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When fused together, data and creativity collectively highlight the strength of marketing and, more importantly, lead to better business results. To illustrate this concept, a 2018 McKinsey survey* shows that the average annual growth rate of companies in the “Integrators” category, where the analytics and creative teams work harmoniously, is 10% or more. Putting this in perspective, that 10% is twice the average growth rate of S&P 500 companies.



The McKinsey report notes that organizations can achieve this harmony when they address the four considerations below:

  • Equality

Giving equal and sufficient resources and priority to data and creative departments increases companies’ capacity for holistic insight. Companies that balance the prominence of data analytics with that of creative strategy will gain a better understanding of customer intentions, experiences and behaviours and will be able to make well-informed decisions accordingly. 

  • Agility

Large work structures do not lend themselves well to the marriage of these two branches of marketing. In contrast, small, agile and result-oriented teams that work cross-functionally are more likely to quickly and effectively execute and measure marketing campaigns that are based on both data and creativity.

  • Talent

The key to achieving harmony between data analytics and creativity lies in the talent at the table. Marketing departments that recruit employees who employ multi-faceted thinking in their approach to strategic planning will be better able to fuse the two components together and showcase their contributions to business objectives.

  • Measurement:

Measurement is essential to the justification of marketing spends, and any assessment of the end-to-end success of creative campaigns carries more weight when data analytics are applied. Some of the methods that can be used to quantify customer behaviour and analyze the customer journey include: 

  1. Media-Mix Modeling
  2. Multi-Touch Attribution
  3. Advanced Machine Learning
  4. Artificial Intelligence

In summary, adding data to creativity and pleasure to analytics plays a significant role in demonstrating marketing’s value and measuring its role in overall business growth. However, for these “soulmates” to come together, organizations must employ a new way of thinking, operating and recruiting. Albert Einstein famously said, “creativity is intelligence having fun,” and it’s that sentiment that will ultimately drive the future success of marketing. 

This blog post has been published in the CMA Blog and prepared on behalf of the CMA Insights Council

*The most perfect union: Unlocking the next wave of growth by unifying creativity and analytics  © McKinsey & Company


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