Amid concerns about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018 and its impact on the marketing industry, 71% of marketers actually see this as a creative opportunity. According to the latest research from the DMA Awards, senior marketers believe the new data laws will mean more creative campaigns to acquire customers over the next five years, as brands will need to find new ways to engage potential customers.
The survey highlights how a balance between creativity and data must be struck, with 84% of marketers stating that data should be used to inform, rather than supplant creativity. Almost three quarters of those surveyed (74%) believe that a machine can never replicate the creativity of a person, while over half (57%) also agreed that in an increasingly data-driven world marketing without data should not be considered marketing. However, there was concern among half of those surveyed (53%) that marketers don’t currently have the skills to succeed in an increasingly data-driven industry.
Rachel Aldighieri, MD of the DMA, said: “We are going through a period of dramatic change both as an industry and as a nation. From leaving the EU, to the incoming data protection laws trying to legislate an ever-changing technological landscape. The GDPR, in particular, is a unique opportunity for business transformation and to forge new relationships with customers based on trust. Those organisations that put creativity at the heart of a customer-centric approach, not simply viewing the new laws as simple a legal issue, will thrive in this new environment.”
Komal Helyer, head of marketing at Pure360, said: “Creativity, data and automation are not mutually exclusive and must all play a part in creating an engaged customer. We are in the age of the ‘always on’ consumer, where customers receive brand communications across multiple devices and want them all to be not only relevant, but compelling and exciting too. The changes in regulation offer all brands an opportunity to ensure their marketing teams are equipped with the right technology and skills to execute in real-time, using the perfect blend of creative ideas, the right data and automation technology.”
The research, which surveyed 249 senior marketers who were judges at this year’s DMA Awards, also highlighted the opportunity that Brexit could offer the UK’s creative industries. 81% of marketers agreed that it’s more important than ever to showcase the UK’s creative industries in the light of Brexit, to maintain our global leadership in the data-driven creative industry.
The majority (83%) of marketers also stated they believe it’s integral to the future of the UK’s marketing sector that we’re seen as a hub for data-driven expertise. In addition, 83% agreed that it’s important that Government is able to secure the free flow of data between the UK and the rest of Europe post-Brexit.
Aldighieri continues: “We live in a world powered by data and powerful new technologies, from augmented and virtual reality to machine learning. As data-driven marketers, we are responsible for training the AI that will work on our behalf and ensuring that everyone understands the importance of the new data laws. We must ensure that amidst this wealth of data and technology we don’t lose sight of being responsible and putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.”