Data-driven or data-informed?

It’s the age-old debate of heart vs. mind. Let’s use both.

We love data. It can act as the brains for making critical plans and decisions on so many levels. But what does your heart tell you?

Data science has become an essential tool for businesses in today’s digital age, but it’s important to remember that data is not the only important factor in creating a successful marketing strategy. The art and creativity of marketing should not be overlooked, as it plays a crucial role in building brand resonance and connecting with customers on a deeper level.

One of the key differences between being data-driven and data-informed is that data-driven marketing relies heavily on data and analytics to make decisions, while data-informed marketing uses data to inform decisions, but also takes into account other factors such as customer feedback, industry trends, and creative ideas.

In marketing, it’s important to strike a balance between data-driven and data-informed approaches. Data-driven marketing can provide valuable insights and help identify patterns and trends, but it should not be the only factor in decision-making. Instead, data should be used to inform decisions, but not dictate them. This allows for more flexibility and creativity in the marketing strategy.

One way to bring the art and creativity back into data science is by using data to inform creative campaigns. For example, data can be used to identify customer pain points, preferences, and behaviors, which can then be used to develop targeted, personalized marketing campaigns. By using data to inform creative campaigns, marketers can create a more meaningful and emotional connection with customers. Balancing short-term goals with long-term brand affinity is critical to success. “Short-termism” is a term now being widely used to describe this imbalance. Here’s why that may be important to you:

Chart representing how emotion counts in long-term brand success and campaign effectiveness
  • Campaigns with purely emotional content performed twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content
  • Purely emotional campaigns scored better (31% vs 26%) than those that mixed emotional and rational content
  • Based on 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns (IPA dataBank)

Additionally, creating brand resonance is crucial for building long-term customer relationships. Brand resonance is the emotional connection that customers have with you, and it is built through consistent messaging, values, and customer experiences. Data-driven marketing tactics can help identify what resonates with customers and tailor campaigns to their preferences, but it’s important to also incorporate the brand’s values and message in order to build that emotional connection.

For example, a brand that values sustainability and eco-friendliness can use data to identify customers who are interested in environmental causes and target their marketing campaigns to those customers. However, it’s important to also incorporate the brand’s message of sustainability into the campaigns in order to build that emotional connection with customers. And simply stating those values just isn’t enough. You need to develop creative approaches solutions to stand out among all the noise and competitors who are making the same claims.

Think of your favorite ad, website, or communication piece from a brand you associate with. They likely leverage data science to make sure you saw it, and that it was relaying an appropriate and optimized message – but it probably connected with you on a deeper level – almost intangibly – and that was likely delivered by the way it was presented to you creatively.

In short, they did all the homework, not just the math. Make sure you do the same!

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