IPA Adaptathon blog: Go creative with data

Data derived from digital platforms gives a real-time view into what consumers are thinking or doing. Agencies that can unlock that data can use it to provide insight that allows brands and clients to adapt to them and gain a competitive advantage.

Google makes 550 changes to its search business every year – more than 10 a week – UK country head Mark Howe told delegates at the third AdaptLab session on data and creativity hosted by Google yesterday (5th February 2014), as part of IPA President Ian Priest’s Diversification Adaptathon.

"This change is constant," Howe said, "and it’s mind-blowing. It’s the same for agencies too: how they work is more complex and changing, and how they get remunerated for it. And I don’t think the industry has got it right yet."

Google and other digital companies, Howe said, had the tools to help agencies and clients look closely at what the consumer is doing and help brands adapt to that.

"We support Ian Priest’s ADAPT agenda because it will drive commercial creativity and commercial media creativity, and lead to the right results for clients and the right payments for these results."

From data to insight

The key to unlocking insight, according to Kirk Vallis, head of Google BrandLab in Northern Europe, was to find "provocation and stimulus that allowed new ways of thinking." Without it, he said, people will be stuck thinking the same way.

As Niall Fitzgerland, former Unilever CEO put it: "data makes your briefcase heavy – insight makes you rich."

Here is Vallis’ insight into insight:

  • Insight can come from either data or a hypothesis.
  • The process is like a merry-go-round. You can start with a hypothesis and use data to test it; or start with data and look for a hypothesis.
  • Repeat this until you’ve got something juicy to work with. Then get off the merry-go-round.
  • The process is non-linear and the relationshiop between data and insight is non-hierarchical. 

Google’s Project Loon, an attempt to provide internet access to remote parts of the world via helium-powered balloons, was born from data.

Google Glass started with a hypothesis: could Google find a way that allowed people to stay constantly engaged without always having to look down at a phone?

Gathering data

Author John Batelle said "Google was a database of people’s intentions", noted Paul Guerrieria, Google’s UK agency team manager.

As such, Guerrieria said, "it was the biggest and most honest focus group."

Google has range of easy and free to use data tools:

  • Search activity
  • Google Trends
  • Trends for Marketers
  • Consumer Barometer
  • Our Mobile Planet

All found at Google Think Insights

Data tools, however, are not the same as insight tools, Guerreiria warned. To the data, you needed to add a planner with intuitive and interpretive skills.

Get with the macro and the zeitgeist

As well as granular information, data could be used to follow macro – longer-term, or cyclical shifts – and zeitgeist trends about what is hot now.

Two clients that had taken advantage of macro trends, noted Alison Lomax, Google’s industry head for creative industries, were L’Oreal and Unilever.

1. L’Oreal saw from data that dip dyeing was popular. Its insight was that there was no homecare solution to dip dyeing. It developed and launched the Ombre product (http://www.loreal-paris.co.uk/_en/_gb/minisites/dip_dye_hair_wild_ombres/product-info.aspx). Ombre hair searches then rose faster and higher than dip dye searches, giving birth to the verb ‘to ombre’.

2 . Unilever analysed haircare search, and realised that although there were millions every day, no brand owned the space. It developed the All Things Hair channel and social media sites as a destination point for consumers from which it could build a relationship and market its products. Working with video bloggers and social media talent has made it feel more authentic and credible. 

Zeitgeist trends pick up online hotspots. To take advantage of them, Lomax said, "brands need to keep their fingers on the pulse and be agile enough to respond quickly. But not a lot are and it’s a missed opportunity."

The YouTube trends service is a useful tool and a way to spot memes like the Harlem Shake or the sudden craze for screaming goat videos and searches turned into an ad by Doritos

Test and test again

Agencies and brands should not underestimate the value of testing, noted Vallis. It was better to build the right ‘it’ than build it ‘right’, he said.

Testing is a continuous, iterative process, and part of the data-hypothesis merry-go-round. 

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest

Thank f*ck for that: Will Harris reflects on Scotland's 'No' vote
Top 10 ads of the week: Jean-Claude Van Damme scores Coors Light a cool top spot
Samsung Galaxy Alpha kicks off £10m campaign featuring Lily Allen
Nike imagines the ultimate concept plane for athletes
Zumba TV ad depicts contagion and madness of the dance craze
Twitter and Facebook tackle video ads but whose strategy is better?
Johnnie Walker signs up as 'Official Whisky' of Formula 1
Made.com makes Scottish Referendum marketing "blunder"
Castello offers 'truly immersive' cheese pop-up in Shoreditch
Alibaba set to raise $21.8bn and break record for largest IPO ever
Moray MacLennan: Scotland - it is emotional
Burberry dominates social channels at #LFW
Apple CEO Tim Cook pens letter to calm privacy fears following iCloud hack
Instagram set to launch ads in the UK within 'weeks'
Johnnie Walker Blue enlists Jude Law for 'Symphony in Blue' extravaganza
Sennheiser brags it can please even the 'most seasoned' ears
Just Eat £5m campaign to capture 'celebration' of the takeaway
The week's top Vines: Domino's, Torch Energy and Toaster Strudel
Thomas Cook appoints Jamie Queen as marketing director in restructure
Brands are being bulldozed by the internet
Tesco to supply healthy-eating charity Magic Breakfast with own-brand cereal
Richard Branson: Virgin Trains to create 'unparalleled on-board experience' in £50m investment
Failed at real-time marketing? Try right-time instead
Should Coke Life and other Stevia brands do more to educate consumers?
Virgin Trains spends £8 million on advertising to refocus on its brand
Viral review: Beats By Dre's Serena Williams ad is big on swagger but emotionally light
Why brands must get to know instant messaging apps
As a marketer what would you say to your 21-year-old self? - Part 1
Virgin Media ad starring Usain Bolt banned
BMW censured by ASA over ad depicting speed and acceleration