If you’re creating digital or social campaigns you’ve had these sorts of thoughts…

It’s so disheartening. People only care about Kardashians.

Let’s just hire super famous influencer X to throw us a few @mentions

Cat video! 

Nowadays tech savvy teens create just as effective campaigns as coveted creative directors, and it makes you wonder…is the creative process redundant?

No, no it’s not. But as technology has turned basement dwelling teenagers in marketing superstars, it’s also given seasoned storytellers a super weapon…data.

For creatives, data can be a dirty word. Mention the ‘D’ work and there’s a high probability artistically inclined folk’s eyeballs will glaze over. Who wants to think about stats and percentages when there’s on a big, juicy brief on the table?

Sure, there’s resistance, because mathematical ineptness is one reason people in the game chose it over less glam professions, but the Big D has one thing going for it – it works. With the ability to test headlines, and measure clicks, shares, and completion rates we’re given at insight into consumer minds that’s never been possible. Add these insights to the creative process and you’re equipped with a roadmap to engagement city.

When data gets into bed with creativity the following questions can be answered:

Is the audience’s interest piqued?
Did they choose to read?
Are they engaged, but still curious?
Did they like the story?
Were they moved by the story?

Once the scary numbers have been turned into tasty pie charts and insights it’s clear what works, and what doesn’t. Following that it’s just a matter tweaking content accordingly, then testing, testing, testing. And that’s where creativity comes back into it, albeit in a much more effective, measurable way. The mentality that some ideas don’t work ‘just because’ is dead. There’s an explanation for everything in the digital world. The numbers don’t lie.
So next time you’re attempting to conjure up a creative idea and you think to yourself it’d be easier to just hire a Kardashian to dress up like a kitten, stop reassess, and get deep in the data vortex. On returning you’ll know what your audience want and how they want it. The rest if far from easy, but the guess work has been wiped out…

Data’s not the enemy, and it’ll get those creative juices flowing. 

Fuel your imagination.

*Mark wrote this blog after attending Storyology 2015, and was particularly inspired by Anna O’Leary, head of editorial at Upworthy