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Recently The Drum published an interesting article by Dickson Abegunde, Head of Branded Content & Partnerships at Auto Trader. He was looking into insights from AutoTrader’s latest car buyers report and concluded that for automotive brands to reach car buyers in an engaging and impactful way they have to use data-led creativity.

Data-Led Creativity

It’s a phrase that has been battered around for the past several years due to the development of better analytics programmes and the growth of multiple social channels.

As consumers disperse amongst these channels, some showing loyalty to one or two over all others and some practising platform promiscuity, automotive marketers often find their efforts aren’t resonating like they used to.

Unfortunately the same messages are being rolled out across every platform, becoming repetitive and irritating. We’ve written about ineffective content before, and ultimately the only element separating the good from the bad is consumer insights.

This is where data leads the way. As Abegunde says, “Data allows you to have a clear view of the problem you’re trying to solve”.

Insights allow you to learn more about your target markets and help guide the flow of your creative thoughts; influencing the direction of marketing campaigns and revealing facts. Understanding what car buyers are searching for, watching, reading and posting on social media about can help marketers build up a highly accurate picture of the real car buying journey.

Abegunde explains that this information allows automotive marketers to “build a picture in real time of how consumers are engaging with a particular automotive brand” and better understand brand challenges.

From here, marketers can then create creative campaigns and content that means something to the consumer. Marketing messages can be shaped to answer questions, reassure, prove true value and build a strong, personal relationship between brand and consumer.

And why is this all so important? It’s because of the death of blind brand loyalty and brands subsequently needing to earn trust, rather than expecting it. In a survey earlier this year it was found that when reviewing the level of trust and transparency of automotive websites, only 27% of consumers gave a 9 or 10 (source).

Abegunde reiterates that lack of trust and loyalty from consumers needs addressing with marketing creativity that puts their requirements at the heart of narratives. Trust should be built from the perfect mix of both authentic (User Generated Content) and informative (brand content) content.

Marketers’ Issues With Data

Letting data influence your creative process is easy to say, but not always to put into practise. Not only are marketers drowning in data, 43% of marketers say they don’t have to tools to action it in real time (source), but the process of producing content and using it effectively, then measuring how it impacts ROI has become disjointed and difficult.

It could be argued that marketers have become detached from the creative and imaginative side of their roles, instead juggling spreadsheets, reports and complex analytics methods. Being under-resourced only magnifies the issues as trying to balance people, processes and technology on top of day-to-day work hinders the collaboration process.

On top of this, large volumes of data can be extremely difficult for marketers to process without making mistakes or misunderstandings. So rather than insights empowering marketing, they’re complicating and slowing things down.

So what can be done to make data-led creativity a reality, rather than wishful thinking?

By giving AI the reigns.

AI: Data-Led Creativity As You’ve Never Seen It Before

A successful data-led creative strategy is based on tracking the content of content, the messages posted alongside, the channels used, content engagement and performance metrics then acting on that information. If you think about it, lifestyle choices are not made based on seeing a great campaign in itself, but as a result of the individual feeling part of the brand’s story. This level of engagement is only possible if you understand the individual.  

The holy grail for marketers is to find both detail about the individual and also patterns in large amounts of data sets. Previously, these tasks would a lot of time and manpower. Luckily for marketers, this is what AI loves to do. It’s extremely good at churning large amounts of data, very quickly and with minimal input. You can read more about AI and marketing here.

It’s fast reacting, data processing system essentially becomes a secondary marketing strategist, as it takes over the laborious, but important data tasks that slow you down. By unlocking insights at accelerated speeds, it will provide better knowledge and drive more efficient ways for marketers to maximise results.  

Take a look at StoryStream’s ‘home-grown’ AI marketing solution for example. It uses real-time analytics to understand the context of content (what’s going on within the content) and its performance then connect patterns. Connecting the results gives marketers unparalleled insights into what content to create, collate and deploy.

With so many competitors in the marketplace and customers seriously fatigued by marketing bombardment, it’s never been so important to focus on ideas that capture engagement.

As AI systems tell us increasingly more and more about how to engage individuals, you will be able to see what engages and excites many sub groups of customers. AI can match the correct creatives to individuals so that you can make more informed choices.

In the future, the AI may even be able to go further, creating text and visuals based on the end customer’s attributes, but without intuitive sentience, any such AI would be limited by what it had already seen, lacking true creativity.

AI that frees up time and explains the data allowing you to focus on creating compelling content experiences already exists. Talk to StoryStream today to find out more.

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You can read AutoTrader’s Car Buyer Report here.