Whether you're an analytical or a creative thinker, exercising both sides of the brain is the best way to truly optimize and bring marketing and creative closer together.
One of the most prominent trends we explored with our 2019 In-House Creative Management Report was a disconnect between marketing and creative. This disconnect often boils down to a fundamental stereotype about the 2 sides of the house: Marketers are analytic, structured, left-side-of-the-brain thinkers, while creatives are more free-spirited, right-side-of-the-brain thinkers.
Here’s the truth though – no one can survive (or thrive!) by only using one side of their brain. Although we may favor one avenue of thought, it doesn’t mean we’re incapable (or unwilling) of tapping into the other side. So here’s some food for thought: How can we meet in the middle to address key areas for improvement where marketing and creative collide? And to take it a step further: How can marketers and creatives, and more generally, people who favor one of the 2 sides of the brain, expand their horizons to both improve collaboration AND further their careers?
Read on for some key skills analytical and creative thinkers can hone in on (and maybe even add to their resume) that will lead to growth both inside and outside the office.
For the analytical thinker…
We get it, creative production software applications like Photoshop and InDesign can be really intimidating if you don’t live in them every day. Part of the magic of creatives is their mastery of these complex technologies. But let us challenge you this – Try an entry-level tutorial or a training course in a design software you’ve never used before.
It can be helpful to understand the programs and processes your creative counterparts go through every day so that you’re more informed when it comes to reviewing and guiding and their design work. It’ll likely give you an added appreciation for the work creatives do as well!
Understanding and buying into the true creative concept of a piece of work is crucial. For analytical thinkers, it can be hard to pull yourself out of a metrics-driven mindset when it comes to purpose. Well, the purpose behind that display ad is to drive demo requests… right?
Instead, think a level deeper, and remove yourself from the numbers for just a moment. Maybe the true concept behind that ad campaign is to evoke an emotion or tap into a memory – that’s what makes the creative effective at the objective of driving demo requests. If you can think like a creative, it makes your involvement in the creative process a lot more effective. Plus, having this fresh outlook can help you think outside the box when it’s time to start the next campaign.
For the creative thinker…
You may have moved into a creative field to AVOID having to deal with numbers, and you may have gotten away with it, but not anymore! Numbers are crucial, and as it turns out, creatives know that, with “business impact” coming in as the top answer when creatives were asked how they measure the value of their creative work in the 2019 In-House Creative Management Report. The kicker? A whopping 49% said they rarely or never get quantitative feedback on creative content.
Although it’s certainly important to be measuring process metrics, such as average rounds of review, time to approval, etc, we challenge you to take it a step further. Talk to the marketing team and have them show you the metrics they look at. That ad you designed? See if they can take a couple of minutes to pull up Google Adwords and show you how it’s performing. That homepage redesign? You’d be amazed by all the stats you’ll uncover in Google Analytics. Digging into and being comfortable with this data can expand your skillset as a professional and inform your creative work moving forward.
We saved this one for last so that you wouldn’t jump ship right away. Everyone seems to have a love-hate relationship with project management, and we’re here to tell you (even you right-brain people out there) that there is a lot to love about the organization creative workflow management software can bring.
Creative workflow management software can help you keep track of the large projects you’ve contributed to and how they’ve performed (hint, see above!) as well as plan, track, and report on the whole project from end to end. Having some structure to your process and your day to day work often ends up being more freeing than it is binding. Bonus: Keeping all this neatly packaged makes it really helpful to look back and celebrate your success (and build that LinkedIn profile).
Hopefully, no matter what your job title is or which side of the brain you favor, at least one of these areas speaks to you. Try to work through the challenges below, and you’ll be on a great path to better your mindset, career, and collaboration.
- Take a tutorial for a design software you’re not familiar with.
- Look at the creative briefs behind an upcoming campaign, and ask yourself the “why,” both from an analytical metric-driven perspective and a holistic emotion-driven stance.
- Consult a team member or access a new tool to understand how a recent campaign you contributed to performed, plus how you learned from it to do even better next time.
- Create a spreadsheet or look into a software solution that can make your time, and your projects, more organized.