Keeping creatives and analysts working in harmony | Mumbrella360

Ever wondered why the creative and analytical sides of your business can't seem to work together? In this session from June's Mumbrella360 conference, a panel of experts from Google, ANZ, Blue 449 and Karmarama tackle the right vs left brain divide.

The session – moderated by Jules Hall, CEO, the Hallway – works through ways marketers can achieve better harmony between their creative and data teams.

Hallways asks Ben Bilboul, group CEO, Karmarama about the notion that data could be seen as a threat to creativity. “When it turns into insights that can fuel better briefs for creatives, creatives suddenly get it.

“When it’s just a retargeting tool, the consumer also feels the weakness in that approach, where you can see your name has been inserted in a generic template, or you open a website and you keep seeing the same pair of shoes following you around.”

“You want to have the best analytical people you can find. If you just take them into a creative culture, and you hire one person to represent data, it’s probably not going to work,” he adds.

Bilboul also points out that with the dawn of digital marketing and the speed it requires, individual teams must be empowered to have the ability to make their own decisions:

“The old model of one guy sitting at the top doing a kind of command and control doesn’t really work when you’ve got to work at speed… you can’t have the old system signing everything off on a Thursday evening. You have to have empowered teams.”

When it comes to conflict, Hall believes there is a middle ground that needs to be met.

“Conflict is good, but conflict needs to be executed in the right way,” he says. “Healthy debate where people are comfortable to talk and spar with each other is what needs to happen to get to the right outcome.”

Anny Tampling, HR business partner Google Australia and New Zealand, points to a recent study conducted by Google which aimed to discover the key properties of an effective team.

“The first of those, which is the most fundamental, is psychological safety. That’s the sense that people feel comfortable to speak up, and share their opinions, and that their opinions feel valued and heard.”

Tampling also pointed to dependability, structure and clarity, meaning and finally impact as the other key factors for an effective team.

The study also found that the number of top performers on a team didn’t make a difference to the team’s overall effectiveness, and neither did the team being in the same location.

According to John Preston, CEO at Blue 449, physically placing the right and left-brained workers together offers a startlingly simple solution:

“We’ve physically put our analysts sitting next to our strategists, which is a bit of an oil and water mix. They’re very different personalities, but it actually is working really well.”

According to Preston, these “stratelytics” teams think of themselves as “Mad Men and math men working together”.

Preston: “They’re very different personalities”

For Carolyn Bendall, head of marketing for ANZ, it’s all about focussing on “evolution”.

“Our focus has been around trying to cultivate a growth mindset in our team – being open to change, embrace change and look at it as a learning opportunity,” she said.


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