Is the science of marketing crushing creativity?

By: Mary Fearon

Science of marketing

Data. Triggers. Calls to action. Click rates. Page views. Form fills. Our ability to track every micro decision someone makes along the path to purchase is a blessing. And, some also see it as a curse. We can finally answer the age-old question about which activities and messages are driving customer action. We’ve got it down to a science. Maybe that’s a problem.

We live in a world where data directs marketing activities down to the words we choose, the pictures we use and the places we engage. With all of these decisions in some ways made for us, have we traded in creative potential for a recipe to effective marketing? Is marketing just a paint-by-numbers effort? Not quite. In fact, we may be facing the greatest creative opportunities yet.

Data, the science, drives insight and understanding, but that’s as far as it can take us. Communication is about connecting human beings; human beings who are exposed to somewhere between 3,000 and 20,000 marketing messages each day. Getting people to notice and care about what we have to offer. That is the art of marketing.

I’ve worked with creative teams for years and have seen time and time again the tighter the strategy, the stronger the creative. The stronger the creative, the better the engagement, action and results. The process of narrowing in on key insights broadens the opportunity for creative thinking and problem solving. So, while it may feel like marketing is being taken over by dashboards and metrics, data is on our side and our most creative work is still to come.