Data Driven Creativity

Last week, iMedia hosted a three-day conference to help media agency professionals gain a better understanding of the data-driven marketing world in which we live today. The primary purpose of the conference was to show marketers best practices for utilizing different channels of data at their fingertips to drive effectiveness for their advertising campaigns. As a presenter and attendee, I was able to speak with a number of representatives from creative agencies, media agencies, marketing firms, and technology providers, all of whom are utilizing innovative approaches to incorporating data into their digital marketing strategies. What I learned is that the most successful marketers are those who are able strike the appropriate balance between data and creativity, allowing data to “inform” rather than “drown” the message.

During the panel discussions, presenters emphasized certain core strategies they are using to achieve this balance. Several in particular stood out:

1. Don’t overthink the data
Marketers now have access to more data than ever before to help them optimize their campaigns. However, as Aaron Fetters from Kellogg’s explained, while data can be a sharp tool, over-analyzing it can actually decrease a campaign’s success. Essentially, micro-targeting without relevant messaging is simply not effective.

JiWire addresses this problem by determining how to analyze data in the most efficient way possible at the outset of a campaign. Our insights inform marketers as to where their consumers are shopping, how often they are shopping there, how far they are willing to travel from their home to shop and what type messages are most likely to drive consumers to purchase. JiWire can not only create micro-targeted audiences, but also make sure the most relevant and effective creative is delivered to those select audiences.

2. Use data to truly understand attribution
For too long, mobile marketing has been measured by the “last click” attribution model, which ignores all other experiences that may influence a consumer to purchase. Woody Meachum of OMD highlighted how data can be leveraged to understand attribution in more accurate way. His team worked with publisher partners to analyze the complete consumer online journey, from unpaid search to social media to content experiences, providing different levels of attribution for each step. The net result yielded a significant increase in conversions and a decrease in CPA.

JiWire is working to address the “attribution problem” as well. Our LCI measurement tool helps marketers identify increases in in-store traffic directly attributed to their campaign by comparing the offline behavior of consumers who saw the ad to the behavior of those who did not. LCI also takes into account seasonal traffic, organic traffic and media influences to ensure the most accurate understanding of ad impact.

3. Utilize only the best data available
In addition to not over-analyzing data, it is also important for marketers to select the right data for their campaign strategy. Chris Pope of Haworth discussed the emerging impact of the programmatic space, stressing the importance of working with partners that don’t leverage “look-a-like” modeling, but rather first-party and second-party data.

JiWire’s focus on precision within our data addresses this very point. We define audiences based on their daily activities and locations within a 4-foot radius – precision that is unparalleled in the industry. Individuals should not be categorized in the same audience just because they spend time in the same geo-fence – and it’s JiWire’s commitment to precise data that helps marketers understand and make this distinction.

It was a great three days in Austin, and the conference left me convinced there has never been more resources available to help marketers and media professionals utilize big data in the most effective way possible.