Marketers Live in an “and” World

When it comes to marketing, creativity and data are inextricably linked.Marketing is data AND creative

Two areas under the spotlight in marketing today are creative and data. In the past they were often dealt with in silos: The stereotype was that the creative team worked on projects such as gut-based branding and ad campaigns, while the data analysts focused on tasks such as market mix modeling and segmentation—rarely collaborating on campaigns. Today creative and data are two sides of a coin that double its value.


One marketing leader who’s a proponent of the creative/data partnership is Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO of Wunderman. During her upcoming session at DMA’s &THEN 2016 conference in Los Angeles she’ll be pulling back the curtain on trends to watch in 2017 and beyond. I caught up with Gutfreund jetting between meetings and asked her for a preview.

Can we have a sneak peek into a trend that marketers need to act on in 2017?

The chat bot. It seems like a shiny object, but actually has a great deal of value to offer beyond the obvious of customer experience. We’re starting to see lots of brands using them for service, which is a good start. Better will be using them to gather consumer behavior and insights. Marketers can get one-on-one customer data from chat bots; this is especially beneficial for companies that don’t usually have direct-to-consumer access.

Chat bots are a good indicator of how people are behaving: What questions are they asking, what products are they asking about? Gathering this data can help companies provide value back to the consumer. Marketers could personalize information they send to internal users, too, to get them data relevant to their role.

What are you most exciting about in marketing today?

DMA’s conference is called &THEN, which is appropriate because marketers live in an “and” world right now. Creativity and data. The people making an impact are good at both. Consider the changing role of the CMO. Often in the past CMOs were considered as part of a cost center, but now they’re strategic and are partners in the business in ways never before possible. The rise of the marketing technologist and the rise of CMO/CIO relationship are two other indicators that we’re in an “and” world of creativity and data in marketing today. Business leaders are placing significant value on the data skill and the creative skill; the CMOs who can do both will make a really big impact.

What’s one thing that marketers aren’t paying enough attention to that needs to be a higher priority?

The “what if” prospect.

Innovation is an arms race right now. There is so much pressure to focus on innovation. What we say is, “Whoa. Let’s back up and think about ‘what if’ instead of the technology.” Marketers need to look at the customer experience first and then go select the technology to support it. They need to think about the possibilities.

Marketers know their consumers better than anyone. They need to consider how they can deliver an experience that adds value. Then, they should determine what technology they need to support those experiences. This approach will allow marketers to leverage technology in the best way possible.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should when it comes to technology. Make decisions based on what consumers want.

What’s your take on customer experience in marketing?

Eighty-one percent of consumers say that online and offline customer experiences have to be consistent and work together. You can tell when data is in silos. But marketers aren’t doing enough to connect their data and create consistent experiences yet. When it affects the bottom line, CX will get more attention paid to it.

Also, marketers should be focusing on people, not personas. Move away from broad swaths of customers to individuals, especially in households. Each has a different need-state of what they want from your brands. Personalization can be a powerful way to engage your customers—and is an example of the “and” in marketing today. Marketers need data and strong creative to get personalization right.

Anything you’re especially looking forward to at &THEN 2016?

I have to admit, I’m a fan girl of Simon Sinek and Beth Comstock. I can’t wait to see both of them speak. It will be a real treat.

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Also from DMA’s &THEN 2016 conference:

7 Decision Drivers Marketers Can Tap to Influence Customer Behavior
The Happy (Re)Marriage of First- and Third-Party Data
Why CMOs Are, In Fact, Chief Mystery Officers
Data: The New Marketing Currency in a Time of Change
POPSUGAR Uses Data to Sweeten Its Marketing Performance
5 Marketing “Shoulds” in an Overwhelming List of “Coulds”