All creativity, especially advertising, requires us to embark on a learning journey. Machines can only take us some of the way there. For the rest, we need to watch, observe, immerse and look for those unexpected nuggets of truth. In short, get out into the real world. Talk to people, not just screens of ones and zeros.
It’s the great irony of our digital age. As we’ve become more dependent on powerful tools to understand customers and their motivations, so the most insightful connection of all has been weakened. We’re forgetting what it means to be human.
Technology enables us to analyse people, emotions and motivations more deeply but analysis doesn’t always translate into knowledge. And if we’re to matter to someone – if our advertising is to matter to them – we need to show we really know them.
True empathy is a vital driver of a brilliantly instinctive and creative business, empathy that blends the best of human and machine learning. Machines clearly drive a dialogue that enables us to uncover truths that drive advertising messages. However, human subtleties and nuances need to be unpicked from the raw data, which algorithms and artificial intelligence cannot provide.
We need to forge deeper emotional connections. Technology can get us part of the way there but it can’t replace our own human instincts.