About two years ago, we were meeting around a board room table discussing the importance of incorporating both art and science into all aspects of marketing. Our COO, James Capo introduced the concept that science (data and analytics) is an enabler but that successful campaigns (content and strategy) can’t happen without the art side of the equation. He stressed that teams can employ the technology but can’t depend on it alone. The art side is necessary to compel the audience to engage and interact based off of an emotional response. At Omeda, our tools work to provide the science (data and analytics) but the other huge piece of the puzzle is the art (content and strategy). We crafted a blog on art and science and the need for balance but wanted to circle back on this relevant topic and ask James Capo for more insights on how he views the need for balance in 2021.

Q: As we move into 2021, do you see a need for a shift in balance between art and science? Do you see a need for a stronger focus on art vs. science or is the balance of both still key? 

A: So much of marketing over the past decade has revolved around “technology”.  An entire industry devoted to “marketing technology” now exists.  What has been lost in this technology arms race has been the need to connect with your audience in an authentic way. The “art” of marketing has been overlooked by the “science” of marketing. That being said with the coming demise of “third-party cookies” the need for complicated, over-engineered programmatic ad tech is going away. The rise of “first-party data” is going to put even greater pressure on companies to “know” their audiences.  While technology (the science) will help companies become better equipped to manage this data, the underlying need to connect and speak to your audience in an authentic way is becoming even more important.

Q: When we talk about balancing the science with art, is there a way you would recommend businesses go through that process?

A: Sometimes, I think we forget that there are actually “people” on the other side of our marketing messages. We look at data, we discuss trends, we analysis behaviors to get a better understanding of how to communicate with our audiences. But we tend to be caught up in the data when the best way to understand what your audience wants is to just ask them. Surveys, focus groups, and customer feedback will become an even greater part of the data analysis as third-party cookies continue their demise.  That along with privacy laws will push the more forward-thinking companies to begin to reassess their relationship with their audiences and customers.  The two headed monster of both the cookie apocalypse and the rise of privacy/consent laws will benefit those organizations that are willing to develop (or might already have) a deep relationship with their audiences.

Q: Is there a brand that you think is balancing the art & science well? – Or, which brand do you find inspiration from when thinking about balancing the art & science to communicate.

A: I’m a big fan of SONOS. They have done a really nice job of creating both a “physical” presence but also a digital presence. The brand experience has morphed as they recently they launched their own audio channel designed to engage their audience beyond just the speakers they sell. They are using their audience data to deliver custom messages and custom offers based on your listening history.  You’re seeing their community come together not just around their products but around bands, songs, and access to live streams. They’ve looked at their core product, they’ve looked at their audience, and they’ve looked at their data and through that analysis created a new product offering that is aligned perfectively with their community’s expectation.  This balance of using “science” (data) to develop a new, creative offering to customers is a great example of blending the art and science of marketing.

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At Omeda, we invest in the technology so that you have the science side down and all the tools ready. When working toward activating your audience and acquiring first-party data, you need the strong content and editors just as much as the MarTech stack that drives interactions. In fact, as we drafted this second blog we found a Harvard Business Review piece (item number 10) that mentions the importance of incorporating both the art & science in your marketing initiatives. Both are huge pieces of the equation and they can’t drive success independently.