The creative craftsman and his technophobia

Why are the advocates of data-driven marketing so rarely interesting to listen to? Marketing intelligence advocates trust that more data, better segmentation and smarter algorithms will put an end to annoying advertising. In spite of all knowledge to the contrary, and even though the content of their inboxes should be enough to make them realise that today’s marketing intelligence in practice actually boils down to: ¨From now on we can send you even more finely segmented bullshit.¨

Although I have to admit that marketing intelligence folks themselves aren’t the problem. They’re right to be enthusiastic about the unknown potential of using technology and data to do marketing in a much smarter way. Just don’t expect them to do the campaigns as well. That’s like asking your strategist to come up with an ad. In theory it might make perfect sense to you, but in practice it will not exactly move mountains.

I’m afraid the real cause of this lies with the creatives. Creatives in general don’t really know how marketing intelligence works and where it could be relevant. Nor do they really understand the wonderful things you could do with it. Marketing automation begs for people to come out and play. Conversion optimisation is 99% psychology and 1% technology. Lead nurturing is the art of creating fans a tiny bit at a time. Retargeting as a technique is fantastic, but why doesn’t anyone come up with a better idea than harassing our customer for two weeks with the dress she´s already bought?

Is it not bizarre that today we spend 95% of our creative skill on thinking up, refining and refining commercials, adverts and brand keys, while we leave CRM to an intern or a nerd? Creative skill in the influence industry is all about finding the delicate balance between seduction, persuasion, impact and conversion. Only a fool would not embrace these wonderful new techniques.

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