Understanding consumers' needs and desires has been a part of branding since the beginning of time. Observing the customer perceptions and behaviors allows us as marketers, and more specifically as creatives, to steer them toward a brand and ensure that expectations and reality are more closely aligned.
But are we truly listening? Are we observing the right things? Are the age-old ways of gathering insights (i.e., focus groups, lengthy questionnaires/interviews, and the voodoo of social listening) enough to gain valuable insights?
Well ... NO!
If your current creative team thinks that the "age-old ways" are enough to keep your brand strong through the ever-changing attitudes and beliefs of succeeding generations, you are in a lot of trouble.
The world is no longer stuck in the 1950s, or even the 90s or 2000s for that matter. The lines between segments and community are getting harder and harder to define. During the Golden Age of Advertising, news and information were controlled by a few powerful sources and people were categorized and placed into neat, socially regulated consumer groups. This made it easy for my predecessors from the "Mad Men" era to predict behavior and persuade their target audience.
Now that information and disinformation are so accessible, it puts the power of persuasion in the consumers' hands and gives them the ability to construct and destruct communities through social networking and content sharing.
So how does a brand stay within the good graces of all these shifting and evolving communities?
Enter a brand’s secret weapon: The Creative Geek.
The Creative Geek understands that Big Data is now a part of the brand evolution equation. The Creative Geek rides the wave of change, looks at trends across the data spectrum, and directs the next move. The creative brief they demand must have a strong mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis.
This information allows the Creative Geek to architect a variety of experiences designed to reach your customer at the most influential moments with the most impactful message. It helps them look three steps ahead at how each subsequent experience will build and shift based on the one before it.
Those insights also help the Creative Geek create an agile architecture that will help the Platform Marketer not only address at scale, but also adapt at scale to protect the brand and keep it from becoming irrelevant.
Big Data is creative fuel we use to protect brands from going the way of Blockbuster, Borders, and Olympus Camera. It takes a special type of creative director that can see how Big Data can be used to impact the “now” of a brand while already thinking ahead to the “later,” and how the brand will evolve in the customer’s mind.
It’s the dawn of the Creative Geek — the age of big ideas driven by Big Data. And also why ... my creative is truly bigger than yours.