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Surprises from the Middle of the Brain: A Fit for Each Size

January 31, 2017 | Kristen Haveman

The never ending debate of Creative vs. Data is a rabbit hole many of us have found ourselves headed down. Clashing opinions can turn to noise as you look for that one true answer to this ongoing question. From my experience, the reason why this answer seems elusive is because it may not exist.

I’m not a data expert. I can research, I can track, I can calculate leads – but I cannot tell you the why behind many bumps or declines in a campaign’s action. When A/B testing results surprise me, the numbers aren’t what pull me in. At all.

For me, creative content has always come organically. I enjoy tearing down and rebuilding a paragraph, word by word. The whole process makes sense to me, even when it doesn’t. (Which is in itself a sentence other ‘creatives’ might relate to.)

The same could be said of left-brainers. Like a chemist closely observing test tubes in a lab, every team needs their analytics guru. Data specialists may as well wear lab coats in my opinion.

But there is a sweet spot that neither side can always expect. It can’t be calculated while one frame of mind smothers the other.

Here’s an example. Our team was working on an email campaign for a client. The language had to be very specific. The intended audience was not going to respond to flowery copy, eye-catching design, even traditional buzzwords. As a copywriter, I couldn’t use my usual tools, making this a particular challenge. The finished product looked like somewhat dolled up plain text emails.

And the results exceeded expectation.

The message was received clearly because every part of it was curated so specific to that audience. The readers responded to their version of the perfect balance of creative and data. It may not have been what either side of my own brain found 100% pleasing, but it spoke to the right balance in the context and generated incredible leads.

Every campaign, every detail, every goal, is different. There is no one-size-fits-all, but there is certainly a fit out there for each size. It just takes the right balance, and the fine-tuning to get there.