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The Influencers

Why Data Alone Is Never the Answer in Communications

BBDO Guerrero's executive director of transformation and strategy Roshan Nandwani on proving the true value of data through understanding consumers

Why Data Alone Is Never the Answer in Communications

We all know that data can be incredible.

It has exponentially advanced our marketing processes - providing never before seen measurement, precise targeting, consumer intelligence and the ability to predict effective messages. 

However, perhaps this ability to provide precision has created an over-reliance on data to be the sole source of all communication solutions. Much as we rely on data for its accuracy, we need to remember that consumer behaviour is not always logical. There is always an element of emotional response that needs to be influenced by the power of creativity. It is only with creativity and an empathetic understanding of consumers that data can truly prove its value. 



Creativity allows Data to be memorable and differentiated

  • Data is great because it never lies. It has no emotion and will provide the same answer to everyone who asks the same question. However, it is the addition of creativity that makes your message unique -- being able to stand out from data’s sea of sameness. Without it, you will inevitably end up with a generic message
  • Here’s a sample from our office in Australia: As everyone tried to sell their second hand cars, Auto-Ads allowed for car owners to create their own spectacular car commercial using AI. 


Creativity pulls you away from appearing creepy with data

  • With creativity, you understand the whys and the reasons of consumer behaviour. You deliver a message that is truly insightful and therefore relevant and not just a “big brother” type of message responding to their x and y actions. 
  • When an ad follows us around – we feel partly creeped out and partly annoyed. However, when it helps us out with what we might be looking for it makes great sense. Here is a sample from our office in Thailand:


Creativity helps you create the emotional bond

  • With data alone, one ends up focusing on the logic of your actions without being able to connect at a human level. Speaking more imaginatively to your consumers allows you to move from functional logic to emotional connections. 


Creativity makes communication even more effective

  • Data can make planning more efficient in terms of targeting, etc but creativity allows you to make your message more memorable and increases your ROI even further. We have seen the drop of results from CTRs to conversion once we simply rely on data. Creativity has seen to create positive impact in an ad's performance. 


Creativity keeps you thinking

  • As data gets smarter, there is sometimes a tendency to let it make all of our decisions for us, thereby  removing our accumulated expertise around consumers, brands and categories.. As we analyze the data, connect the points and create stories we are better equipped to grow our brands in a manner that will work for our consumers. 
  • Here is a sample from China of how TMall used data from category and consumer behaviors to help create new avenues of growth:


Data and creativity need to consistently complement each other in order to make the other work more effectively. Like our brains  - the left and right sides need to work in harmony so that we can become smarter, more interesting and unique humans. 

At BBDO, we can help you analyse and make the most of data so you don't just see numbers, you see genuine insights that can create relevant connections with your consumers. 

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