“I’m a marketer and man oh man do I love a good spreadsheet!” said no marketer, ever. In recent years marketing has been one of those catch all jobs that many a liberal arts major ‘fell into.’ While Gen Z-ers are getting a front to back education on data and analytics, a lot of us are just faking it till we make it.
Data can feel like a creativity buzz kill. But what we don’t always realize is the potential for creativity in data. Data is actually one of the best tools a marketer can have and is there to make our jobs easier. The best stories are the ones that ring true with their audience, right? Yes, nod your heads.
Data can help us tell beautiful stories, and storytelling is essential to good marketing. Now more than ever consumers can ignore and block advertisements.
In an interview on MarketingProfs, Nedra Klein Weinreich, president and founder of Weinreich Communications, said “I believe that the age of the 30-second spot and interruption marketing is just about over. It’s so easy now to skip over TV commercials with our DVRs, block online banner ads, and tune out the pitches being thrown at us constantly,” she said. The marketer’s challenge, Ms. Weinreich states, is to present brand messages in ways that make consumer want to pay attention to them. In short, we must entertain.
Data is also changing. Wearables like the Apple Watch are allowing us our first foray into human data. Human data is any granular human-centered data measured by unique sensors in wearables. When combined with other datasets things get truly interesting. Take for example what Nike did with their “Your Year” campaign.
Nike’s “Your Year” campaign used location, weather, activity and movement data to create unique achievement videos from Nike+ users’ wearables-enabled shoes. The data was customized into more than 100,000 videos that users could share across their social channels. Creative agency AKQA and Nike also grouped the data to make four city videos: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto.
“Athletes are competitive,” said Benjamin Spiegel, director of strategy for GroupM. “They do share their data to measure performance improvement and compete with each other. What Nike has done here is create a value exchange; they use your data, but in return you are getting value from them with these personalized videos and inspiration.”
Data is currency for marketers. To tell a story that resonates, marketers have to be relevant. Data allows a fluid conversation between brands and consumers that is personal and contextual.
At a SXSW 2015 panel on wearables, Michael Deitz, senior group manager of connected cars and owner marketing at Hyundai America, had this to say on the subject of human data: “I don’t want our customers to think we are tracking them when we are not,” Deitz said. “We are interested in speaking to them in the way they want us to, building a relationship with them, and delivering content and information that is relevant.”
Instead of pushing communications on users through the new connection points IoT offers, Deitz said brands have to “think about things from human perspective: what would average person want to do and take from this?”
Wearables and other connected things are heightening the utility of our environments. Brands have a place in that world, they just need to create it.
In a talk at SXSW 2015, leading wearable technology and fashion expert Jennifer Darmour presented three overlapping aspects of the future of wearables that brands should start to ladder up to:
Utility: capabilities of technology
Emotion: aligning brand to technology
Meaning: solving real problems that improve our lives
Wearables have clear capabilities to improve our lives and brands can be the catalysts for that.
Great marketing hinges on a killer story. One that is sharable, relevant, and contextual. Human data has opened up more potential for personalization than ever before. It is up to brands to weave that data into beautiful stories worth sharing.