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Cannes Lions Day 2: How Can Data and Creativity Work Together?

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Can data and creativity work together?

We held a talk in Cannes with the Association of National Advertisers's Bob Liodice, McKinsey & Company's Kathryn Rathje, and our own James Slezak to discuss the role of data and AI in creativity, and came away with four ways marketers can use data to inform breakthrough ideas.

What's required?

1. Speed. Or rather, speedier data on upper-funnel creative

Upper-funnel campaigns are often measured via brand lift studies, which only deliver results after the campaign. Ideally, data would be in hand sooner, so you can act on it:

"It is un-actionable if data comes at the end of a two month later brand lift study. By delivering insights to people the next day, you can actually use it."
-James Slezak

With Swayable, you can get results in 24 hours, *before* you run a campaign, meaning the data can help marketers garner support for their bravest creative.

2. Processes

According to Rathje, fast data like Swayable’s is great, but only if you set up the processes to actually use it. The creative team should add steps in their creative development process to gather data before launch.

"People focus too much on the perfect data, the perfect tech. But not on setting up the process, how do I set up agile ways of working to get information and react to it?" — Kathryn Rathje

3. Cross-functional partnerships, ideally with finance

Upper funnel brand campaigns tend to be expensive — they typically involve high production costs and expensive media channels like TV and out of home. To generate buy-in for those kinds of campaigns, marketers need to partner across the organization.

"We often find that finance is one of the overlooked stakeholders in this. When it comes to media spend, you dont want to feel like you constantly need to convince them, you want them at the table with you." — Kathryn Rathje

4. AI (with human involvement)

It wouldn’t be a marketing think-piece in 2023 without a bit on artificial intelligence. But this is not another tip about using ChatGPT to generate creative ideas. Rather, AI can be used to unlock better human insight.

"Swayable is using AI right now to get deeper interviews with consumers. We have thousands of consumers go through our platform to measure upper funnel creative, but we follow up with questions — Why did you like it? Why did you not like it? It’s a real dialogue, and there is a whole lot of information you get from humans." -James Slezak