The phrase “big data” most commonly might be associated with the tech side of marketing – analytics broken into charts and spreadsheets. But marketing executives should consider another aspect of digital marketing when putting analytics insights to use: the creative side.

The trick is marrying digital and creative into one seamless marketing campaign. Collecting and analyzing data means little if marketers don’t take the next step to make their campaigns eye-catching and relevant to consumers. Consider the results of the data. Do you have higher sales? Did you gain more memberships and sign-ups? Are there conversions coming from the campaign? Was your call to action achieved? Any digital marketing campaign needs to be visually appealing, but it also needs to be strategic.

This blend of digital and design isn’t par for the course yet. In a recent study, Forrester found that among B2C marketers, only 44 percent rely on data insights to boost customer responsiveness and a mere 36 percent are consciously using intel gleaned from analytics to create strategies focused on customer relationships.

How Data Informs Messaging

Marketers applying big data insights to their digital marketing campaigns’ creative sides might be surprised by the opportunities data creates. Using analytics to identify specific groups of customers can help marketing teams ensure that messaging and branding are tailored to each audience. Big data insights allow demographics to be broken down further than simply “college students” or “middle-aged parents.” Instead, marketers can target “highly educated Californians aged 20-30,” developing content that resonates with that audience.

Equifax, for example, used consumer data about credit scores to develop a campaign highlighting different stages of life. Customers at different points in their lives have different credit scores, so Equifax tailored benefits information to consumers in those various stages. The marketing campaign also analyzed the effects of identity theft on consumers in each life stage.

The impact of data on campaigns such as Equifax’s shows that analytics and creative are no longer separate marketing categories; creative campaigns need to be based on data insights, and data has to be presented to consumers in a creative way to be useful.

Merging Creative And Data

When done well, the combination of data and creative can be powerful. Take Plato’s Closet, for example; the brand used big data to develop two creative franchise marketing campaigns for its two target audiences, teens, and their mothers. The brand knew the groups would respond positively to different campaigns, so it created a concept to resonate with each.

Here are four ways your company can use big data to boost your digital marketing campaign’s creative to see similar success:

1. Study Conversion Rates

You’ll need to test conversion rates for various creative options. Try the same campaign with different creative, and see which one your audience responds to best. Keep those conversion rates in mind for future campaigns, and learn from the creative with a lower rate. Discover what resonates with your audience and build from there.

2. Monitor Your ROI

You need to have a clear understanding of your budget and know what costs to expect. If your campaign’s creative isn’t relevant to your audience members, or if they simply are not responding to it, the costs will most likely be higher. This is especially true on Facebook, which provides relevancy scores.

3. Keep An Eye On Past Campaign Metrics

If your team ran a similar campaign last year, reflect on the successes and failures. Did the audience respond to the design? Was the messaging appropriate for your core audience and even your secondary core audience? Make sure you’re looking not just at the creative, but at all the pieces of the marketing campaign together. Successful campaigns depend on data and creative working together to capture consumers’ attention.

4. Focus on the results

At the end of the day, the most important consideration of a campaign is the results. Are you signing up more people for a service? Are you getting more leads? Are you generating more sales? The goals of a particular campaign will depend on what your company’s overall goals are, but ensure that any campaign is working toward those objectives. Franchises might consider having creative that differs from the company’s general branding for specific event-driven campaigns and regionalization.

 

Even behemoths such as McDonald’s benefit from creative marketing campaigns. The brand launched an ad on YouTube earlier this year that never once mentions the name of the franchise. Instead, the video relies on actress and writer Mindy Kaling to urge customers to seek out the distinct taste of Coca-Cola that comes from McDonald’s. The video got nearly 4 million views in just one week.

Although using big data and analytics to build stronger, customer-centric creative isn’t yet the standard for marketers, merging data and creative can make a huge difference. Customer insights help ensure that your campaigns are optimized for your target audience, especially when your creative is built on a solid, data-infused foundation.