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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Creativity that Embraces Analytics

Continuing a thought from yesterday's post, I'd like to second a point made by Howard Draft, chairman and chief executive of Draft FCB, at the just concluded management conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

The thought from yesterday is that a company should train employees at all levels in how to analyze data relevant to their jobs. Howard Draft's point is that the "most damaging distance [in the advertising business] has always been the split between creativity and accountability," by which he means accountability for producing results for clients.1

In his conference speech, Draft
described how the 9,000 employees of his agency ... are being trained to incorporate customer data into the creative process, "to come up with big ideas that incite consumer behavior."
In other words, agency employees are learning how to use data about consumer shopping behavior to design sound strategies for building sales. With these strategies to guide them, employees can then focus their energy on producing creative that is unique, novel, and compelling.

1 Source: "Agencies Hear a Call for More Creativity, but Also More Accountability," by Stuart Elliott, (New York Times, April 20, 2007). Lest you think that Howard Draft, not universally admired in the advertising business, is alone in making the point about pushing simultaneously for more creativity and more accountability, note that the article cites several other speakers who sounded the same theme.


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