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Marketing is a Whole-Brain Job

At some point in their lives, everyone has probably been labeled as “left brain” or “right brain,” but what does that mean for marketers?

Marketo published an infographic examining the different ways you could approach campaigns as a left- or right-brain marketer. It states that, “In marketing there is a similar divide between emotion-based, artistic marketing and value-based, practical marketing. The marketers who design these ads can be considered left- or right-brain thinkers.”

While the differences between the logical left and the creative right come across as clear-cut, black-and-white, either/or concepts, my experience with LMG proves there may be a third option: you need a little bit of both. Here’s why.

I didn’t study marketing in school, but I did bring experience in journalism and graphic design into my position as a copywriter. I came to find the job would change my perspective of marketing from the inside out, first as a consumer, then as a marketer.

As I worked on headlines, taglines, body copy, captions, subject lines and so on, I slowly began to pay more attention to billboards along the highway, quick and catchy phrases on product packaging and company logos on products at the mall. When I watched car commercials, I wasn’t just thinking, “Wow, I love how that car looks.” I was thinking more about, “How does the emphasis on the safety rating, the image of a parent driving happily with her kids, and the clever voiceover about keeping your family safe change my opinion about this car? Is this concept working? What would I do differently?”

I learned to consider how certain marketing strategies worked—how they inspired me to take action—based on my impulsive emotion as a consumer, and my insider logic as a marketer. I realized great marketing can be influential logically and emotionally for consumers and marketers in different ways, and it’s important to understand how both sides of the brain affect these reactions.

When consumers see the same car commercial, they might consider the logic­: price and functionality, and the emotion: how will this car protect my family? When I see any form of marketing, I am considering the same things as a consumer, plus the marketer’s kind of logic and emotion. The logic: how is this strategy working or not working? The emotion: what can I take from it, how can I try this for myself, how does it inspire me? These kinds of questions have the power to encourage and challenge me to analyze, problem-solve, experiment and learn—both logically and creatively.

At LMG, everything we do is grounded in the principle of “creative intelligence”—combining the right brain's imaginative vision with the left brain’s sound strategy to create quality, comprehensive results. Our inspiration stems from these kinds of questions so we can deliver breakthrough concepts that speak to the logic and emotions of the consumers our clients wish to reach.

One of my favorite statements regarding this subject appeared in the CMO survey LMG wrote about earlier this year about how marketing experts will bring more creativity to their work in 2016:

“Creativity will be the left hand and data will be the right hand of fearless marketers, who will push their boundaries to create memorable experiences for their customers.”
– Vijayanta Gupta, Head of Product and Industry Marketing and Industry Strategy, Adobe Systems Europe, and blogger/The Digital CMO

So while there may be a divide between emotion-based, artistic marketing and value-based, practical marketing as Marketo claims, why not aspire to cross that divide and discover what’s possible when you experiment with both?

Erin Myers +