I am driven by an unwavering belief that brilliance in creativity delivers a disproportionate economic return*.

That’s the guts of it.

Those 16 words pretty much defines who I am, what I believe and what I do for 16+ hours of every day.

Some would argue that this school of thinking is too fluffy for the safe, predictable and risk averse world we live in.

I laugh at these types of people.

I also find it ironic that in a world that anchors itself to tangibles, it’s often the most intangible and fluffy things that create the most transformational moments.

In my world, big ideas will always trump big data.

Should we lie down, roll over and become subservient to a world of number crunching, analytics, attribution and optimization?

I say NO.

Even WPP’s Sorrell has a point of view on the elsuive nature of brilliant creativity:

“We know it exists. We usually know it when we see it. We know that our future prosperity depends on it…but we can’t put a number to it.”

You see when you boil it down, data driven marketing will always focus on the segmentation and separation of people, and that’s a good thing. But a  creative driven approach should always focus on what unites and brings them together. And that’s a great thing. I’m not alone in thinking the latter is a cause worth fighting for.

But don’t get me wrong. I am not a data naysayer. Far from it.

I believe it’s the responsibility of every agency that believes in the power of creativity to use whatever new tools and techniques exist to drive incremental returns for our clients – they should inspire and inform but they should never lead us.

Why?

Because the greatest business visions, the most remarkable brands and the most amazing products are rarely born from the insights and information that exists all around us.

They are born from something intangible – from the visions and imaginations of people who see the world through a different lens.

The Ghandi’s, the Ali’s, the Zuckerbergs and Jobs.

Our true value as agencies is to inspire our clients to be brave and bold enough to seize those big ideas and transformational moments as and when they arise.

To champion creative brilliance but never lose sight of the need to prove it makes a meaningful difference. Not just to the bottom line but to the world at large.

*inspired by a comment from Andy Fennell CMO at Diageo, Cannes 2012.