Once again this year I was gratified to be chosen as a judge for the International ECHO Awards, a prestigious awards competition that pulls entries from talented marketers internationally. What makes this competition different from the vast number of other awards competitions that have cropped up in the last 10 years? This one is for real marketers who have data-driven programs that perform well.
The three elements that every data-driven marketing program is judged on are Strategy, Creative and Results. Unlike other programs that reward you for beautiful creative that doesn’t get results, the ECHOs make you prove your campaign’s worth – because that’s the point of marketing, to make a business difference. The creative needs to be beautiful and engaging, it needs to tie back to the strategy, and you get extra points if there’s a wow factor in the creative or the way the data was used. Yes, data can have a wow factor in many surprising ways.
An example of this is a winner from last year’s ECHO Awards. This entry combined IBM Watson’s real time data capabilities, with the fashion designer Marchesa. IBM Watson interpreted reams of real-time Twitter data into emotions to change the color of lights on the dress to reflect online sentiments. All evening the lights twinkled Twitter sentiments.
While I’m inspired by these amazing campaigns, I know for the most part our clients’ budgets don’t compare. But regardless of the size of the budget, we should all aspire to think differently about the data we are given. How do we look at data differently than we have before? How can data drive strategies, engagement or creative in a different direction – to find the sweet spot of budget, data, strategy and creative – and elevate the idea to multiply its value? That’s exactly what we should strive for in our marketing. So, let the inspiration begin with your next campaign.