When Data meets Creativity. Chapter 3

This last year has been an intriguing journey that went by quite quickly. As probably I have been too busy dealing with all these new changes in my life and trying to stay focused on the path I have chosen. And now, here I am writing my last post about my research.

As I mentioned in my first article this study could not have been possible without the help of over 60 industry professionals. 71.4% of the respondents were between 25 and 45 years old with a balanced split between men and women, 53% of were men and 47% were women. So I have tried to do my part and have women present as much as men. I do have to say that was not the case for my interviews, as all professionals interviewed were men. I am not sure if this was just a random fact or that, actually, in the ad industry in the Netherlands in creative and/or managing positions, men as still the majority.

I would like to leave you with two questions my researched raised, among many others, as they are core to most businesses today.

  1. Who is responsible for analytics in your organisation? 68% of the respondents stated their Strategy department, followed by 14% the Research department, while for 11% the Marketing department
  2. Are you/your organisation planning to hire a data analyst? A data analyst will “definitely” be hired according 25% of the respondents and “probably” according to 21% of the respondents

The above findings give specific answers, but also pose other questions such as: Is there a need for a data analytics department in itself within ad agencies? Could this be the answer for a more intelligent or aware advertising?

As some of the professionals interviewed stated, when hiring data analysts in this industry there are several things we need to keep in mind. One will be the ability to ask the right questions and then analyse the data. As there is a talent of working with data, it is not all about the science in itself. How we interpret the data is key and this is what humans know to do better than machines (at least for now).

Moreover, in order to actually get comprehensive insights which could lead to disruptive triggers, data has to be shared between agencies and clients as the two have access to different technologies and hence different data. It is obvious that the picture cannot be complete, if its truncated. So, it remains to be seen how far the industry will go in terms of investing into people and technology in the next 2/3 years. We should all be aware that the game got tougher and agencies are now competing not only with other agencies, but also with the likes of Facebook and Google who also want a pice of the pie.

Until next time…

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