Last month Ad Age reported how Deloitte and Accenture had entered the marketing services business. I’ll quote from the article
And I wanted to understand just how the creative industry was responding to the rise of big data. I spoke to many of the creative industries leading practitioners. Big data, meet Big Qual People working everywhere from the biggest advertising agencies to the biggest digital agencies; from people working directly with data to creatives working with the consequences. What unites them, poets, quants, poets turned quants, is excitement about the possibility of big data. So what I have for you is some wisdom and insight from across the industry. The personal opinions and the hang-ups are, of course, mine.
What comes out of the conversation is this. There’s still a place for poets in Big Data I’m here to tell my fellow Poets to get involved. I’m here as a relative outsider, appealing to be an insider.I’m here to suggest that the rise of Big Data creates a whole new set of opportunities for the Poets of the industry And I’m here to suggest, respectfully, to my Quant cousins, that Big Data will fulfil even more of its promise to grow businesses and improve the quality of people’s lives if we apply a Poet’s approach to it.
The first message
I want to call out Professor Byron Sharp here. He’s an Australian academic who has been looking at immense volumes of consumer panel data from categories and countries around the world. He’s amassed enough data points to observe some universal truths abut how brands grow. And here’s the prize. The truth turns out to be a lot closer to the broad, emotional view of the Poets than the mechanical levers that some marketers believed they could pull. It turns out that people don’t see the particular rational differences and reasons to believe that are meant to distinguish brands. It turns out that brand growth and share growth are all down to penetration That most promotions target existing users and fail to grow the brand That audiences decode communications from brands in a low involvement way, where emotion and tapping in to people’s memories is the most effective approach. Big data is confirming many of the truths that the Poets of the industry held to. This will be just the beginning. The more we mine big data, the more truths we’ll see about how people buy brands – what’s a human truth versus what’s a marketer’s myth. This will be incredibly liberating for the Poets of the industry.
“Market and technology factors are theIn 2010, people two most powerful external forcesgenerated 800BN GB affecting your organization today.of data The four biggest challenges you identified were the explosion of data, social media, the proliferation of channels andA MacBook Air of devices, shifting consumerdata for every person demographics.”on earthMcKinsey estimatesthat the US workforceneeds 1.5m data-literate managers tocope with thisexplosion
“Everyone is coming to the same place, trying tofind the sweet spot between tech, creative anddata."The largest brands in the world were gettingincomplete solutions from their myriad vendors.Clients, in my view, are finding it more credible toreach into marketing from technology rather thanthe other way around.” Glen Hartman & Brian Whipple, Accenture Interactive
“The Old Spice campaign was a wildlyexpensive manual execution.When you ask, „How do you do thatat scale on an ongoing basis? theroom gets quiet.” Glen Hartman, Accenture Interactive
Les Binet Gareth Kay Sarita Bhatteuropean director chief strategy officer MD, digital planningDDB Matrix Goodby Silverstein Euro RSCG NYWilliam Charnock Paul Matheson Marc Blanchardchief strategy officer chief strategy officer creative directorRG/A New York BBDO North America Euro RSCG 4DJess Greenwood Suzanne Powers Matt BlascoUS editor global strategy officer MD, analyticsContagious Magazine Crispin, Porter + Bogusky Euro RSCG NYRichard Huntington Rory Sutherland Richard Notariannichief strategy officer former president executive directorSaatchi & Saatchi UK IPA Euro RSCG NY HOW ARE CREATIVE INDUSTRY LEADERS RESPONDING?
ATTENTION POETS:THERE’S NO OPT-OUT FROM BIG DATA
“This is a wholly artificial division that if we dontstop is going to get out of control.It will be a disaster for strategic planning inparticular:allowing some planners to exempt themselves fromthe data they cant be bothered to investigate,and allowing other people to think that they are astrategist though they havent a brand strategy orcreative bone in their body.” Richard Huntington, Saatchi & Saatchi
ONCE UPON A TIME, POETS ANDQUANTS LIVED IN HARMONY
"The account planner is thatmember of the agencys teamwho is the expert at working withinformation and getting it used -not just marketing research but allthe information available to helpsolve the clients advertisingproblems.” Stanley Pollitt
THE MORE THE INDUSTRYSEPARATES DATA FROMCREATIVE DEVELOPMENT THE LESS OPPORTUNITY THEY HAVE TOINFLUENCE EACH OTHER
Someone does a TED talk Russell Davies interprets it A cool Swedish agencyon a subject for the creative industry does something with it THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY ADOPTION CURVE
OUR AMBITIONS NEED TO BE HIGHER THAN BETTER GRAPHS
BIG DATA IS TELLING US THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW BRANDS GROW (AND IT’S WHAT THE POETS BELIEVED ALL ALONG…)
Audiences don’t seerational differences andRTBs between brandsBrand growth is due topenetration growthPromotions don’t growbrandsCommunication is lowinvolvementEmotion and memoriesare the most powerfulway to communicate
A MORE LATERAL, HUMAN APPROACH TOBIG DATA IS YIELDING A MORE INSIGHTFUL PICTURE OF HOW PEOPLE BEHAVE
Atlantic City Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun (Combined Properties) 69% 68%EXAMPLE: UNDERSTANDING THE ATLANTIC CITY AUDIENCE
SPOTTING THE SHARED TRAJECTORY THEY’RE PURSUING THEIR GENERATION’S DISTINCT VERSION OF “THE GOOD LIFE” THEY’RE ALL DOING WELL AND LOOKING FOR RECOGNITION AND REWARD Rising Young Singles Established Gen X Super Elites Booming Boomers Active Seniors Families Drive new carsRely on mobile Expensive toys (sail Like driving luxury autostechnology Pay “anything” for tech boats, jet and buying antiques Strive to keep things they want ski, kayak, water simple and stayEat junk food but Active, fit, in-motion ski, snowboard,) healthyprefer gourmet Active, fit, playful Power boats, golf and Understand and value Super fit, high energyBuy same stuff as Buy stuff they see in gardens the idea of duty sports-peoplecelebrities shows and movies Like to look Dress conservatively Are the people you see inLike to make unique Like to stand out in a conservative and look and read the fine print moviesfashion statements crowd for style that stood test Can’t say no to their Like to do yoga and of time kidsLove shopping in new Love shopping for weight trainstores clothes Financially secure, time Good at managing Everything they wear is vs. Money their moneyGetting to top of their Money is the symbol of best qualitycareers success Crave recognition of their success
Creative use of data, leading to more inspiration at the beginning of the development process Mashing the behavioral, transactional, social and attitudinal data surrounding todays brands. Applying deep rigor and discipline to highly speculative leaps of faith.DATA JACKINGDATA NARRATINGDATA FUELLING
You can’t let big data do the talking without an intelligent psychological model to work with. Time for Poets to put themselves forward as interpreters.DATA JACKINGDATA NARRATINGDATA FUELLING
Data offered upfront as raw material for creativity. Here are the data fields we collect about customers: what could you create from them?DATA JACKINGDATA NARRATINGDATA FUELLING
“Journalists need to treat data as acharacter in one of their news stories.Data‟s just a source. You need to knockon the door and ask the data if it has astory to tell.” Aron Pilhofer, New York Times
A HUMAN, LATERAL APPROACH TOPSYCHOLOGY CREATED QUAL RESEATCH A GENERATION AGO A HUMAN, LATERAL APPROACH TO BIG DATA COULD CREATE A NEW PRACTICE TODAY