ENDING THE WAR BETWEEN DATA AND CREATIVITY

Fact: Split Testing is scientifically proven to be incredibly useful for content optimisation. Yet there are currently 2.5 million Google Analytics users that are not taking advantage of this technology.

EyeQuant’s Fabien Stelzer spoke at Media Evolutions Big Ideas conference last week, addressing the ‘war’ that is brewing between the Creatives and Mathematicians, as data and marketing continue to align. Stelzer, like many others, believe that this is an cultural issue, with organisations failing to reconcile both arts into one cohesive strategy.

There has been a large amount of conversation circulating the marketing industry in the past months, concerning the changing role of marketers as ROI is increasingly easier to test. No longer is a marketing campaign approved on the basis of an audience’s emotional responses, nor is the expectation of an increased advertising budget correlated with a sales spike. Data analysis is becoming more and more integral to a marketer’s role as technology continues to offer new measurement solutions.

The 1950’s and 60’s in cultural America were a time of radical change with the election of America’s youngest president, space exploration and the social movement towards racial equality giving birth to a new generation of intellects. A wave of young art directors and writers from the Bronx and Brooklyn created a new breed of advertising based on energy, style, humour and emotion.

CP Snow, a creative writer and scientist identified this cultural change in 1959. He believed that the intellectual life of Western society was becoming increasingly split into two polar groups; The Scientists and the Novelists. Snow became aware that they were no longer talking to each other.

Today, in 2014, technology has advanced so far as to that we can now test nearly every design decision before implementation; for example, which call to action colour will produce the highest conversion rate for each segmented demographic. We have the ability to identify a digital user and change our website graphics to an interface that that users is most likely to positively respond to.

Stelzer talked about how Google actually lost one of the world’s most highly-acclaimed visual design leads to this issue. Doug Rhodes as a creative could no longer cope with the statistical analysis that his creative work was subjected to, with Google wanting to test each pixel and colour change for conversion optimisation. He was quoted saying “Design philosophy that is driven by data, lives and dies strictly by the sword of data.”

The biggest question we face in regards to this battle is to what extent do we test our creative design? How do we move forward as a society to become Scientific Dreamers and Iterative Painters? Many believe that the best strategy is to test small changes, such as Call to Action button colours, and heading change conversions, leaving analysis of large design changes to post design to encourage creativity in it’s purest instinctual form.

How is your company addressing this issue?

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