Marketing: Art or Science?

For as long as I have worked in marketing (which is quite a while now) and I suspect for a lot longer, there has been debate about what makes good marketing – is it art or science?
At the risk of sounding like I’m sitting on the fence, I think the answer is both. When we look at individual pieces of marketing activity, they may be more ‘art’-led or ‘science’-led, but for an overall campaign or marketing programme, both have a critical role to play.
The diagram above shows one way in which art and science can be combined to deliver strong business results
Marketing content is a creative process, generating stand-out, communicating effectively and engaging the target audience in a way that does justice to the brand.
However, for the content to deliver its full potential, it needs some science too:
Simple but robust planning makes sure we think things through properly and take a proactive approach rather than reacting
A defined, structured process to support the creative process can help ensure proper briefing and constructive feedback.
Research can provide useful insight into the opportunity and test out solutions
Drawing on established Best Practice helps ensure better results faster and with fewer resources
Measurement allows us to compare activities, track performance over time and build confidence in forecasts
Project management keeps our ‘art’ and ‘science’ on track
The real skill of a marketer is being able to blend the ‘artists’ and ‘scientists’ together