You may have already thought about it, but it’s most probably true: The digital era is not always about having the most brilliant idea, compelling argument, or irresistible tagline. If you’re not learning from what you’re doing, and using social media data to adapt your strategy to the modern marketplace then there’s a clear risk of being left behind. Clients want more. They want the recipe for success, backed up with indisputable data. But how can agencies provide that?
That was the topic of our #BeatTheBuzz event that we hosted, with WeRSM. As well as a panel discussion, we heard talks from Michael Scantlebury, Creative Director & Founder of Impero, and Agi Kendrick, Account Director at Chalk Social on the matter. All seats were full, so if you weren’t able to make it last night (or you just want a reminder), then you’re in luck because we’ve rounded up a mix of talking points that our speakers bought up. Here’s what they had to say:
Michael Scantlebury, Creative Director & Founder of Impero
What’s Now Possible?
“Data is already breaking up old laws and changing how we view our industry. There’s 500+ terabytes of data on Facebook alone every day, and it’s only going to increase. Never before have marketers had all this data to work with, and as a creative I think it’s an amazing thing.”
What Are The Pitfalls Of Data?
“What if people accidentally click? What if they mention you but they’re criticising you? Data needs to have a sensible eye cast over it. You can also become overwhelmed with data, and need to continuously check it. It’s quick and addictive! It can make you check ‘metrics’ instead of business results. No company has ever gone out of business because they didn’t have enough followers!”
Data Can’t Be A Gun To Our Creative Heads
“We need to use data, but can’t abandon our human instinct. Brands are built up over a long time, and we can’t abandon risk taking just because data suggests what is likely to push the needle by 2%. Think about all of the incredible ideas we would miss out on. We need to have the space to try something, and maybe fail, without feeling like an over reliance on data is going to kill the idea or a creative’s career.”
How Can You Use Data Creatively?
“Lexus built a hoverboard. They took the data about their audience (age, likes cars, mentions BMW etc.), and didn’t just mirror what other brands were doing, they went off at a tangent. To become part of the conversation, brands have to work harder than friends, so they have to do what our friends can’t. Lexus looked at how their audience liked cool things from their youth, but couldn’t just do a Marty McFly meme, they had to go and build the hoverboard, and it worked!”
— Lexus International (@LexusInt) June 23, 2015
Agi Kendrick, Account Director, Chalk Social
Where Are The Next Generation?
“We’ve heard about millennials for years, but Generation Z are already socially active, and they’re often not that active on Facebook (that’s more likely to be their parents). So if you’re targeting a youth brand and have spent years building up an understanding of Facebook, you need to look again at what may be needed to reach those audiences. With that, will come learning how to understand the data in these new places, and it may need a creative approach.”
Data Is Made From Real People
“Every person is a data point. When approaching any form of activity, think of how it translates into the real world. If you wouldn’t do something in real life, why do we keep insisting on doing it online.”
Act Upon Your Full View Of The Consumer
“86% of brands in UK are leveraging retargeting, this means they are using some of their first party data, but only 9% of brands are personalizing based on sophisticated attitudinal data. This is missing a huge opportunity to connect with people in a way that’s actually relevant to them, instead of just chasing them around the Internet. The person behind the pixel is more than just a data point, don’t forget that when speaking to them online.”
How Can Data Inform You When To Change Strategy?
“If a person has seen your Ad 3 or 4 times and done nothing, why would there suddenly be a big change for the fifth? Data can show you where you’re not connecting with people, and with that you need to look at what needs changing. Think about it like you’re in a shop, if someone isn’t interested in a particular dress you wouldn’t then show them the same dress again and again, you’d suggest a shirt or jacket or even just a different dress. Paying attention to this increases your conversion rates and protects your long term brand value”
How Can Data Be Used Across The Company?
“A lot of brands still don’t effectively share data across departments, and they’re missing so many opportunities due to their internal silos. A joined-up approach will benefit brands, agencies, and consumers. Investing in a data management platform (DMP) will help brands connect many dots, and help their agencies produce far more effective work.”
A clear theme is emerging, that data and human judgement need to coalesce into an intelligent and coherent strategy that makes sense to both brands and agencies. What’s next for the integration of data into the agency offering?