The new creativity in a data-driven marketing world

Young creative business people meeting at office.

By Alex Lamascus

Posted on 07-01-2021

Despite the repeated drumbeat driving marketers to place data on a pedestal above all else, high quality creative still reigns supreme.

A Nielsen report found good creative is still the most important predictor of campaign success — it is responsible for 47 percent of sales uplift ahead of reach (22 percent), brand (15 percent), and targeting (9 percent). Although it is down from a high of 65 percent in 2006, the customer experience of a brand’s aesthetic continues to be a key driver for campaign-sourced revenue.

No doubt, data absolutely has a role to play. Data enables better targeting and personalization, ensuring the right content reaches the right people at the right moment. Data analytics help marketers build virtuous growth cycles by clearly defining what’s working and what isn’t.

But thinking about marketing in the stereotypical division of creativity and data is simply wrong. Creativity does not stop when measurement and metrics begin. While marketers need to embrace data, there is ample room for a creative mindset with marketing data.

One of the outlets for this creativity is what we call martech orchestration. This includes both campaign and customer data orchestration to shape the customer experience using every app in your marketing tech stack. Martech orchestration is an incredible opportunity to flex creative muscle using valuable data.

Put simply, martech orchestration is a chance to treat data as a creative medium. When done right, this becomes an extension of the brand by supporting extraordinary customer experiences.

CX-focused martech orchestration

In isolation, each app in the Martech stack automates some small part of the customer experience. Marketing automation handles drip campaigns and attribution, ad platforms drive conversions that become leads in the CRM, ABM platforms empower highly targeted messaging, and so on.

Separately, these apps accomplish their stated purpose. Together, they become a creativity playground. Teams gain the power to design automated journeys that delight customers and leave powerful brand impressions.

The marketing tech stack is always expanding. While many platforms include integrations with one or two apps, it usually stops there. As marketing teams add more apps, creative ideas involving data trip over a lack of integration and the requirement to engage in every marketing operator’s least favorite activity: endlessly exporting & importing CSV files.

The need for centralized, intentional integration management becomes obvious very quickly. An enterprise automation platform with robust integration capabilities can unify your martech stack so it functions cohesively. Your marketing team can then design creative sequences involving automated digital events and experiences to guide your customers through their experience with your brand.

Creating magic with experiential design

We can all learn from Walt Disney, who was one of the original masters of leveraging unobtrusive technology to create magical customer experiences. With martech automation, you too can use Disney’s sense of magic as inspiration to design creative brand experiences.

What does delighting customers with martech orchestration look like? Let’s consider two quick examples:

Automatic customer lifecycle gifts

Customer segmentation is nothing new when it comes to email marketing campaigns that add an element of personalization to the customer experience. But how can nuanced customer segments be turned into automatic gift shipments? With a sending platform that connects to every ounce of customer data in your possession, the possibilities become endless.

Sure, you can set up time-based gifts that ship out when a customer reaches 6 months or a year, but what if you want to encourage product usage with nuanced gifts based on certain activities that users take within your product? In many cases that information lives in Snowflake or Metabase and is just too much hassle.

But with a smart workflow built on a foundation of integration, the imagination is unleashed to deliver the most magical customer experiences: an account just added its 18th user? Deliver 18 holes of fun with golf gift cards automatically. A customer just took their thousandth action in your application? Send them some wine without lifting a finger!

AI lead enrichment for business cards

Asking sales reps to do data entry for business card leads from tradeshows is painful, but imagine if you could equip tradeshow sales reps with an automated workflow that enriches lead details from prospects they meet almost instantly.

All the rep would need to do is text an image of the lead’s event badge or business card to a Twilio number, where the image is converted to text by Google Cloud Vision, enriched with Clearbit, and then sent back to Salesforce — all within a matter of minutes and with minimal manual work on the part of your reps.

It’s as simple as having the right platform that enables you to design an integrated workflow to connect the apps for incredible results. You can adopt a similar workflow for virtual events too, to verify and enrich event attendees with just a click of a button.

Paving the way forward with creative data-driven marketing practices

The key is to think of data not just as an analytics dashboard or a metric, but as something that can be orchestrated across your marketing applications and used to create dazzling, automated customer journeys. Marketing automation opens up a whole new realm of experiential design with ample space to innovate and be creative with, to take your marketing approach to the next level.

To learn more about how Workato can orchestrate your marketing workflows, schedule a demo with an Automation Specialist.

Topics: Creativity, Trends & Research, Personalization, Experience Cloud,