Data is the New Creative Director

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We live and work in the age of data. And there was a time when data was something for the others – the nerds and left-brainers. But data is a tool, not a result. Data is the drum kit you bang on in your garage. It’s the raw material you use in your wood shop. I love this idea from Steven Johnson’s “How We Got to Now” that data, far from being the accountability we often fear as creative types, is actually the thing that sets our creativity in motion – the yellow lines that define our road, the rules that force us to get creative.

The days of the Creative Director As God are coming to an end. We can’t go away for six months and ruminate on the perfect campaign. Instead, we have to use creativity to solve problems on many fronts simultaneously. We have to go from linear creative to quantum creative. We must be agile, responsive, adaptable. Measurement and data provide feedback to that kind of creativity – helping us understand what work is resonating, what aspect of a campaign (channel, treatment, etc…) is effective in order to focus what we do next. We start off with a million different ideas and measurement helps us focus on the ones that matter – often revealing opportunities, insights and paths we had not yet considered.

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