Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marketing: Art or Science

Seth Godin has a thought-provoking post over on his blog concerning the distinction between marketing as science vs. marketing as art. He puts forth the cogent argument that sometimes we get confused as to whether we are practicing art or science. As Godin writes, "If you don't know if you're doing a science project or an art project, you'll probably emphasize the wrong elements." I would add that managers often encounter dysfunctional conflict with their peers when they are talking different languages (art vs. science) without being aware of it. They simply talk past one another, and conflicts boil over at some point.

2 comments:

Edward Dizzys said...

Interesting!

I feel like there is a scarcity of good marketing today. Good marketing means which can convert the leads into sales. The only marketing that has moved me in the last couple of years is Search Engine Optimization.

koleszar said...

Yes, Godin makes a couple of good points. However, it is important to point out that while marketing may rely on art and a science, a Chief Marketing Officer must be of a higher order. An "Evolved CMO", (a moniker proposed by Penn State researchers Raj Grewal and Rui Wang based on their analysis of Fortune 100 senior marketing job descriptions) is neither an artist, nor a scientist. I will suggest that "artists" and "scientists" are people that report to the CMO.

A CMO is a visionary that is held accountable for building the intangible assets of the firm by creating customer equity and long-term business sustainability. They do that by orchestrating the activities of their team of artists and scientists – and of equal or greater importance – influencing the other functional areas to support their efforts.

Yours very truly,
W.L. Koleszar
Editor, The CMO Journal
www.ChiefMarketingOfficer.com