If there is one thing I have learned from my recent studies and first working experiences (more here) is that the marketing arena is highly competitive nowadays. At the same time, our mindset can make a difference.
The amount of marketing material we are subject to, both online and offline, led to the need for new innovative campaigns, able to stand out from the competition.
This scenario also justifies the need for marketers with a highly creative outlet within the workplace.
At the same time, embodying analytical skills is crucial too. Not only to track and measure your campaigns but especially to validate the efficiency of your marketing efforts to support the business.
According to the World Economic Forum, nowadays, creativity is the third-most-important skill for employees, behind complex problem-solving and critical thinking.
Creative skills in marketing and advertising are crucial not only when it comes to copywriting. The visual side of marketing is very important as well.
Web designing, branding, social media, and print marketing are skills highly valuable on the job market. They all require to embody both artistic tendencies and the capacity to generate creative solutions to complex problems.
Personally speaking, I had the opportunity to test the importance of a creative approach to marketing in more than one project. However, I lack the artistic spirit enhanced so far, as I consider myself to be more an analytical mind than an art freak.
In this regard, any would argue that creativity is something you were born with. So, you can’t learn it. Nevertheless, if you can’t be “excellent,” I would suggest doing whatever it takes to move at least from “mediocre” to “good.”
After all, behind every like, click, and conversion you desire, there’s a person with his tastes.
Once you separate yourself as a marketer or as a business from the competition through creativity and innovation, it is when the analytical side of marketing comes in. Gone are those days were sales-numbers were the only unprecise way of evaluating the efficacy of a campaign.
Today more than ever, metrics and analytics are crucial to track, measure, and especially to evaluate if the strategies put in place are paying off or not. That’s why the mindset of a modern marketer should include analytical skills.
Also, the incredible amount of data available to marketers in the digital era represents a gold mine. A gold mine that risks getting lost, if you don’t know what to do with those numbers.
For example: Knowing your email open-rate. Optimizing your advertising campaigns. Being able to track purchases from your website back to the search engines.
All this means you can manage your budget and overall marketing efforts efficiently. Therefore, the process of frequent testing, analyzing, and revision produces more engaging marketing, better targeted, and much more effective at driving results.
Right-Brain and Left-Brain Integration
So if the marketing industry was once largely the preserve of creative, right-brain types, we could now affirm that the function needs a much larger mixture of data and analytics.
The change that the industry is facing led to the need for a class of “modern” marketers. Marketers are moving to shorter creative cycles, featured by frequent testing, analysis, and revision.
A recent report from Walker Sands found that 56 percent of marketers think that creativity and technology will be equally vital to developing effective marketing strategies four years from now. Also, 41 percent sustain that an equal mix of both drives today’s approach to marketing.
There are still plenty of questions about how companies can achieve that perfect infusion. However, the benefits of doing so are transparent.
According to McKinsey, businesses that have successfully integrated the creative and the analytical approach have grown twice as fast as those that haven’t.
Companies like The Shipyard declares that the answer dwells in matching creative talent with data scientists. They call this approach “marketing engineering” while other companies have developed different ways of mixing the two.
The process of infusing creativity with analytical skills is demonstrating to produce marketing that is more engaging, well-targeted, and result-driven.
What is more important when it comes to mindset?
So what is more important for a “modern” marketer? The right or the left-brain approach?
In my opinion, what’s needed is the right balance; what it is called a “both-brain” approach—in detail, being able to put aside the artistic skills when it is necessary to change and optimize the efforts on the base of metrics and analytics.
By changing mindset and practices embracing branding, demand generation, metrics, analytics, and product creation, marketers can position themselves as an invaluable asset to companies.
Finally, if marketers must evolve or fail, the same is valid for the whole industry. Nowadays, it is the marketing function itself that must engineer a shift in mindset, talent, structure, and leadership to have effective and long-lasting results.