September 6, 2018

Creative vs. Data-Driven Marketing: Bombas’ Bifocal View


Always be learning. This notion is at the core of the Ricciardi Group culture. Every month, we tap our networks to bring in that often-needed outside perspective, an expert who share insights on crucial topics, from robo-advisors and cryptocurrencies to strategies that help foster strong agency-client relationships. This month, we welcomed Jessica Krantz, VP Digital Product and Anne Dziegielewski, Senior Marketing Manager at Bombas – a mission-driven sock company creating quite the buzz around both their product and cause.

During our conversation, we dove into their brand-building methods and unique organizational structure in which creative and analytical marketers exist as separate but collaborative entities. They view marketing through contrasting yet equally important lenses.

The Creative Lens

In a world saturated with content that vies for our limited attention, stunning creative is essential to captivate, inspire and engage your audience — the Bombas creative team perfectly encapsulates this concept. Following the donation of their one millionth pair of socks, they had both a quality story and product but needed the vehicle to bring it to life. The solution was the Thank You x1 Million campaign video.

Comprehensive, witty and heartfelt, the video masterfully created buy-in for the Bombas brand, and gave its audience a reason to believe in their mission. Their creative staff continues to develop impactful work that always pulls at heartstrings.

The Data Lens

“Marketing is math.” Even with innovative creative campaigns, economics, data analytics and business intelligence drive the strategy behind the marketing team’s decisions. At inception, decisions were made on gut and intuition, in typical, scrappy and entrepreneurial fashion. After demonstrated success, they realized the importance of being calculated and deliberate with each business decision and marketing initiative. Every dollar spent and the return it produces is carefully tracked and integrated into the forecasting and decision-making processes.

This lens of Bombas’ strategy shows the evolving role of marketers, particularly in an era of technological revolution and growing accessibility of data. Data science enables marketers with insights that lead to improved efficiency and a deeper understanding of the consumer journey, resulting in higher returns and profitability.

A Bifocal View of Marketing

The Thank You x1 Million campaign video is one instance in which these two perspectives collided. At first, there was no unanimous confidence in the campaign. Despite efforts by creatives, the data-driven marketers were unconvinced the video would produce strong returns. However, sometimes the resulting intuition from a narrowed perspective fails, and ROI vastly exceeds meager projections.

This failure of intuition does not discriminate — just as the data team did not initially lend their support to the highly successful campaign, creative has had its fair share of arriving at incorrect conclusions. With this in mind, we reveal a critical piece of Bombas’ process: testing. First, each team puts forth their recommended content, then, based on engagement and conversion metrics, the content consumer actually ends up determining the most effective idea. To ensure maximum potential, the two groups then collaborate and ideate ways to integrate their strategies, that will in turn make their original champion that much better. Test, optimize, rinse, and repeat.

This tension between an aesthetic, creative perspective and a data-driven commitment to following the numbers is paramount. At the intersection of these two seemingly contradictory viewpoints is where innovation blooms.

All eyes will be on Bombas as they near their 10 millionth donation. They truly live up to their name: Bombas, derived from the Latin word for bumblebee. Like bees, they are deceptively powerful despite their size, igniting positive change in their world. Their story reminds us the great impact a company can make, no matter how small.


To learn more about Bombas and their mission to Bee Better, visit their website at>>

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