January 10, 2018


In the world of marketing, a debate has raged for several years: is creativity or analytics the key to success?If you ask us, the whole debate is hogwash. 
It’s not an either/or. At Spark, we intertwine creativity and analytics by testing distinct, highly creative approaches to marketing products and evaluating them based on quantitative performance. So we propose an answer of “both.”
Some have used the metaphor of left-brain vs. right-brain to describe the organizational battles between data and analytics, on the one hand, and creativity and design on the other. And as with many debates these days, getting to the right answer can leave a lot of carnage behind as organizations grapple with optimizing across both creative and data-focused functions.But the path to “both” has productive aspects as well, and we’re starting to see some pretty awesome results of collaboration across functions.

Who Does it Well

Creative data guru Becky Wang shares a few examples of companies like Zappos and Cirque de Soleil using data to overhaul user experience and optimize for profit. But she also mentions this incredibly cool thing: a video billboard near Heathrow that "sees" a plane taking off and shares data about it—all through the eyes of a child.

Left + Right

The data deluge has wreaked havoc with large marketing departments. They've struggled to integrate analytics into traditional marketing practices and build so-called whole-brain marketing organizations. Mega-recruiter Spencer Stuart lays out some of the challenges in the talent world and also shares survey data about the evolution of the marketing function.

New Entrants

Oh, look! We're part of a trend. Big creative agencies are trying to act more like consulting firms, and consulting firms like Deloitte and Accenture are getting into the creative business. Hope it ends well...

There Will Be a Test at the End

Time for fun. Here is one link and here is another about the best marketing campaigns of 2017. Whether you like clever, funny, or thought-provoking, there is something for everyone. Your test: which marketers married creative and data to knock it out of the park?

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