Art, Science and the Expert Opinion

Everyday I’m reminded that Marketing is both art and science.  It is the art part that always challenges me.  There is no formula to derive that magical viral marketing video or blockbuster TV ad.  It usually requires someone with a wildly creative mind and a track record for delivering results.  Beyond that I have found limited ways to vet these expert marketing advisors who bring these things to life.  In other fields like finance or law people spend years getting special professional qualifications (ie a CPA or Bar Certification).  As a marketer, however, virtually anyone can become an “ad man”, social media guru or brand expert (see @amandachapel).

To mitigate this risk, I rely on portfolio, references and intuition when selecting an expert marketing advisor.   try to understand the person and his or her frameworks.

– How will he gather data?
– How well does she listen?
– How will he make real-time adjustments to the facts on the ground?
– How well can she explain how she will derive this “expert opinion”?

In many cases I know I will end up with an expensive opinion but it should be based on a combination of local knowledge and acquired expertise.  It’s not magic and you should steer clear of anyone who can’t clearly articulate his or her process because they probably don’t have one.

Caveat emptor and stay tangy.

Author: Frank Days

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the tangy link. I realize @amandachapel is a very polarizing figure, but on balance I think you’re saying the same thing: don’t go into anything blindly. Ask tough questions. Amen to “steer clear of anyone who can’t clearly articulate his or her process because they probably don’t have one”.

    IMO, good art is easier when good science is in place: strong creative happens when we know what the effort hopes to achieve and why. As Yogi Berra once said “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

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