Is it better to be a “left brain” or “right brain” driven marketer?


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Right Brain vs Left Brain Marketers

Is it better to be a “Left Brain” or “Right Brain” marketer? To be a great marketer like Steve Jobs (Apple), Richard Branson (Virgin), Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Phil Knight (Nike) do you need to be a “Left” or “Right” Brain Marketer?

I came across a very interesting infographic about this topic entitled “Right Brain vs. Left Brain Marketers”. It shows the key differences between them. It then explores how each would approach advertising and communication tasks like TV, Print, Outdoor Billboards and Online.

It is based on the long standing view of how the brain works, with the Right Brain being the more logical, planned and ordered thinking. The Left Brain being the more emotional, less rational and creative.

They conclude that:
Left Brain marketer thinks: “Profit begins with marketing. The best way to measure a marketing campaign’s success is through its impact on the bottom-line revenue”.
So Logical Left Brain Marketers are focusing on: Differentiating product features with in-use demos and price offers, and then ruthlessly tracking impressions, click-through rates and conversions.

Right Brain marketer thinks: “Marketing is an art, not a science. Its impact is measured with brand loyalty and perception. It can’t always be measured with math”.
So Right Brain Marketers are focusing on: Differentiating through story telling, imagery and building an emotional connection and reaction to the brand.

I believe that you, of course, need a mix of both to be truly successful as a marketer.

  • There is a real danger with being too “Right Brain”. If you are, you can end up being more of a “brand caretaker” than a true innovator and step change agent. This is because you focus yourself, and those around, you on optimising the present – rather than changing the future. You will be measuring against norms and too focused on what those around you are doing and achieving.
  • While “Left Brain” marketers have more potential to be true innovators as they focus on what the vision of the brand is. How to make it connect and have greater resonance with consumers. True innovators will be more left brain thinkers, as they have an eye on what they want the brand to be. Without some reality check and measurements, they can go horribly wrong. But they are more likely to be real “brand builders”.

I am very sure that Steve Jobs (Apple), Richard Branson (Virgin), Howard Schultz (Starbucks) and Phil Knight (Nike) are more “Left Brain” in habits and approach. What are you?

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Further reading: full size version “Right Brain vs. Left Brain Marketers” on site

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gary Bembridge
30 years of marketing experience managing and building brands globally for companies like Unilever and Johnson & Johnson, as a Global Vice President Global Marketing. Now a freelance marketing consultant, blogger and podcaster. The podcast has won awards in the European Podcast Awards (Business) the last 2 years.


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