Jeff Hirsch Thu Jun 18, 2015

Next week, thousands of the top advertising, marketing and communications executives will convene in the south of France for the 62nd annual Cannes Lions festival. This year marks the first-ever Lions Innovation, a “festival within a festival.” Per Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas, “The Lions Innovation Festival will highlight how data and technology can be powerful catalysts for creativity.”

The birth of this mini-festival is a sign of the times as data begins to power the creative side of marketing and influence how brands communicate with their customers. With all of the buzz around big data, analytics and automated marketing, it seems almost like “science” is overtaking the creative nature of yesteryear’s marketers.

But let’s be clear: nothing will replace creativity or the ability to connect on a human-to-human level. The art of being creative is a human skill set that cannot be mimicked by a machine.

Science can meet art, however, and that’s where data comes in. Simply put, data is information that is available, or can be inferred, about individuals. The availability of that data means a world where creativity can thrive exponentially. Marketers and advertisers can develop data-driven marketing strategies, informing their creative decisions with data to enhance creative assets in a way that’s relevant to each individual.

If we have the technology available to speak to each person as an individual, do we not have the ability to connect in ways never before imagined? Marrying data and creative means marketers can tell compelling stories that matter to the consumer. These individualized, timely and relevant messages not only win over consumers with content that addresses their personal interests; they are also more effective at influencing viewers’ behaviors and actions, meaning marketers achieve results that matter to their business.

It will be interesting to hear the conversations that emerge from the festival next week as we look to see how some of the world’s top brands power their creativity with data.

In the meantime, here are some links to get ready:

  1. Check out Forbes for the must-attend sessions for marketers: CMO Fare At This Month’s Cannes Lions Festival
  2. Watch an interview with Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas as he speaks about the inaugural Innovation Awards: (VIDEO) Cannes’ First Innovation Awards Attract Ad Tech Vendors: CEO Thomas
  3. If you’re attending this year, you need this handy guide to the area: A Google Maps guide to the top 10 places to hang at Cannes Lions


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