There’s a philosophy we adhere to as an organization, which is that advertising and marketing must be a combination of the art and the science. It is imperative not to lose the idea and what you stand for because, frankly, over the course of my career I’ve seen companies research away really good, creative ideas. So I do think you always have to manage this art and science component.
When talking about the science part of it, I still believe in really old-fashioned things, like copy tests on some of our big-ticket items. This approach helps us to understand, before we launch something, how it’s going to perform and how it performs versus ads that we’ve run and competitors have run in the past. And then, of course, you get into performance data, which we have a lot of. This data allows us to do all of those more on-the-fly and real-time updates to creative, which allows us to programmatically respond more quickly.
Customer data, which is not advertising-specific but still really important to us, is top-of-mind. There’s a lot of talk about unlocking the power of our customer data and a lot of discussion about how to do this in a respectful way.
Our biggest asset as a company is the customer data we have. So we’ve got a lot of work going on behind the scenes around how we’re using technology, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, to improve our customer targeting so that we can be more relevant and efficient.