James Kerridge, Head of Marketing and Ecommerce at Harris Farm.

James Kerridge, Head of Marketing and Ecommerce at Harris Farm.

What happens when data-driven business practices meet the tried-and-true craft of developing ad creative?

In our Big Data Big Ideas white paper, we asked some of the most brilliant creative and business minds about how they square the two. We interviewed James Kerridge, Head of Marketing and Ecommerce of Harris Farm on the topic of balancing strategy and reaching audiences on an emotional level.

Our interview has been edited for clarity.

1. How do you balance data-driven strategy and emotionally driven concepts?

Data plays a key role in creating and measuring the performance of emotionally driven concepts but it’s important to maintain a healthy balance. With data, we have the ability to tailor our emotionally driven concepts to the right audience, at the right time, through the right channel. Our customer insights also allow us to create informed creative relevant for our target audience.

Quantifying our strategy to begin with also helps us prove whether our tactics have been effective or not and are useful in measure campaign performance.

2. What are the top three ingredients for creative that amazes and inspires?

  1. Make it personal: Enhancing the customer experience through personalisation can drive engagement so we always make sure we’re hitting our audience with a message that is relevant to them.
  2. Less is more: The difficult part is catering to a limited attention span, so we try to keep our messages short, simple and direct.
  3. Compelling Imagery: Allowing imagery to visually communicate our brand story as much as possible.

3. How does data help you tell stories and connect with customers?

Data helps us understand exactly who our customers are, including their interests and online behaviours, and where they’re from.

When we have information like that we can then develop personas to help tell stories, which is an outstanding tool to build relationships with our customers.  On top of that, with all this information, we then have the ability to optimise our marketing spend and maximise our return on investment.

4. How important is personalisation to your advertising campaigns?

We personalise our online advertisements through behaviour-based segmentation defined by what step of the purchase cycle our consumer is at – whether it be awareness, consideration, conversion or loyalty.

For example, if consumers are at the consideration phase of the purchase cycle and have browsed an organic fruit or vegetable collection, we serve them contextual creative based around that specific range. Our results have demonstrated higher levels of engagement, so for us, personalisation is paramount.

5. What’s the number one measure of a successful marketing campaign?

The key measure of success will always be whether we have effectively delivered what we set out to achieve to begin with, however, that will always depend on what our marketing objective is.

We may, for example, be nurturing our audience into making their first purchase, re-activating lapsed customers or driving brand awareness. All of these objectives will have different measurements of campaign performance.