Data + Insight = Great Creative

lightbulb in front of people

All of us have seen highly creative advertising that was imaginative. Remember Spuds MacKenzie? Many times however, that creative was just creative. It wasn’t strategic. It wasn’t built on data. It was just flat creative. You have to wonder how effective it was.

For advertising to be effective though, it must be built on data that guides strategic insight to produce really great work. Great advertising starts with information; information about the company, its brand, its products, the market/industry in which it operates and the competition.

Analyzing the information you gather sets the foundation for gaining the insight that will enable you to produce creative that inspires. Companies are facing challenges and seeing opportunities that could make or break their business. Diving deep into the data to drive strategic insight will chart a course for the creative to follow.

Through the strategic insight process, marketers must step back and look at the brand and how it is viewed, how it’s positioned and how it’s marketed. They must look at the market, who the players are and the outlook for it. They should look at the product and its category, its key features and benefits and how good it is relative to the competition. And, they should look at the competition to see who they are, how they’re positioned and what benefits they’re leveraging. Most importantly, they should look at the consumers/customers and answer these questions:

  • What do the consumers want? What do they buy and why? How do they use the product? What’s important to them? What will motivate them to action?
  • Where are consumers going for information? How will they find it?
  • What’s the competition saying and doing? What emotions are they appealing to with their creative?
  • What’s culturally acceptable and relevant?

Nike made heads turn when they released the Colin Kaepernick ads. To some, I’m sure it hit home right between the eyes (the target customer). To others, it was a complete turn-off. But overall, you have to respect the creative.

If you can capture the insight that only comes through the gathering, analysis and incubation of information, you can find the sweet spot for great advertising to emerge. When it does, it’s a beautiful thing.