TBWA's Baker Lambert: Four Things Brands Are Missing With Data

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When it comes to data and marketing, most people tend to focus on proving effectiveness and ROI or targeting, which is "only 20% of what you can and should be doing with data, especially in a creative agency," according to Baker Lambert, TBWA Worldwide's global data director.

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Mr. Lambert, who will be speaking at Ad Age's IQ Conference Marketing and Technology on Jan. 17, offered what he thinks are the four things agencies and advertisers are missing when it comes to using data.

1) Not using data early enough or broadly enough in strategy. Mr. Lambert said agencies need to use more data upfront to plan or figure out messaging and business opportunities on the strategy side. Data can be used to help clients prepare for a campaign before it launches and to improve products, he said. Agencies should also be using and testing data internally.

2) Not using data to empower creative. Data can and should be used in the creative brainstorming process. For example, Mr. Lambert said certain AI tools can help creatives identify cultural trends or dig into specific topics or demographics.

3) Not using data to unlock creative executions that have never been done before. Agencies should use data to find more interesting and unusual ways to tell brand stories. For Nissan, the company worked with PlayStation and the Union of European Football Associations, using data to turn the car into a PlayStation controller so that fans could play soccer using car parts, like turning the steering wheel to move in the game.

4) Not using data as creative content. In both simple and complex ways, agencies and brands can use data as the creative itself for things like infographics or interactive articles, said Mr. Lambert. He added that Spotify, which is not a TBWA client, used data on Valentine's Day about what songs people were listening to on repeat around the holiday in order to make funny billboards.

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