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Alan Schulman &THEN

Alan Schulman’s &THEN Keynote Inspires and Provokes

Debora Haskel

Part 1 of my &THEN recap ended with a teaser about the most entertaining keynote I’ve seen in a long time. After reviewing my (pages and pages of) notes, I realize describing Alan Schulman’s session on “Creativity Loves Data” as just “entertaining” does not do it justice. While it was entertaining, it was also informative, insightful, and thought-provoking.

Schulman is currently National Managing Director, Brand Creative & Content at Deloitte Digital. Prior to entering the consultancy world, he was VP, Chief Creative Officer for SapientNitro and his LinkedIn page lists a host of other Executive Creative Director and similar roles for agencies including U.DIG, McCann, and others. In other words, Alan Schulman does not lack credibility when he talks about how and why creative works.

My first page of notes includes this statement from Schulman: “Marketing used to be a creative challenge, but it’s a data challenge now.” He went on to say, echoing what I hear from my colleague Mike Dietz, “Good creative leverages data and starts with an audit or strategy.” In other words, creative has to do a lot more than look good. If you don’t have data that will help determine how to make your creative effective, it probably won’t be.

Lest creative directors think all their magic has been replaced by algorithms, Schulman assured the audience with this statement: “Data is not going to kill creative. The key is knowing how to leverage it.” A simple graphic made this concept easy to comprehend by defining three steps.

  1. Personalization: The key is to be data-informed at the development phase. Data-driven insights include who, what, and why.
  2. Implementation: If you are data-informed at the development phase, you can be data-driven at the channel and optimization phase.
  3. “Tap my Emotions”: Data should help build great narrative. If the target prospect can’t easily answer the question, “why should I care?” data is not being optimized effectively.

Chatbooks Knows How to Leverage Data-Informed Creativity

And then came everyone’s favorite part of Schulman’s keynote. If you’re not already a Chatbooks customer, you are likely to consider becoming one after watching this video.

Yes, it’s three minutes and 50 seconds worth of brilliant creative, but it also brilliantly illustrated Schulman’s message that being data-informed at the creative development phase helps us better understand the “WHO & the WHAT.” In this Chatbooks video, the data says our target audience is 25- to 45-year-old moms with household incomes of $75k+.

The power behind this marketing is the development of the target audience persona to track the ideal customer’s journey and let her know Chatbooks can relate to her. Based on the audience response, Chatbooks can relate to every demographic in some way. It would be fascinating to see how much traffic hit the Chatbooks website from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at 9:37 a.m. on October 10.

There were many other great sessions at &THEN 2017 that were perfectly summarized by our friends at Mintel Comperemedia:

“Data is meaningless without actionable insight. It’s about decisions with data.”

Need help making fueling your creativity with data insights? IWCO Direct was one of the first to talk about the art and science of creativity—we’d love to connect and share our thoughts with you.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2017/10/20/alan-schulman-keynote-dma-andthen/
Debora Haskel


Debora Haskel

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