BLOG-0084 rico_cipriasoToday’s marketing industry is being given a new perspective on customers- big data. It may seem like it’s not a huge leap to understand finding the perfect balance between technology and creativity- but with technological advances like real-time personalization and predictive analytics, going from big data to advertising can be.

We sat down with Rico Cipriaso, VP director of CRM at Publicis Kaplan Thaler, to get his perspective on the latest innovations in ad tech, and how to create ad creative that inspires.

Q: “How do you balance data-driven strategy and emotionally driven concepts?”

Rico: There are two main elements: creativity and execution. Many people overlook the fact that emotion is technically a data point itself. Data can help drive the creative concept, but only up to a point. To really make an impact you need an emotional component.

For execution, the behavioral data impacts everything from the copy, the imagery, and the call to action. If the emotions are expressed appropriately, then you can use data to extract what you want from the individual viewer. The key is putting these elements into the appropriate context. You can’t rely on just data or just emotion.

Q: “What are the top three ingredients for creative that amazes and inspires?”


  1. Universal. It’s timeless. It’s a nugget of insight that works regardless of the device you are holding, the websites you frequent, or how much money you make. The key is finding that message that resonates universally with the your target audience.
  2. Relevant. It’s an understanding that it’s not a one-size-fits-all world anymore. You have your key communication that is universal, but it needs to be relevant to the individual. It’s crucial to figure out how, where, and when to convey that message at every stage of the purchase cycle.
  3. Appropriate. Success can only happen when you are cognizant of budget and tactics. You have to ask yourself: Given the universal truth and the relevance, what’s appropriate the form the creative should take? Do my budget allocations fit my universal truth?

Q: “How does data help you tell stories and connect with customers?”

Rico: The great thing about data now is that we are starting to connect digital activity to the individual. That activity provides a much better sense of the target, rather than the broad demographic research available. By leveraging the information we have on each individual consumer, it makes every impression smarter. I dont care about scale if it’s not delivering the right message to the right person. There’s an old joke about how we don’t know where 50% of our advertising goes and if it’s working. The industry is moving to the point where we can actually identify 100% of impressions, and which ones are successful. That’s a terrific advantage of working with modern technology platforms.

Q: “What’s the number one measure of a successful marketing campaign?”

Rico: Incremental everything. We are no longer measuring campaigns by saying, “I got X many impressions.” It’s about, “How do I move the needle for the business?” Those measurements can span the gamut from awareness to sales dollars. It’s important to get that differentiating messaging to the right people and reinforce it. It varies from client to client. For a retail client it’s about sales or margin, or lifetime value, and so on. There’s so many different metrics, which is why I think incremental is the common thread.

Q: “How important is personalization to your advertising campaigns?

Rico:  We may call it personalization, but it’s really closer to segmentation. We are able to leverage metadata about an individual to create an experience that is relevant and contextual to them. The goal is to be able to access all the information available on an individual to provide a one-to-one marketing experience that aligns with the universal truth of the brand or product.

We aim to create as many segments as possible and then communicate that one-to-one message as best we can. To do that, you need to extract the most out of each marketing channel and the technology tools associated with those channels.


Want more on how creative thinkers are using Big Data in marketing? Download AdRoll’s Big Data, Big Ideas Whitepaper here.