Google recently was dinged by an ex-worker for its data-driven design approach. The not-so-disgruntled worker suggested Google tests everything before making any firm design changes — the hue of the blue, for instance. If dark blue clicks through better than sky blue, dark is published.
Marketing is about “science” and “art.” Finding the right mixture is the key. Creative directors hate focus groups and research that dictates what form the art will take. And data geeks feel the creative people are self-absorbed megalomaniacs. Automation vs. curation is what we’re talking about here in the digital age. There’s no formula for the perfect combination of these dueling approaches but they must both sit at the table. Art and science. Left brain, right brain.
The best marketing shops are those that thrive in this coexistence. It’s not peaceful coexistence and it shouldn’t be, but it must be respectful. Burger King’s CMO Russ Klein might say this coexistence should be a couple of baby steps from “conflict.” Peace!