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How the best marketing combines art and science

Posted by Chloe Della Costa on May 5th, 2014 at 10:28 am

Data has quickly become the marketing buzzword to beat all buzzwords. While it is easy to quickly become overwhelmed by the volume of information out there, brands and agencies can use data to create value in many ways, even beyond the traditional examples. At the iMedia Agency Summit in Austin, Texas, Aaron Fetters, director insights and analytics solutions center at Kellogg Company, delivered the opening keynote. He noted that while we are all constantly seeing the contrast made between "Mad Men" and "Math Men," the real issue is how can we effectively integrate them. "I'm tired of seeing Don Draper vs. Albert Einstein in presentations." he explained. "Let's look to da Vinci."

Fetters claimed that da Vinci's work best demonstrates how art and science can come together. So what does this da Vinci-style marketing look like? Fetters explained to attendees that data is now illuminating strategy, content, and execution. Targeting is the go-to example of how data can make marketing more relevant and effective. And for good reason. Fetters says when advertising cereal, it's not enough to target "people with mouths." And when marketers decide to try microtargeting, that's great, but you need to personalize the message to each segment.

In this way, content can be driven by specific target audiences. At Netflix, the success of "House of Cards" was predicted based on three key "circles of proven success." Fans of David Fincher, Kevin Spacey, and the original British series came together to give a proper audience to brilliantly crafted content. Coca-Cola's Super Bowl campaign, "America is Beautiful," used different images and messaging for every group.

When it comes to execution, "it's about more than just programmatic," Fetters emphasized. He is imagining a fully data-driven ecosystem that will determine countless factors in real-time. To make that a reality, the industry needs to bring art and science together, keeping in mind that without great minds, enormous amounts of data do us no good.

"Photo of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci" image via Shutterstock.

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