Transformation and Data-Driven Marketing: It Takes Time and It Ain’t That Easy
Keep creative at the heart of your data-driven marketing initiatives and ensure it’s the most potent it can be, writes Tag’s Stuart Holton.
One of the biggest challenges I see many clients and agencies wrestling with today is how to develop meaningful and effective content to fuel their dynamic creative campaigns. There are a number of issues that contribute to this problem but ultimately they all ladder up to the fact that we are all a little bit guilty of mis-selling personalisation as an easy silver bullet for marketing effectiveness when in reality it requires a coordinated multi-agency approach, investment in data and audience planning, and the implementation of complex often over specced technology systems.
In summary: it takes time and it ain’t that easy.
This inherent complexity and our desire to make it simple for our clients to get quickly onto the DCO ladder means we often demote the creative process in favour of some of the less familiar tasks. The typical outcome of this approach is that the first tentative toes are often dipped in with sub-par creative frameworks which have often been hastily reworked from existing campaign assets. This approach often means lukewarm results for the first outing; at best coming away with a ‘long list of things to do right next time’ and at worst, jettisoning it as a tactic and focusing on proven (and more familiar) approaches to drive growth.
DCO technologies have the potential to generate thousands of different variations to target and optimise against different audiences and their contexts, but by using creative frameworks that can’t be effectively leveraged in this way it really limits what we can expect. It’s like putting shitty fuel in a Formula 1 engine…yeah, it works, but you don’t get anywhere near the performance from it that you’d expect.
So, how can we avoid this?
Firstly, never assume that existing or legacy campaign creative is going to be fit for purpose. Be completely honest with yourself and ask if you are able to scale it into a template format that can create distinct and engaging communications that resonate with your different audiences. If it’s not going to cut it, I would suggest you need to invest in new campaign creative – or scale back your ambition.
Secondly, deploy multi-disciplinary teams to tackle the creative task. By getting your creative teams to work collaboratively with DCO platform experts and designers, you stand the best chance of developing templates that maximise its full capability and also have longevity.
Finally, have a plan to optimise your creative. Make this a part of your originating brief and ring-fence budget to do this task. Dynamic creative can validate lots of hypothesis about how your creative works and having the ability to react to these while in flight will drive greater success.
In short – don’t marginalise creative just because it’s in our wheelhouse. Keep it at the heart of your data-driven marketing initiatives and ensure it’s the most potent it can be.
Stuart Holton is Digital Innovation Partner at Tag