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Companies that successfully manage to integrate creativity and data enjoy a “two times difference in revenue growth”, according to research by McKinsey, the management consultancy.
Brian Gregg, a senior partner at the consulting group, discussed this subject during a session at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
“The difference between those [companies] who have learned to integrate data and creativity versus those who have not is a two times difference in revenue growth,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: McKinsey identifies benefits of fusing data and creativity.)
Elaborating on this proposition, he outlined the results in terms of harder numbers. “It’s the difference between growing 10% and 5% – a massive difference,” said Gregg,
This finding was based on a study conducted by McKinsey in partnership with the Cannes Lions and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the client-side trade body that is headquartered in New York.
More specifically, this research ultimately covered over 200 enterprises, and involved qualitative interviews conducted with 40 marketing leaders.
Drawing on these inputs, McKinsey identified various traits that were shared by businesses that are effectively combining data and creativity.
“What we found is – as we went into these integrators and went behind the scenes of these organisations – they actually had found ways to integrate these two talent pools up and down the value chain in marketing,” said Gregg.
One example involves customer experience – a unit responsible for managing interactions across all relevant touchpoints, be it opening a bank account, returning a pair of shoes, installing software, or updating personal information via an app.
Creative minds traditionally held the lead role in this space, but “integrators” have systematically incorporated data and analytics into this discipline.
“But it didn’t just work one way,” Gregg said. “What we found was the other was true too: in historically analytical realms like consumer insights, these integrators were bringing creative talent into that function as well.”
Elsewhere, this group of firms proved 56% more likely to be leveraging analytics, and even artificial intelligence, in consumer-insights teams, showing that they were committed to technological innovation as well as heightened creativity.
Achieving such outcomes, however, relies on building multi-functional, agile teams with capabilities ranging from brand managers and content creators to media experts, analytics practitioners and information-technology staff.