Forget The Big Data BS & Focus On The ‘Brilliant’ Basics

Forget The Big Data BS & Focus On The ‘Brilliant’ Basics
SHARE
THIS



If Coca-Cola can get back to basics when it comes to handling data, the rest of us should be able to drop the bullshit and do the same, writes Ben Willee (pictured below), general manager and media director of full-service agency Spinach.

Ben Willee

If you haven’t ditched it from your marketing vocab already, it’s time to get rid of the term ‘big data’. WTF does big data even mean? The idea that data has to be big, that it has to involve complicated data mining and algorithms is just complete bollocks. There’s really no such thing as big data – only relevant data.

Sitting through the presentations at ADMA’s Data Day, it occurred to me that many people are so caught up in the bullshit around data – they’re missing the point. So much of this is thought to be the responsibility of boffins in the corner, but Coca-Cola’s Justin de Graaf nailed it when he said he’s not doing anything that revolutionary – he’s just doing the basics really well. And the ‘brilliant basics’, as he called them, boil down to teams that work together to manage all parts of a touch point. He gave the example of data dictating a brief for Coke’s in-house creative team. He said: “Once we gave them that brief, we earned the keys to their heart, because creative teams get crappy briefs a lot. They actually talked about how the brief helped inspire them to build creative and to help generate content.”

It is, as Justin said, pretty basic stuff, but a lot of agencies out there are struggling to get these fundamentals right, especially when the task at hand calls for cross-agency collaboration.

It’s not that they don’t want to collaborate or that there’s a turf war – it’s because they can’t collaborate. Most media agencies don’t know how production schedules work, so they make arbitrary sweeping statements about creative impact and how to change it. On the flipside, most creative agencies haven’t been properly briefed on the role of each channel, let alone the different elements within it. As our marketing becomes more data-driven, this disconnect is a massive problem, especially when you consider Coke’s de Graaf and his point that to do data well, you need to reduce labour intensity. You’ve got to be quick to market, you’ve got to derive your learnings fast and be prepared to steer the ship in different directions. It’s really bloody hard to reduce that labour intensity if your teams, or agencies, aren’t good at collaboration.

Within this siloed model, people are often working with data from a sectarian point of view and they’re never going to get the best results doing it that way. They might be spending a lot of money to execute really sophisticated tools, but arguably they’re only unlocking one-third of the value of those tools.

The basic fact of the matter is that data isn’t about having a black box and pushing a couple of buttons. You’ve got to have a hypothesis to start with. And that hypothesis has to be driven by experience in category – knowing what does and doesn’t work in advertising. But if you don’t know where the gold nuggets are to go looking in the first place, you’re wasting your time. Experienced collaborators will identify and get to those problems more quickly and can use the data to get a better result.

To marketers out there, I say this: if your agency can’t tell you how they manage data in a straightforward way, they’re shit-talkers. If they don’t have an approach to using the data to improve more than just their patch, they’re caught up in big data BS, and you know how I feel about that.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Ben Willee Designworks Ratings

Latest News

AUSTIN, TEXAS - JUNE 18: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) (Editors note: This image was computer generated in-game) Alice Powell of Great Britain celebrates her podium position during the W Series Esport League Round 2 at Circuit of The Americas on June 18, 2020 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
  • Media

Getty Images Inks Deal With W Series Esports League

Getty Images and W Series have announced an exclusive deal which sees Getty Images serve as the Official Photographic Partner of the newly launched W Series Esports League. Brand-new for 2020, the W Series Esports League will see W Series drivers from around the world compete in the first official women only simulated racing league. […]

Closeup of a man hand holding cellphone with internet browser on screen. Man with spectacles relaxing sitting on couch while looking at mobile phone. Closeup of mature latin man using smartphone to checking email at home.
  • Technology

What’s Next For Advertising On iPhones?

Wondering what's next for advertising on iPhones? You could give Tim Cook a call or, failing him answering, read this.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
FutureBrand Australia CEO Rich Curtis Acquires The Global Branding Company’s Australian Operations
  • Media

FutureBrand Australia CEO Rich Curtis Acquires The Global Branding Company’s Australian Operations

Rich Curtis has acquired FutureBrand’s Australian operations from Interpublic Group. The new ownership will enable the business to double-down on its commitment to the Australian market and invest locally, while still maintaining its global network via FutureBrand as an affiliate. Since opening its doors in 1999, FutureBrand has created and transformed iconic brands including Nespresso, […]

Newsreader Katrina Blowers Launches Claiming Your Confidence, The Podcast
  • Media

Newsreader Katrina Blowers Launches Claiming Your Confidence, The Podcast

Big names share their biggest confidence challenges on Claiming Your Confidence, The Podcast, hosted by Channel Seven Newsreader and author Katrina Blowers. The new show launches July 13 on iTunes and Spotify with three episodes dropping on week one:  featuring Sunrise Host Edwina Bartholemew, Comedian Merrick Watts and record-breaking Ultra Runner Jacqui Bell. Each week […]

Production house Sam I Am Steps Up Roster With Five Fresh Directors
  • Media

Production house Sam I Am Steps Up Roster With Five Fresh Directors

Full service production house Sam I Am has announced the arrival of five new commercial directors including writer-director Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien Curran (pictured), designer-turned-director Sinéad McDevitt along with directors Anita Lee, Dominic Allen and Joris Noordenbos. Writer-director Aimée-Lee Xu Hsien Curran creates work defined by rich visuals across both comedy and drama. She has directed […]

DiDi Partners With Urban List For Make It A Date Campaign
  • Campaigns

DiDi Partners With Urban List For Make It A Date Campaign

DiDi Australia has partnered with lifestyle publisher Urban List for its Make It A Date campaign, encouraging Australians to reconnect and commit to meaningful time with one another as COVID-19 restrictions lift across cities. The collaboration sees Urban List provide curated in-app destinations and venue recommendations to inspire Aussies to ‘make it a date’ and […]

Archetype Appointed By HTC, Tile And Upright Technologies
  • Media

Archetype Appointed By HTC, Tile And Upright Technologies

Strategic communications and marketing agency, Archetype, has been appointed by HTC, Tile and Upright Technologies to drive awareness and sales for each brand’s consumer technology products. The agency has put its strategic and holistic thinking first, evolving the approach to market for all three product offerings. The new additions to Archetype’s portfolio showcase the agency’s […]

Wrike Introduces New Marketing Tool
  • Technology

Wrike Introduces New Marketing Tool

Wrike unveils new marketing tool that apparently comes wrapped in excess bubble wrap for those who enjoy a good popping.

Music online concept - phablet and headphones on the wooden desk
  • Media

SCA’s Live Radio Streaming Audience Up 35% Year On Year

SCA’s live radio streaming continues to rise with 1.1million listeners recorded at the end of June 2020, up 35 per cent year on year. Catch up radio podcasts continue to be on trend with a total of 3.2 million downloads recorded at the end of June, this is a 49 per cent year on year […]

SWM Enhances Audience Intelligence With New Location Data Partner
  • Media

SWM Enhances Audience Intelligence With New Location Data Partner

Seven West Media has enhanced its audience intelligence offering for advertisers thanks to a new partnership with Australian mobile location intelligence platform LANDMARKS ID. LANDMARKS ID enables SWM to integrate its technology directly into the 7plus app to collect, analyse and provide rich audience profiles on 7plus app users. The new partnership improves SWM’s ability […]