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Tracking cultural change through data analysis

March 15, 2017

Good advertisers are able to track cultural changes and capitalise on them. Until recently, it has been difficult to track these changes, but thanks to new data technology, advertisers can target consumers with greater precision, according to a new Advertising Week Europe article.

Leo Rayman, CEO of Grey London, says that tracking people’s reactions to cultural changes can be incredibly difficult, but that today’s technology helps make it slightly easier. He does not believe that advertisers have taken full advantage of data possibilities, though. “My first observation is that most marketers are operating in a fairly data-free environment right now, to be honest,” Rayman said. “We have some catching up to do. You can’t exist in the modern world without data, and we have to get our head around what it can do for creativity in our industry.”

As of right now, most data in the advertising world is used on the business side of the process: when and where to run ads, for how long and with which outlet? There is hardly any data being used in the creative process of advertising.

Rayman offered the example of someone returning home after a long day at the office to show how data could be helpful in creating ads. “What kind of ad is going to capture his attention? What kind of mood do you want to tap into? We are only just beginning to understand how data can give us contextual insight – and it’s this cultural signal that can really inform our work.”

Grey London has plans to launch a new venture this year that will use sophisticated data analysis. “Cultural signals are the next focus for us when it comes to using data,” Rayman said. “Successful campaigns don’t just target a gender, age group or geographic location – they key into something more intimate: a personal state of mind or a cultural moment that until now has been hard to quantify.”