Today the opportunity for marketers to use automated information gathering allows us to better understand the individual needs of each consumer. By doing so we can be far more personal than ever by sending focused and targeted reply’s to that individuals specific needs or interests and improve the user experience for them. The ability to be creative in our thinking and focused in our efforts has never before been as strong as it is today.
Creativity Gets Personal With Today’s Marketer w/ Automated Analytics
by Kevin Lindsay
Director, Product Marketing
We, as marketers, are artists. Our data is a palette, and the canvas is a blank slate of consumer experiences we deftly craft over time. And when data intersects design, we’ve achieved something truly masterful. We’ve taken a beautifully creative, artful journey, engineering holistic, relevant, meaningful moments from, initially, nothing.
- The human element brings in the context to adapt as needed to interpret data and optimize the experience—that’s the masterpiece.
- When answers don’t readily come, creativity kicks in.
- The science of patterns, the abstractions, the lines, and the connections will be a mainstay for digital marketers from all corners of commerce.
But what about when we talk about scale? What, then, will keep your artistic integrity and overarching creativity intact? The answer may surprise you, but it will, no doubt, elevate every experience: It’s time to integrate automated personalization. Lean on the science—the automation—to enhance your artistry. The machine does the heavy lifting, and you, the creative, fine-tune and evolve what emerges. Automation makes it all easier, but the human element brings in the context to adapt as needed to interpret the data and optimize the experience—that’s the masterpiece.
Although this may seem like a complete 180 for deeply science- and data-centric marketers, integrating creativity into traditionally business- and tech-oriented tasks isn’t a new conversation. In recent years, researchers have noted that, while IQ is universally on the rise in the U.S., creativity scores continue to decline. Just five years ago, an IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “‘leadership competency’ of the future.” Recognized as a global concern, many European nations stepped up their efforts to integrate creative thinking at the earliest stages of childhood development, with idea generation being seamlessly woven into science labs, writing workshops, and foreign language classes. The European Union went so far as to declare 2009 the “European Year of Creativity and Innovation,” with national discourse tied to creativity as it related to a number of seemingly noncreative industries, from neuroscience to finance.
Similarly, and around the same period, China made great strides to abandon its traditional “drill-and-kill teaching style” in favor of a more “problem-based learning approach.” Our brains, we know, are wholly connected. Gone are the days of right brain/left brain—simply, we need both sides, for everything, and if you “tried to be creative using only the right side of your brain, it’d be like living with ideas perpetually at the tip of your tongue, just beyond reach,” states this Newsweek article, “The Creativity Crisis.”
The implications for the more analytics-driven digital marketing realm are just the converse. Perhaps in your role, again, you’re more facts-centric, diving into the data and formulating comprehensive next steps as a result. Left brain, right? But when answers don’t readily come, creativity kicks in and, according to the Newsweek article, “neural networks on the right side scan remote memories that could be vaguely relevant. A wide range of distant information that is normally tuned out becomes available to the left hemisphere, which searches for unseen patterns, alternative meanings, and high-level abstractions.” Simply put, you start thinking like a “creative.”
It’s what tomorrow’s thought leaders will inherently know. Look at a group like Girls Who Code, which not only teaches young women these practical, hard-hitting engineering and technology skills, but also gives them meaningful experiences that help them better engage, think, create, and explore—the right and left sides readily come together thanks to this innovative approach. (By the way, I am running a donation campaign to benefit GWC and giving away a great piece of art for a random donor. Learn more here.)
I also think about my own 10-year-old daughter. Although she’s not coding just yet, I can’t help but think her passion for art and music naturally lends itself to science and technology. She excels in both areas already—but would she be as strong without her artistic leanings and imaginative thinking? I don’t think so. And, taking a step back, are these girls who code somehow not creative? Hardly. What’s more creative than creating new games, experiences, and environments?
But this concept goes back even further. Bertrand Russell, a pre-eminent mathematician and philosopher, got it right almost 100 years ago. He, like this new wave of marketers, recognized the intrinsic beauty, sophistication, and artistry behind analytics and math in general. “Mathematics, rightly viewed,” he wrote, “possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty … like that of sculpture, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.”
The science of patterns, the abstractions, the lines, and the connections seemed deeply artful to Russell and future mathematicians like Keith Devlin, and, now, will be a mainstay for digital marketers and brand leaders from all corners of commerce.