The Benefits of Adding Data to Your Existing Creative Process

There is usually a big departmental divide between performance marketers and creative professionals, and using data has become a bridge where everyone benefits. Today most creative briefs (either in house or with a creative agency) are made without any real performance data, so designers are often left guessing what works and supplementing their design decisions with their personal preferences. This guesswork leads to ads that are less effective at connecting with and engaging your target audience.  By adding performance data to your creative process, you can make more informed decisions about what creative elements are most effective at driving results, and optimize your ads to achieve better outcomes. In this post, we'll explore the benefits of incorporating data into your creative process, and provide tips on how to get started.

Data gives designers freedom 

By leveraging performance data to optimize their designs, designers can focus on pushing the boundaries of their creativity, and exploring new and innovative ways to engage their target audience. This combination of creativity and data-driven insights can lead to more impactful and memorable ads, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.

Data tells you what matters (and what doesn’t) in your designs

Does the background color really matter? Does the discount type matter? How important are the phrases I am using? Not all creative elements are equally important in the creatives that you make, and it can be tempting to arrive at false conclusions about your creatives based on a few data points.  If you have a well organized dataset and are regularly testing new creatives, you should be able to not only identify what categories matter (Background, Discount Type, Phrases), but their impact relative to each other in terms of performance.

Using data will lead to improved performance over time 

This seems to go without saying, but adding data to your creative process will lead to better performance over time. We tagged “Data driven creative” across our client list against “Regular Creatives” and we noticed that the “Data driven” assets performed over 20% better than the the “Regular” assets.  What is just as interesting is that organizations that embraced the practice started to incorporate their learnings across different media types (online, offline, etc.) and into their brand guidelines as “Best Practices”. Data becomes the bridge between creativity and performance.

Tips on Getting Started 

The easiest way to get started is to find the part of your creative process where you can insert data as simply as possible without inventing new processes or work streams. For some marketers these are weekly meetings, and for others these are project based creative briefs.  If you put relevant data points in front of a designer (and give them a little bit of necessary context) we have noticed that they will automatically start incorporating more high performing assets into their creatives. Most designers are starting from scratch, so any information to help them is going to be incorporated.  In terms of what information you should be sharing… start simple. Focus on the 2-3 creative categories that have the biggest impact on performance. We have found that once designers understand the value of the data and start to use it, they become ravenous for information so they can optimize even further.