There’s a widely held belief that a person is either “left-brained,” logical and driven by data, or “right-brained,” creative and whimsical. It’s easy to draw a neat dividing line between people who are skilled at scientific, logical thinking and those who are more intuitive and emotional.
But the truth is, these things aren’t black and white. Recent research studies have debunked the left-brain vs. right-brain theory, telling us that human functions like mathematics and communication are too complex to categorize into simple baskets.
Marketing automation is the same way. It’s impossible to take a scientific, data-driven approach to connecting with a large group of people without a healthy dose of creative intuition.
The Science of Digital Marketing
You can probably guess what’s scientific about marketing. Search analytics, customer surveys, web traffic, clickthrough rates…the list of data for someone with an eye for numbers and trends is almost endless. It’s why Forbes wrote that “2016 will be a banner year for incorporating big data and perhaps more importantly, analytics into marketing decisions.”
90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years, which speaks to how important data will be in the near future. Savvy companies are already starting to use data to do things like design their websites, email customers, and plan events – a trend that will only increase with time.
A Shelter for the ‘Starving Artist’?
On the other hand, there are artistic elements in some of the most important parts of marketing and automation. Things like visual design, writing, public speaking, and branding are all critical to any marketing campaign. Without a good writer, how will your next email sequence connect with your audience? Without a skilled designer, how can you add life and meaning to your company’s social media brand?
To many creative people, the field of marketing is a place where they can be rewarded for their artistic abilities. Many senior copywriters and graphic designers are well compensated and highly respected by their clients and colleagues. Marketing allows them to apply their creativity towards solving a business problem and helping companies stand out from the crowd.
How the Art and Science of Marketing Automation Come Together
So how do you blend both sides together to get them to function as one cohesive, powerful marketing unit? A few important ways:
- Don’t try to box your marketing team into their positions based on personality type. A creative might be a good manager because they can empathize and communicate well, even if they aren’t extremely well organized. A scientific, rational person can provide valuable input on a writing project by giving the copywriter some hard data.
- Judge the results of your campaigns by both data and intuition. Get the numbers on things like traffic, opens, bounce rates, etc., but don’t forget to ask people how they feel about your brand and organization
- Don’t allow one side to supersede the other. A great creative campaign that everyone loves shouldn’t be shelved just because it doesn’t perform as well as other ones, just like a new design can’t be completely based on feel and must incorporate some statistical evidence about your brand and its target audience.
It might take a bit of trial and error, but with time and practice you will find that balancing the artistic and scientific elements of marketing is easier than you thought.