Is Data the Enemy of Creativity?

There is no doubt that creativity is the core DNA of agencies and one of the most sought-after traits by the client teams writes Amandeep Singh.

Image by Ekaterina Bolotsova

“That client has no imagination.”

“Adam and his team are robots, they do not understand the power of ideas.”

“They just look at conversion, they are blind to the emotional benefit we need to push through in the campaign.”


If you work in marketing, you would have likely heard these comments several times during your career. Not just that, the so-called “number folks” have a lot of things to say about people who only think in “abstract ideas”.

There is no doubt that creativity is the core DNA of agencies and one of the most sought-after traits by the client teams.

As the availability of data increased exponentially over the years, a lot of decisions about understanding the customer, competition, and business are based on it.

Today, we look at a broader view of the role of right and left brain involvement in a larger marketing ecosystem.

  1. Marketing Plans: Contrary to beliefs in the small world of agencies, most of the work they do is a part of 4Ps and is usually a single digit ( yes less than 10% of what gets invested by the company). Understanding the market, customer, competition, and sales forecasts are all driven primarily by data.
  2. Customer Insights: Even before a brief comes to an agency, or a creative team a lot of research, reports and models are used to build customer insights. Without the insights, and a data storytelling approach that paints a picture of the customer in the market, it would be impossible to even build a creative idea for the campaign.
  3. Campaign Performances: Whether it is looking at tactical-level performance metrics of the repositioning, branding, or communication campaign or its impact on business, it’s all analytics. Like it or not, we are in business, and it needs to make money ultimately.
  4. Data Storytelling: The management and decision-makers are looking at data-supported narratives that enable them to stick or keep changing their swim lanes to win the race. A simple analysis is easy, but it takes a truly creative mind to connect the dots and make it into something which makes sense for business decisions.

The best way to make an impact on business is when both parts of the brain come together. Creativity is integral to our business, but remember – it is not a sole domain of “creative teams”.

If both sides make an effort to at least understand and look at each other allies, their probability of winning is much more!

The views expressed in this article are personal, and not necessarily those of the author’s employer.

Amandeep Singh

Amandeep Singh

Amandeep is VP, of Client Engagement, CX & Commerce at VMLY&R Thailand

Read More

subscribe & get more brand in your diet


get more brand in your diet

We never share your info,
we only share ours