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Science vs art – is data killing creativity in marketing?


Marketing is a numbers game mired in alphabet soup. We need to be able to measure ROI through MQLs and SQLs. It’s driven by processes, and marketers need to track every activity to ensure strategic value is derived. Marketing is also battling with elevating its position on the board, so proving success is crucial.

It’s clear that data offers marketers a number of opportunities, giving them more of an understanding of their target audience. For example, modern marketers can now collect intelligence on people’s purchasing history, Twitter postings, and time spent researching products and use this data to build better relationships with customers.

But it raises the question: is this laser-focus on data threatening to kill the creative thinking behind successful campaigns?

After all, it’s not just about using data to build better relationships, but also about fuelling creativity, based on insight.

In my view, marketing will always need creative minds, and data simply can’t replace ingenuity and creativity. It’s a no-brainer. It’s essential to strike the right balance between driving creativity, and meeting the needs of today’s data demands. As part of this, the role of a website is key – it’s a platform where creativity and data join forces.

So how can we use a website to gather data and learn from customers to better inform ideas and innovation?

We access data every day from customers – we know what they like, we know when they like it, and we know where they are. All of these are invaluable insights to better inform creative website content. Marketers now use this insight to inform new thinking – what campaign will have the most success with customers? What type of content is the most successful?

Through making the most of accessible tools and updating websites, you automatically start to use data to inform the creativity of a website and marketing campaigns. For example, simple plugins such as GeoIP to better tailor content based on location, and selecting website themes that align with the desired customer journey.

It’s a clear process – you collect the necessary data, you then take action on it. This is the opportunity for creativity, as you know who you need to reach and when.

It’s the data that helps you enhance customer experience and understanding of the buyer’s journey, but it’s the creativity that builds the lasting relationships and brand loyalty.