Cannes | Campaign
Social Data Is The New Don Draper

Nick Halstead | chief executive, DataSift

We all know the Don Draper style of agency executives and marketers. They come up with the big creative ideas that impress big (often hard-to-please) clients and result in all-singing, all-dancing campaigns.

But the days of just coming up with ideas that blow clients’ minds and taking them for martini-fuelled lunches are fading, and social data is stepping into the limelight.

Data’s becoming sexy and transforming global marketing efforts.

Social networks, and the billions of data items they radiate daily, have become key ingredients in every agency’s portfolio. However, much of the focus to date has been on social listening to monitor brand health or identify an “Oreo moment” to engage with audiences.

Next is the use of social data further upstream to enable agencies and brands to build real-time audience insights for industries, and topical research to help marketers build better creative and campaigns. In the big data era, social data is becoming the new creative brief.

As well as informing creative campaigns and arming marketers and agencies with the insights to provide increasingly relevant content for their audiences, social data is now integral to measuring campaign performance. There’s now a shift beyond quantitative measurement to qualitative benchmarking. Gone are the days of counting likes, tweets or comments, which is really no more than an online show of hands.

Thanks to advances in technology, there’s now the ability to gain greater insight into what’s working and what’s not with your audiences. How are people engaging with your content and what are they sharing? And it goes beyond sentiment. Sentiment analysis is a powerful concept, but social media analytics now takes into consideration factors such as context and content in addition to sentiment, providing a depth and sophistication of insight unrivalled by any analytics that came before.

From strategy and content creation through to publishing and measuring campaigns, it’s clear that data is now integral to the work of agencies and marketers. It’s time for the Don Draper’s of yesteryear to come into the light.

First Appeared on Campaign.

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