This connection between the analytics and creative processes can take different shapes; Feinstein points to the creative brief as the repository for the data insights and Herman referred to segment snapshots developed from syndicated segmentation schemes. Regardless of the presentation, both agreed that behavioral data weighs heavily in the mix.
"If you know that someone's had an experience, then you can refer to that experience and make decisions off of it," says Feinstein. "A perfect example would be the travel industry; if I know you've been to Paris and I know that you like to travel to Europe, I can then serve up pictures of Paris, Rome, Florence ... and what's wonderful about experiential things is they touch your target deeply."
The Big Decision
For a creative professional, the ability go deeper into the audience's head and design a more appealing message is exciting, says Feinstein. "On the other hand," he notes, "it's more work and so it's more expensive for the marketer as more creative is developed. But it all goes back to getting better response for more targeted creative."
That brings up another element that influences how a marketer approaches creative versioning: cost. At some point, what drives how deep the segmentation process and creative execution goes is the financials. Marketers need to calculate at what point does it stop making sense for them to segment, Feinstein says.
Along with the march of media proliferation, however, has come the analytical capabilities to determine where this drop-off occurs and manage for it. "That's the beauty of direct marketing," Herman reminds.