Driving Revenue Using Both Sides of Your Brain


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A successful marketer, or marketing team, needs to stop thinking in terms of being left- or right- brained and start thinking about how to become more  “whole-brained.”

In the following pages we’ll discuss the strengths of the two sides of the brain. We will look at five significant attributes of both - explaining what they are, how to recognize these characteristics among your team, and why they are important to generating revenue and results for your organization.

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  • Driving Revenue Using Both Sides of Your Brain

    1. Driving RevenueUsing Both Sidesof Your Brain10 Attributes You Need on Your Marketing Team Presented by
    2. IntroductionOne-sided Thinking The Attributes that Drive Revenue“Right Brain vs. Left Brain,” the idea that different sides of the In the following pages we’ll discuss the strengths of the twobrain control different ways of thinking is not new. “Left-Brained” sides of the brain. We will look at five significant attributes ofthinking is logical, analytical, sequential and objective. “Right- both - explaining what they are, how to recognize theseBrained” thinking is creative, random, visual and strategic. Often, characteristics among your team, and why they are importantpeople are said to be one or the other, and are thought to gravitate to generating revenue and results for your organization.towards particular professions based on their mode of thinking. ITdepartments are full of left-brained people, while Marketinghouses the right-brainers. “No problem can withstand theRevenue Creation Requires Integrative ThinkingWhat is new is how quickly the boundary between the two thinking assault of sustained thinking.”styles is blurring. In marketing departments everywhere, thingslike mobile technology, search engines and cohort analysis are - Voltairerapidly invading the space of writing, design and graphics. There isan urgent need for faster implementation, a deeper analysis ofbuyer behavior, and greater pressure for measurement. Marketingfolks are being forced to quickly adapt the skills of the left brainwhile retaining the attributes of the right, and incorporate both intotheir work. A successful marketer, or marketing team, needs tostop thinking in terms of being left- or right- brained and startthinking about how to become more “whole-brained.” www.wholebrain.com
    3. Are You a Lefty or a Righty? The following are ten significant characteristics found in left- and right-brain thinking. People often possess at least one attribute from each side, but will lean more one way or the other. Ideally, your marketing team should possess a solid balance of the two. Think about your marketing team. Are these attributes adequately represented? Left Brain Right Brain Analytical Creative Numbers & Metrics Visual Technical Conceptual Data-Driven Messaging & Meaning Tactical Strategic www.wholebrain.com
    4. Left Brain: AnalyticalFeatures“Analytical” is the classic way to describe someone who isleft-brained. They see things in a systematic, linear way, andthey prefer to learn in a sequential format, breaking a probleminto pieces and solving it step by step. They use amethodology in their approach and rely on facts and logic tofind solutions.Why It’s ImportantTechnology is integral to marketing, making modern-daymarketing as much a science as an art. Search engines,SMS, marketing automation and conversion metrics are nowcentral to any marketing campaign, and to be implementedeffectively you need team members who are logical,systematic, process-oriented and fact-based in their thinking. "No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof."How to Recognize ItSomeone who thrives on details, processes and minutely- - Henry David Thoreaudetailed instructions has an analytical mind. The analyticalmarketer will skip the lofty ideas and vague creative briefsand give specific details to support their position. www.wholebrain.com
    5. Left Brain: Numbers & MetricsFeaturesNumbers and metrics are central to a left-brained mind.Unlike their right-brained counterparts who think in imagesand big ideas, their quantitative minds need specific, detailedfacts. Dashboards, spreadsheets and other reporting toolsare central to their work, where everything is measured.Why It’s ImportantNumbers are vital for measuring performance results, andassessing the return on marketing investments. Marketersneed to be able to quantify their contributions to theorganization’s success to justify their project and departmentbudgets. Their value must be measurable, ideally in the formof revenue and pipeline creation. • Uses multiple analytics tools such as GoogleHow to Recognize It Analytics, KissMetrics or MixPanelA marketer with a preference for numbers and metrics is one • Responds to new ideas with “Let’s test it.”seemingly obsessed with spreadsheets and dashboards,constantly assessing the data to find out what works and • Can teach your finance guys a thing or twowhat doesn’t. Instead of long paragraphs explaining their about Excelwork, you’ll get graphs and charts. In their eyes, the numbersspeak for themselves. www.wholebrain.com
