April 25, 2014
Creative Meets Analytical – The Right and Left Brain in the Workplace
Getting ahead in the ever-changing marketing game can be tough, even for thinkers who stay on top of the latest trends. In part, this challenge is due to the dual, but opposing demands of the field. As Nashville Biz Blog puts it, being a marketing maven requires embracing your “multiple personalities,” or rather, multiple modes of thinking. Leveraging a mix of thinkers on your marketing team, those with more of a creative, “right-brain” bent, as well as the more analytical “left-brain” thinkers, can create powerful thinking that’s greater than the sum of its parts – or hemispheres, in this case.
Creative Thinkers: The Case for “Right” Minds
As Search Engine Land points out, traditional content marketers tend to be of the more right-brained, creative variety. These creative types are interested in telling a great story through content in order to engage customers with authentic, original words and images. These thinkers are great to have on your team, because they typically keep the big picture in mind while also considering the individual emotional response of each and every customer.
Right-brain thinkers also tend to be more adaptable. As USA Today notes, the shifting demands of a constantly changing economy are often best tackled by creative professionals who can “think outside the box” and translate their skills to a new, growing field. It’s not uncommon for creative marketers or product innovators to have a left-brain career lurking in their past; netting a former analyst-turned-graphic designer can be a huge boon for your marketing firm, because these resilient professionals can assume a number of different roles and responsibilities within your team. Here are just a couple of the roles a right-brained employee may take on:
- Designer. From web to print design, visual thinkers are typically right-brained and can bring valuable business skills as well as visionary thinking. You’ll not only save money by bulking up your in-house design services, you’ll also be adding a creative thinker to the table.
- Content Writer. “Content mills” have given this new breed of writer a bad rap, but freelance writers who specialize in creating content for online campaigns are able to quickly assess the key aspects of a larger campaign, and create compelling content to engage your customers. Depending on your resources and need, you can find a number of talented freelance content writers, or hire a full-time content specialist for long-term consistency.
Logical Left-Brains: The Analytical Thinker in Action
The problem though, as may be evident in your own work place, is that a room full of right-brains might not have the know-how to crunch the hard data needed to truly create a comprehensive marketing plan that includes SEO best practices. Lucky for the creative crew wondering why their ROI just isn’t any higher, a good marketing team worth its salt also has a few solid left-brains on staff. These analytical thinkers are able to get the full story from the numbers alone, without fixating on the elegant design of the font your team picked for your landing site. Instead, logical thinkers are able to point out gaps or flaws in an otherwise solid marketing plan, essentially picking up where the right-brained thinkers may have left off.
A left-brained thinker can offer solid leadership for a creative team, but you can also fill a number of key support roles with left-brain thinkers. Chron.com outlines a few of the most common roles for analytical thinkers, which include:
- Programmer. From coding your website to streamlining your SEO action plan, computer programmers can help you find the most efficient systems to save time and money while connecting with your customer base.
- Legal. A staffer with a background in law can help spot and fine-tune vague language in a marketing campaign. They can also ensure that your persuasive copy isn’t misleading to ensure you’re creating innovative, but ethical content.
Cultivating a balanced team is the key to success in today’s challenging marketing landscape. Marketing is no longer the domain of freethinking creative types who rattle off ideas and sit back to watch the campaign flourish. Likewise, a good marketer knows that a purely data based plan will lack that intangible “it” factor that allows a good campaign to become truly great. Work with your team to identify and cultivate their strengths and you’ll find that the mix of skills will create plans that are both inspired and results oriented.
In addition, it can be useful for CEOs and other leaders to reflect on their own brain game. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses, and work to build a team you trust that can help fill the gaps in your own skill set.