Diesel CMO: Marketers are at risk of being driven by data

Cannes Lions 2018: Data can help drive the creative process but many in marketing are overestimating its contribution, according to Diesel’s chief marketing officer Dario Gargiulo.

The amount of available data means there is a risk it will drive marketers’ decision-making at the expense of creativity, according to Diesel’s chief marketing officer.

Speaking at a session hosted by The Economist at the Cannes Lions festival this week, chief marketing officer Dario Gargiulo said one of the first things he did after joining from Heineken in 2016 was to bring its data and content teams together to make sure the former wasn’t driving the latter.

“Data can drive creativity but too many times we overestimate data. It’s important we look at data, we can create growth with data but on the other hand you shouldn’t be all about that.

“There is a risk as a marketer today that you can be driven by data,” he explained.

Gargiulo added that data is not necessarily conducive to creativity, and could push marketers into using channels that are not right for their brand. Citing Instagram, he said data might tell you the short format is perfect to quickly grab the attention of those “who have no time for you”.

He added: “All the data is proving this and I am against this. I am after something that can keep the customer, the viewer, for more than five seconds. I am after a longer three-minute video. If you listen to the data, you will have a six-second video with no purpose behind it.”

Over-riding the data is “simple”, he continued, as long as you have a “content not channel strategy”.

“You can have a channel strategy and say I have to be on this channel or you can have a content strategy. There are people that follow the first but I am definitely for the second. It’s not about doing something for Instagram, doing something for that section of viewers, it’s about doing something that is right for the brand

“Using data is a smart way but going with a storytelling, content approach.”

Also appearing on the panel was Diana O’Brien, global CMO at Deloitte, who agreed about the limitations of data.

“Data can enhance but it is still a human experience”, she said, adding “data provides understanding but you also have to think about what the purpose of what you do is”.

Read all  of Marketing Week’s Cannes Lions 2018 coverage, sponsored by MiQ, here.