SaaS Marketing Blog

Is marketing an art or a science?

20th September 2010

The answer is…it’s both

Marketing is a science – using analytics, measuring numbers from Google Ads or a direct mail campaign, improving website conversion rates, using certain words in advertisements that have been proven to get better results. They can all be recorded, measured and quantified.

Marketing is an art – great graphic design, campaigns that break boundaries, telling stories through copy. Without creativity and flair campaigns would fall flat on their faces.

And what about psychology? Marketing is influencing people to buy; this is the science of behaviour. But it’s also an art, appreciating the nuances of human behaviour and using design and words to do that.

So science is logic; art is creative…and for effective marketing you need both. A website that looks great won’t convert if the functionality and user journey are confusing. An advert that is perfectly written but doesn’t convey emotion and get people excited won’t convert into buyers.

But does marketing always come down to the numbers? For some marketing you can measure everything you do, Google Ads being the best example. But even Google Ads doesn’t show you the full ROI. How many people see that AdWord, then see an advert for the same company in a newspaper and then go to the website because they are ‘seeing that website everywhere’?

Experts say you need to be exposed to a brand seven times to recognise it. An article written about a company, a billboard, seeing tweets on Twitter, seeing a website in a search engine can all count – so what marketing aspect do the ‘scientists’ measure and what credit should the ‘artist’ have for writing that white paper or designing a web banner?

For marketing to work you need sustained, constant marketing. Artists need to be creating campaigns and fresh material, scientists need to be measuring the effect of individual campaigns and marketing as a whole and using data to drive new campaigns for artists to design.

So for successful marketing you need to use both the logical and creative sides of your brains so that art and science can complement each other.

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