by Michael Foster
The creative side of advertising gets a lot of attention. Super Bowl ads are a major talking point, and they categorically cost millions of dollars. The ROI from a Super Bowl ad is unclear, but that doesn’t matter; for many brands, whether to do a Super Bowl ad or not isn’t about whether it works, but whether they can afford it.
The irony behind this obsession is fairly clear for marketers who get their hands dirty with the day-to-day operations of driving sales. In reality, the creative side of advertising is a small part of the marketing universe. And it’s getting smaller.
What’s getting bigger? Data.
Instinctively, we don’t like the transition. As much as people love to hate ads, they still have a deep emotional connection to advertisements and the advertising economy. For them, advertising is something you love to hate. Distilling the work of marketing to algorithms, predictive analytics and statistical analysis is dehumanizing, even dystopian.
But that dystopian marketing works. In fact, it works much better than the creative aspect that dominated marketing for years. That’s why Facebook, which uses artificial intelligence to predict which ads will perform best and serves ads accordingly, has become a multibillion-dollar business. Google, too, has used algorithms and AI to vacuum billions of dollars of ad spend from pretty much every advertiser on earth. Meanwhile, American television advertising has flatlined—because it’s still a creative game, with little new data to drive performance.
If you refuse to take a romantic view of advertising, you quickly recognize the value and importance of bringing data to bear on your marketing efforts to drive sales and make money. And even more important: that data-driven marketing creates a better experience for everyone. You don’t need to bombard potential customers with 100 TV commercials and 50 radio spots in a month if you can convert them with one post on Facebook and a few promoted search results. Data isn’t taking the humanity out of media — it’s enabling companies to talk to the right people at the right time, making everyone’s experience better.
That’s the real power of data-driven marketing. But if you aren’t Google or Facebook, where do you start?
For brands who want to make their marketing work and improve the experience audiences have with their brand, they need to model and forecast branding and marketing campaigns. To do this, you need two tools. The first is the toolbox of best practices and standard calculations for analyzing your available media mix and campaign goals. The second is the data from those media sources and platforms.
Fortunately, it’s gotten a lot easier — and cheaper — to access to both.
At this year’s LeadsCon, Gragg Advertising President Darryl Mattox will dig deep into the data modeling issue. In the session entitled “Crunching the Data: Projection Modeling and Forecasting,” Mattox will discuss how marketers can analyze various media options and strategies to create new connections between a brand and customers, both new and old. Learn how brand positioning works in the new world of data-driven marketing—both for greater profit and for a more beloved brand.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2018.