ThinkOTB Agency

3 innovative ways you can use data in marketing and advertising

December 7, 2016

The tendency to think of data as little more than numbers is tempting. There are, in fact, a number of innovative ways you can use data creatively in advertising. 

It can do more than simply monitor progress and be used to inform strategy going forwards. Using data to actively engage with audiences and as a focal point of attention can transform it from a tool into a showpiece. This week we have three innovative uses of data to get your outside the box ideas flowing.

Turn heads

Data can be ugly and difficult to consume. But, when data is presented creatively it doesn’t have to be kept in the background.  

This is exactly the takeaway that marketers should learn from Spotify’s latest marketing campaign. You may have noticed their adverts adorned across billboards from New York to London to Paris. They combined data with Out Of Home (OOH) advertising to give a humorous, topical and regionally-focused twist to their insights.

Some of the best have included witty lines such as “Dear Person who played “Sorry” 42 times on Valentines’ Day, what did you do?” In the UK, one board proclaimed “Dear 3,749 people who streamed “It’s the End Of The World As We Know It” the day of the Brexit vote, hang in there”.

Spotify are using the tag line “Thanks 2016. It’s been weird.” The brand has cleverly tapped into the sense of this a turbulent year coming to an end. This is a trend which has played out on social media through memes in recent weeks.

For AdWeek, the strategy ‘is a clever, engaging way to use data to humanise technology. And it works particularly well for music, since people do have such a passionate emotional connection to it—which does lead to some quirky data points indeed.’

Share and share alike

Much is said about the sharing economy. Companies like AirBnB and Uber leading the way towards a more open and cooperative economy based on the communication opportunities offered by the internet. 

Back in 2013, The Economist reported that almost everything is for hire. It is easier than ever to rent a room or boat or dog walker in almost any part of the world. For The Economist ‘the big change is the availability of more data about people and things, which allows physical assets to be disaggregated and consumed as services.’

Now in 2016, Signal has reported that as the seemingly unstoppable trend towards ever more integration and sharing continues. They say that ‘marketers will be joining the collaborative economy as they seek ways to maximise one of their most valuable assets: first-party data.’

It is argued that this modern version of mailing list data-sharing allows marketers to reach their audiences at an increasingly specific point in their journey as a customer. We’re moving beyond social media giants such as Facebook as the only way to draw cross-platform data. Now, we’re looking towards strategically sharing first party data with other organisations. It’s possible to increase the scale and reach of your campaigns and reduce the gaps in your organisation’s knowledge of the holistic customer experience.

Go local 

Another innovative way of using data is to capitalise upon the availability and importance of localised data. Spotify regionalised its campaign to apply its insights in the most appropriate way for each audience. Localising your data can in fact work wonders for your campaign.

It is fair to say that the concept of localisation isn’t new. Postcode data has been used to inform direct marketing and email campaigns for many years now. However, according to content writing agency Skyword, until recently, ‘most marketers haven’t really figured out how to leverage location data to engage customers and drive sales.’

The popularity of wearable tech and location sharing is undoubtedly on the rise. Skyword points to a number of brands who have successfully engaged with location data. It’s helped businesses to inform crowdsourcing, partnerships and retail coupon campaigns.

Campaign Live considers the future of big data to be all about location. They state that ‘according to a Posterscope survey of 100 marketers, most believe location data could improve ROI by 60% and plan to boost investment in this area. They also believe location data will be “fully embraced” in campaigns by 2019.’

There are lots of innovative methods of placing data at the heart of an advertising campaign. There is little excuse for simply crunching numbers as an end in itself. Data insights can be both engaging and valuable when presented creatively. It could be the key to riding the wave towards ever more targeted and informed campaigns in the future.

Want to talk about putting your advertising data to good use? Get in touch with the team at Think OTB.