Letter from the Editor
Why Creatives Love Data
I come from a background as a writer and creative director at agencies. And I
want to express my gratitude for the current state of agency life, in which mountains of data and analysis land in the creative department upon the opening of a
job assignment. I love it.
I didn’t always feel that way. In the beginning of my career, market research and
background data were considered a nuisance. Why did I have to know what a fo-
cus group in Calico Corners, Iowa said about Mrs. Smith’s Pies? How should a line
graph influence my genius campaign for Holiday Inn Hotels? Those were the days
when it was not unusual for there to be a metaphorical wall between the creative
department and account services, a symbolic war going on at all times between the grumpy bean-coun-
ters and the inspired creative department.
I’m happy to say a rapprochement has occurred in most agencies, especially in healthcare. Today’s creative departments not only welcome real-world information, but thrive on it, for a number of reasons.
First, it gives them some solid grounding on which to base their messages. No longer are they expected
to make wild, unsupported claims that sound better than the competition’s wild, unsupported claims.
Second, because it supports the success of a campaign. Target demographics – from physicians to patients – are savvier and more skeptical than ever. They also have plenty of undifferentiated information
to sort through. So our messages have to be not only savvier but better supported and more believable
than all the other noise out there. Finally, we are expected to understand what HCPs and patients want
from us, which is not just a recitation of how wonderful our product is.
So here’s to research – may it give us the tools we need to do the creative job properly!
As always, we continue to look for the value of your contributions. Let us know if you have an idea for an
article—the people we write for are the people who write for us.
Neil Greenberg, Editor
To become an HS&M contributing author or provide feedback, please email me