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Does data stifle creativity in marketing?

Mark Hardy

How is big data being used effectively in marketing strategies? Hot Topics sits down with Viber CMO, Mark Hardy, to find out.

Big data is the buzzword on the tongue of many marketers around the world.

How can companies around the world take advantage of the plethora of consumer information that is available to them to advertise more effectively, and how can they get more of this precious data that allows them to make more informed decisions?

One concern is that an overload of this information might actually hinder the marketing process. Does the amount of data available negatively impact creativity in marketing?

That’s the question that Hot Topics puts to Mark Hardy, the CMO of Viber, the online messaging platform with around 500 million users globally.

Hardy has been involved in advertising and marketing for more than 15 years, representing giant brands from Walt Disney to PlayStation, before joining Viber in March 2014.

How does he view the influx of data in terms of impacting creativity in marketing?

“I think that data is crucial, there’s a lot of talk about data. To me, data doesn’t solve the problem on its own, my approach to marketing in all of the companies that I’ve worked for, is that there’s always been this balance between art and science.”

Hardy is an advocate of balance; and he believes that both new fangled data gathering and good old fashioned common sense are required to best reach a brand’s target demographic.

Speaking of demographics, the use of data might soon make advertising more personal than just focusing on a sub-section of society. Hardy explains:

“A good grasp of data and the ability to analyze it means you can get closer to your user and no longer market to demographics, but actually market to individuals. It means that your brand can have empathy with what that user wants, what that user needs.”

Data usage can allow brands to create a dialogue with their users says Hardy:

“There’s a two-way relationship which allows you to react more quickly, and I think that if it’s used in the right way and people don’t get caught up in the analytics, its actually ‘what can you do with that data, and what insight will that open up for you?’ I think it can actually be a good springboard for creativity.”

Data might not be the whole solution to the future of creativity in marketing, but it’s certainly going to be a big part of it.