Creativity rules

Why is creativity still an afterthought for data marketing teams?


Creativity is what can distinguish clever data marketing from hugely impactful data marketing. 

CRM teams that can marry intelligent data-driven marketing with being content and creative powerhouses are the ones that will steal a march in terms of generating long term customer engagement with their programs. But this so rarely happens.

Marketing is easy, right?

Thanks to the plethora of data visualisation, planning, reporting and campaign automation solutions available to marketers, it’s never been easier to have an ‘always on’ workstream of data-led campaign development, feeding into an ever-evolving and agile contact strategy. One that quickly and efficiently responds to new data assets and changing customer behaviour to create deep customer engagement. 

Add to this the predictive models and personalisation solutions that are used to adapt these messages according to an individual customer’s activity and preferences. And you’d be forgiven for thinking everything was hunky dory. 

The creative come down

But when it comes to the final execution, marketers are often let down by the content and creativity of their campaigns. This is both in terms of their ability to deliver the volume of creative cross-channel assets and the elegance needed to make it a stand out piece of data marketing. 

And yes, some brands have managed to crack the ‘creative at scale’ challenge, successfully generating content for campaigns across multiple territories and languages; but they’ll be the first to admit this is at the expense of creativity. And for sure, there are campaigns out there that have successfully joined the dots between engaging creative and the use of data assets (EasyJet’s famous ‘anniversary’ campaign, for example or Virgin Holiday’s 2017 Masters of Marketing winning work). But too often these are one off brand campaigns; outliers in otherwise very much ‘BAU’ programs.  

Creativity IS worth the money

Ring fencing their own HTML coders is one thing but CRM teams need to invest in creative resource, embedding copywriters, designers, asset producers and creative processes into their teams as integrally as they would analysts, campaign or project managers.

Timely and relevant comms are one thing but the cleverness of the data solutions behind them need to be amplified.
— Stuart

We need these creative specialists to work closely with CRM and data experts, to quickly and skillfully bring data-led targeting and message opportunities to life. They’re the ones who can give personalistion solutions such as a product recommendation engine or predictive models the elegantly designed ‘wrappers’ it takes to make them stand out for the right reasons. Timely and relevant comms are one thing but the cleverness of the data solutions behind them need to be amplified.

And yes, we all know that adding another line to those already squeezed budgets isn’t easy, but adding a talented creative team into your customer function will be well worth the outlay. 

We should all be doing it, and doing it now before everyone gets so fed up with dull-looking, mediocre marketing that they never read anything in their in box again.   


Stuart Russell
Client Services Director