    6. Left Brain: TechnicalFeaturesThe technical member of your marketing team is essentially your“Marketing CTO.” They understand the various technologicalsystems needed to build out the marketing infrastructure of theorganization. They can interact well with your organization’stechnical resources and thus bridge the divide between themarketing and IT departments.Why It’s ImportantThe dominance of digital media makes it imperative to haveteam members with technical skills to help with solution selectionas well as implementation. As technology and marketing merge,you need someone on your marketing team who can understandthe priorities of each and speak both languages. You often don’thave time to wait for IT to solve a problem. “I do think its better to think of thisHow to Recognize It capability holistically as marketingA technical marketer will not hesitate to try new technology and technology, rather than breaking itsystems, and will implement those systems on real projects. down into separate specialties.”They are familiar with technology blogs and are up to date withindustry trends and developments. They can explain how atechnology choice may open up new possibilities for your team - Scott Brinker in www.chiefmartec.comor cause problems later on. www.wholebrain.com
    7. Left Brain: Data-DrivenFeaturesSimilar to a numbers and metrics-oriented person, one who isdata-driven is consumed by facts, and able to analyze largeamounts of information. To them, the more information the better.They can create meaningful lists and segmentations within yourcustomer and prospect populations. They have a high level ofcomfort with databases and CRM systems.Why It’s ImportantDatabases are key to knowing your customers and prospects,and thus central to your success in marketing. If a sales lead isnot in a database, how does it get tracked and measured? Leadsources from marketing campaigns must be continually trackedor your marketing dollars could be wasted.How to Recognize It • Customizes Salesforce.com to fit your processA data-driven marketer is one who uses marketing automation • Leverages marketing automation systems likeobsessively, to make processes automatic and repeatable. They Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, Act-on or HubSpotcan follow a lead and find its place in the pipeline at any • Finds new ways to segment your databasemoment, allowing them to quickly see which messaging and • Ensures every lead has an associated leadmarketing efforts work and which don’t. A data-driven marketer iscontinually searching for new ways to refine your company’s source and campaignunderstanding of customer demographics and behavior. www.wholebrain.com
    8. Left Brain: TacticalFeaturesA tactical team member is one who is willing and able tointroduce and implement new technology. They are interestedin running experiments and moving quickly on new ideas.They are "doers" who can roll up their sleeves, implementnew technologies and launch new campaigns.Why It’s ImportantTactical team members have a strong bias toward action.They integrate all the disparate pieces of your marketingefforts to create an effective system.How to Recognize It“More doing, less hand-waving” is a tactical person’s motto.They are excellent project managers who can execute a “A good plan violently executedmarketing campaign effectively from start to finish. They areinterested in experimentation and implementation, and strive now is better than a perfect planto get results quickly. executed next week.” - George S. Patton www.wholebrain.com
    9. Right Brain: Creative Features Mention the term “right brain” and people think, “creative.” A creative person thinks in pictures and big-picture concepts. They value the “why” more than the “how" and think in broader terms than their left-brained counterparts. In approaching problems, they begin with the general concept and follow with the specifics. Why It’s Important Their fresh approach and ability to see problems in new ways make creative marketers such an integral part of your team. They take a holistic, global look at the issue first, and work on the details later. This broad perspective is key to assessing problems and finding innovative solutions.“Creativity can solve almost any problem.The creative act, the defeat of habit by How to Recognize It A creative marketer is a big-idea thinker. They have a biasoriginality, overcomes everything.” toward prototyping and are willing to try new things. Their innovative perspective will keep you from doing the same- George Lois things over and over, getting the same results. www.wholebrain.com
    10. Right Brain: Visual Features There is still an art to marketing. No matter how many changes occur in the world of marketing, visual imagery will remain a central element. Images have the ability to evoke emotional responses, convey information quickly and communicate meaning. Why It’s Important Humans respond to visual imagery. To capture attention, it’s important to incorporate images in every type of marketing content created. Infographics can convey a lot of information in a simple, easy to digest way. Data and content visualization can quickly relay a more specific point. Pictures, video and slideshows can liven up websites and blog posts,• Loves whiteboarding and usually has a marker and font design and page layouts can help make a page of in their hand during brainstorming sessions information more eye-catching.• Improves your customer experience by How to Recognize It including informative diagrams A visual marketer is one who thinks in pictures and• Avoids spreadsheets but gravitates toward data understands the impact of images. White boards and mind visualizations maps are among their favorite tools, and they are constantly striving to include more visual content. www.wholebrain.com
