Frank was one of the guest speakers at the Innovation Day, organized by marketing research agency and partner Validators. The central theme of this day: How to get better results with your marketing euro.

The complexity of the changing media landscape requires new methods to measure and optimize the effectiveness of campaigns. Advertisers will have to participate: IT and data are becoming increasingly important to improve communication and campaigns. With many years of digital experience and customers with a growing digital presence, we see a growth in reports, research and ‘big data’. But what does this mean for the creative process and does it actually help? Is all this data a blessing for the creative process, or is a creative campaign an empty exercise with data as the only truth?

Let me start with the statement that data creativity will never replace for the simple reason that data cannot be creative in itself. Yes, data can act as a catalyst in the creative process, but creativity will be needed to subsequently use this data as part of a story, campaign or expression. However, it is clear to me that the amount of data and its availability will ensure that data will become a larger part of briefings and thus the creation of creative work.



The main challenge I see is the correct interpretation of the growing amount of data and how it is integrated into the campaign development process. It should not just be a report that is sent with a briefing. The data analyst and creative should discuss the findings together, because this combination of analysis and interpretation will provide different and perhaps even surprising insights and conclusions. I am not saying that a creative data should start analyzing and a data analyst should wear the creative cap, but narrowing the gap between the two is definitely worth it.

It is my firm belief that the concept of a creative must always be leading in the development of new and fresh ideas. A creative is used to work with a briefing that serves as one of the starting points in this process. We as “advertising creatives” are not autonomous artists but are creatives who have to solve a problem for a customer through creativity. This is where data analysis can and should play a greater role. This starts with the briefing. Even when it comes to testing and optimizing, data analysis can also help improve campaign views, but there must always be room for the surprise element that creativity has.



If the data is unambiguous and shows that a creative expression with a few adjustments scores better, who are you as a creative to not want to accept this? Arrogance? Fear? 20 years of experience? Gut feeling? As Martin van de Validators clearly stated at the start of the Innovation Day, there are two choices: Adapt or die. (For those who don’t know the term: watch the movie Moneyball ).



Most creatives have little interest in market researchers and data analysts because they “rationalize the creative process” or “have no understanding of how a creative idea comes to life.” Market researchers and data analysts, for their part, find creatives stubborn and arrogant and think they should get out of their ivory towers when it comes to adapting their creative work. I think there is much to be gained and when this happens, campaigns and creative work will only become more effective. Wasn’t that the higher purpose for an advertising creative?

Data and creativity can and should reinforce each other. In this way the value of that marketing Euro will only get higher. Let us not forget that this must be the goal of every campaign and in no way constitutes a threat to creativity. In fact, it is the same euro that largely finances this creativity.


validators innovation day SAIL


The Innovation Day was a great event with SAIL 2015 as the background. We want to thank Martin and his team at Validators for a great day, including a boat trip and fireworks. We look forward to Innovation Day 2016.


Benieuwd wat Martin and Lewis voor jouw merk kan betekenen? Bel of mail ons dan en vraag naar Lennart of Peter.