3 min read
The science of creative effectiveness in B2B
What’s the key variable for marketing effectiveness?
Well, the agency mantra has long been that good creative sells and bad creative doesn’t. Although that remains true, the data explosion that’s impacting almost every walk of life is also redefining just what it means to be creative.
In real terms, great campaigns no longer consist of just a catchy tagline and sleek design. Of course, these elements still matter. But in this age of digital fatigue, our audience is faced with a daily barrage of ads, it’s vital to say the right thing, in the right place, at the right time. That’s where data comes in.
Data unlocks creativity across the entire campaign. Now it’s possible to make informed decisions about how your message varies, where it appears and when, all personalised to the individual. This empowers today’s marketer to work creatively, even if they aren’t technically part of creative.
But everything to do with data is process-driven. Much is possible, but only with the right strategy (and often technology) in place. Here are three tips to consider when building yours.
Go data first.
Using analytics to derive valuable insight from data used to be a bold aspiration. But now it’s possible even for smaller marketing practices to go data first. The role of modern CMOs is increasingly focused on how to use first-party data and ensure compliance with the evolving regulations around it.
Before data can make your marketing campaigns more effective, first it must be gathered. Decide if the data you want to collect will be quantitative or qualitative or both. Depending on your chosen type of data, then invest in a data management platform to start tracking and collecting.
Now it’s time to reap what you’ve sown. Extracting actual insight is the hardest part, and it’s easy to feel lost when sifting through swathes of data. But you can make things simpler by understanding what exactly you are tracking and keeping it consistent across time to identify problems or opportunities. The explosion of Internet of Things, as well a growing data marketplace means that there are endless sources of data available to marketers, whether captured or purchased.
Turn to automation.
Personalisation is the point of data-driven marketing. Customers are delivered an experience that’s relevant and convenient to them, increasing the likelihood of a positive interaction. But managing personalised experiences to your large customer base is no job for a human marketing team. There’s simply too much work to go around.
Marketing automation enables personalisation at scale. One single automation platform can manage every channel of every campaign, including emails, social media, and ads. Once, for example, you’ve identified interested prospects, automation can then send targeted messages.
Automation doesn’t only benefit your customers, but also helps your human team. Marketers are freed from their repetitive tasks, to focus on those that are value-adding and engaging. Beneficial for their development and welfare, while also helping the wider business.
Human sense check.
But with great data comes great responsibility. Marketers must be careful as to how and to what extent it’s used. Because it’s possible to achieve such a level of hyper-personalisation that it actually becomes counterintuitive.
Campaigns that use data in an exaggerated way, for example by sending overly specific messages in inappropriate contexts and channels, can trigger privacy concerns or just be downright off-putting. Machines alone lack the empathetic reasoning to recognise when a line is being crossed. We need human intervention to guide our personalisation towards the sweet spot.
When it comes to data, humans ultimately make the decisions. Our machines are capable of giving us information, but that doesn’t equate to action. Which is why the most important component of any data strategy will forever be the human understanding that leads it.