    11. Right Brain: Conceptual Features Conceptual thinking and innovation are keys to successful marketing. You need to constantly try new approaches, make changes, and innovate quickly to learn how to best communicate your message. A conceptual thinker can look at marketing data and numbers and derive new insights from it. Why It’s Important Conceptual, innovative thinkers know how to connect the dots. They can take the data and disparate information derived from your reporting and measurement and go one step further, giving all that data meaning. They can create powerful campaign themes and content that generate action.• Crafts stories and larger themes for your campaigns How to Recognize It and programs Conceptual thinkers are able to anticipate trends as they emerge. They see what is coming and know how to use that• Finds interesting juxtapositions that others miss in their work. They are innovative and non-linear in their• Recognizes patterns and trends ahead of the crowd thinking, and can combine resources to get things done. They thrive on pattern recognition. www.wholebrain.com
    12. Right Brain: Messaging & Meaning Features Once your top-flight marketing system is in place, it needs fuel. A continual infusion of new content and fresh ideas is needed for your marketing to take off. Not only do you need your team to provide an abundance of creative, innovative content, they must also understand the system and how it behaves to create content that increases lead flow and grows the pipeline. Why It’s Important You need to find the “why” that motivates your prospects and customers to take action, and build your campaign messaging around that. Customers must be able to relate to the messaging and meaning within your content and campaigns. Good storytelling is key to creating messaging that resonates with the customer, and prompts them to take the next step in the sales process.“The root of great companies is How to Recognize Itmake meaning vs. make money.” A marketer who can create good messaging has strong empathy for the customer. They can see the customer’s perspective and understand how they would like to hear the message. They use– Guy Kawasaki personas to shape the company’s understanding of key audiences, and seek powerful, qualitative insights from in-person interviews. They can create compelling stories that motivate action. www.wholebrain.com
    13. Right Brain: Strategic Features A strategic thinker is one who can think beyond marketing, to the role marketing plays in the larger organization. They take a longer term view and can see the implications of their marketing efforts on the overall organization. They anticipate the reactions of competitors and the second order impact of plans and decisions. Why It’s Important Strategy is fundamentally about resource allocation: what you will and will not do. Marketing teams rarely have an abundance of time, money or people to implement all of the potential activities requested of them. A strong strategic thinker can keep the team focused on the activities that will maximize the desired results.“Plans are useless, butplanning is everything” How to Recognize It A strategic marketer is one who can prioritize and allocate resources effectively. They have a broad perspective and can- Dwight D. Eisenhower understand how marketing fits into the larger organization. In addition they are skilled at communicating the priorities to their team, keeping everyone on track and striving for a common goal. www.wholebrain.com
    14. WholeBrain: Integrating Both Sides In no other area of business is there a stronger need for an integration of right- and left-brained attributes than in marketing. From visual content creation to data analytics, technology has made it imperative that marketers employ the attributes inherent to both sides of the brain to achieve results and generate revenue. Both sides are equally important - the data must be given meaning, the concepts must deliver measurable results. It is the fusion of the two sides that creates successful marketing, and drives revenue and results for your organization. Analytical Creative Numbers & Metrics Visual Technical Conceptual Data-Driven Messaging & Meaning Tactical Strategic www.wholebrain.com
    15. Build Your Revenue Engine Additional Resources Marketo infographic on Right Brain v. Left Brain Marketers Eloqua’s Topliners community Get a Free Review Econsultancy on digital talent www.chiefmartec.com Daniel Pink - A Whole New Mind Find new opportunities to generate revenue www.wholebrain.com/both-sidesAbout WholeBrainWe provide marketing automation and demand generationconsulting. Think of of us as a marketing CTO or demandgenmechanic, giving you a high performance revenue engine. Wehelp implement and tune your marketing systems and programsto improve lead flow and drive revenue growth and predictability.We boost the capabilities of your team through training andprocess improvement, leaving you with a more effective andefficient marketing organization. www.wholebrain.com