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Great marketing isn't just efficient; it's memorable and personal, rising above the noise. Ensuring that it hits its target, though, can be a challenge. Matt Lawson, Google's director of ads marketing, reflects on how a special formula has helped eliminate guesswork from Google's own campaigns.

"Everybody talks about data, but people don't know what to do with it or how to start."

"Siloed teams make the use of data for creative way too difficult."

I hear these things from brand marketers at events, in client meetings, and—at various times throughout my career—in our own conference rooms. We've read about how the "big data revolution" is changing the marketing game, but it seems like no one's sure if they're playing the new game correctly—that is presuming they're trying to incorporate data into their process at all.

Not long ago, brand marketers relied on two distinct tools to reach consumers: a compelling creative campaign and a smart media plan. These were developed in isolation from one another by independent teams that rarely, if ever, synced up.

That strategy is no longer effective.

These days, savvy brand marketers are discovering a new ingredient. Fortunately, it's something that can make creative campaigns more relevant and impactful than ever: data.

The new brand marketing formula

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Most brands now recognize that data and programmatic are helping them approach that holy grail of reaching the right person at the right time. But along with a better way to buy media, there's more to gain from data's inclusion in the brand marketing playbook.

Data is more than just an impenetrable string of ones and zeroes. Brand marketers are realizing that by partnering with their digital and media teams early in the planning cycle, they can identify ways to use data to develop more relevant and engaging creative, and deliver those campaigns with precision. This new formula also creates new opportunities to gather insights, helping advertisers to deliver greater impact over time.

How data makes campaigns "click"

Many brands are now using data to design, deliver, and measure high-impact campaigns.

We've seen our own marketing teams take this "data + creative + media" formula to heart, which has helped them rethink their campaign strategies—as the following recent examples demonstrate.

Bringing the features of Android Wear to life

An Android Wear campaign recreated the smartwatch interface in ad units, allowing potential customers to interact with the features of the device. These dynamic ads, incorporating real-time data such as location and time-of-day signals, provide a sample experience of Android Wear—not in a store, but on consumers' mobile screens.

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Showcasing the usefulness of the Google app

To drive adoption of the Google app, we wanted to highlight its usefulness for people on the go. Search data helped identify the most popular landmarks in key cities, along with common queries about each one. We designed a dynamic mobile ad template that could display content for any of our chosen locations, bringing in real data such as the current weather, nearby restaurants, and local reviews. Ads showed how the app could enhance people's experience, wherever they were.

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Activate the new formula

To really take advantage of what's possible with data, marketers need to work to break down silos between different teams.

The most innovative brands have marketing, digital, media, and agency teams all sitting together at the start of the campaign to define objectives, brainstorm on insights, process data, and create the right strategy to reach brand goals.

As a brand marketer, you should take the lead to bring teams together because nobody understands your brand better, nobody has a more nuanced understanding of your target consumer, and nobody is better equipped to communicate your creative vision. Put data in your toolkit, and your brand becomes not just memorable, but unstoppable.

To help get you started we've collected a number of examples of how marketers are putting data into action to make better, more impactful campaigns. Check out the site here and scroll through to get #InspiredByData.