Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Can't Wait Until Data Takes Over

Most creatives aren't excited about data. But I actually think that 'true data' is going to set us free.

Right now, because data-gathering on advertising effectiveness is in its infancy, we are living in an age of seriously shoddy data.

We are measuring things like 'recall', which may or may not translate into sales. We are measuring things like 'persuasiveness'... which we can only measure after we've deliberately exposed someone to an ad, so we have no way of knowing if the consumer would have looked at the ad if we hadn't asked them to.

Which is why so many of the ads that pass research are 'saying all the right things' but don't actually work in the marketplace, where they are competing against (in the case of TV) seven other ads in the break, a toilet, a smartphone in the viewer's pocket, the conversation of someone else in the room, and the chance to make a cup of tea.

I am hugely encouraged by the data being generated from YouTube's relatively new 'skippable ad' feature.

The average skip rate for YouTube ads is greater than 80%. Source.

But an insider tells me that within that 80%, there's a huge variation. The most popular ads are skipped only 10% of the time. While the least popular are skipped 90% of the time. In other words, some ads are NINE TIMES as engaging as others.

This just confirms what we creatives have known in our bones, since time began.

That creativity works.

In the future, technology and data will be able to tell us exactly who saw a marketing message (in whatever medium) and then, from their subsequent purchasing behaviour, whether that ad was effective.

When this happens, creativity will finally triumph.

All the advertisers who thought that it was enough to simply say whatever they wanted to say, and gave insufficient thought to engagement, will be shown empirically to be wrong.

And on that day, I propose we hold a massive party.


Anonymous said...

you'll love 'big data' by mayer-schonberger

Anonymous said...

I thought what this might really means is that people, in general, hate advertising but don't mind being entertained.

Big data will continue to show us what we're all really only discovering now, that advertising is harmful, marketing is retarded and retrospective and given the opportunity everyone will avoid ads at all costs.

The future is product placement, product endorsement, product sponsorship (and hopefully) nothing else.

Christopher Ott said...

Totally agree!

In a traditional ‘testing’ environment people will answer their questions with a rational (cost-benefit analysis) mind, which simply isn’t a reflection of the thought process in a buying situation (Or lack thereof).

Single source panel data has already begun revealing that ‘memorability’, which we achieve through – you guessed it - creativity, is paramount.

Basically, if a consumer remembers you, you are more than half way to selling them your product.

So, that means, like you’re saying here, data is going to be (Or already is) a very powerful ally to creative.

Check this out, it touches on some similar points.



Old CD Guy said...

Scamp, as I say in my completed (but yet to be published) book, one day agencies will look back at the methods of 'research' that are currently used to 'measure' advertising concepts (the same pathetic methods that have plagued advertising for decades), shake their heads and say "Those poor bastards, fancy having to have their work judged by such farcical hocus-pocus dressed up as 'science'. "

Scamp said...

Yeah. I'm actually jealous of the people who make TV programmes, in this context. The day after a show airs, the figures come in. Bam. Nowhere to hide.

asmallwood said...

We've just finished some work for a marketing big data company and we were blown away by what they can do right now.

Total analysis of every iteration of every piece of marketing collateral at every digital touchpoint for every member of the audience they publish to.

Once you mix in the data they can take out of Social as well you realise that no campaign means anything anymore unless one of its' goals is building your brand's database.

Beauty is truth and truth beauty.

Damiano said...

Hi Si, hope you're well. Have you seen this yet?

Scamp said...

I have now! Crikey. Thanks D. Hope you're well too.