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Humanizing Data Puts Money in the Bank

By March 20, 2018 No Comments

By Kim Yates, SVP, Head of Experience Design, Starcom USA

Rightfully so, much of our industry conversation over the last few years has focused on data.  Data has completely changed what we do and how we do it, for the better.  From talent to infrastructure and everything in between, Starcom has invested heavily in all things data. Data is what differentiates media agencies from other agency partners, as through data we have greater purview to what is happening with a client’s business. We’ve made a commitment to investing and innovating to ensure our data game outpaces the data opportunity that exists.

But data alone is not the endgame.  Data only tells us the “what.”  It doesn’t tell us the “why.”  As we’re challenged with developing consumer facing experiences that move a client’s business, we need to understand why someone took an action if we want to influence their future action.  While we wish we could rely solely on data to understand what they’ll do next, people are unpredictable.  They are messy.  Their paths through a category decision aren’t linear and they use technology to hack their own desire lines.  People aren’t as simple as the data-driven models assume they are.

We need to put all of the data we have access to into context to unlock its true business driving potential.  At Starcom, we believe that context is people.  In support of this belief, we’ve architected an approach that helps every client team go beyond the “what” to uncover the “why.”  We call this approach HX.

Through HX’s catalogue of proprietary techniques we break down silos across data streams to develop a more holistic picture of the way people interact with our client’s brand, business and category.  We interrogate people’s motivations, chart their desire lines and humanize their wants and needs.  Starcom has adopted a new and shared vernacular that is also reflected in our growing library of tools that support the path to “why.”  With the HX approach these simple yet insightful “why(s)” are the fuel for the experiences we create.

For example, Bank of America’s “Friends Again” campaign was executed to increase mobile app downloads.  The data that exists can help us identify who, when and where to target, and we use that data to construct a smart, efficient and effective digital campaign.  Adding our HX approach into the mix, we formed insights about why people used, and why people didn’t use, mobile payment apps.  The issue wasn’t a lack of app usage. The issue was people not repaying friends at all.  In order to drive downloads for the app, we needed to first address the awkward feelings keeping people from paying back their friends and the strain indebtedness has on relationships.  We declared October 17, 2017 as “Pay Back a Friend Day” encouraging people to address the tension in their relationship caused by either owing or being owed money.  We engaged influencers, celebrities and even relationship experts who shared personal, positive payback stories.  Starcom provided an opportunity for repairing relationships and people thanked Bank of America and their app for mending those broken ties; enrollments increased 54% and the number of transactions increased 90%.

Data alone didn’t initiate “Friends Again,” but HX and putting data into context did.  The “Friends Again” campaign allowed our teams to drive real business results and even repair a few friendships in the process.  When we understand data in the context of people, we can create authentic human experiences that truly move our clients’ businesses forward.

View the original article from MediaVillage, here.