed the creatives involved to make the same kind of intuitive leaps that creatives have always made. Except in these instances, they were able to look harder into the data before they leapt further with their ideas.
Data plays a big part in the way that ideas evolve once in-market. Iterative campaigns, like Melbourne Metro’s world-beating “Dumb Ways to Die”, rely on data for their compass as they change direction and grow. Results, customer behavioUr and, in our socially-enabled world, direct feedback all play a part in plotting a campaign’s arc.
I’m particularly interested in where data can take creativity next. As the true power of big data starts to emerge, we’ll move from prediction and into prescription. No longer will we be looking at the numbers to smart-guess what will happen. Instead we’ll be using that intelligence to make it happen - truly influencing behavior with deeply resonant ideas cut from razor sharp insight.