logic and magic

Reporting “live” from NYC’s Advertising Week!

Today I attended a debate entitled “Art vs. Science – The Battleground for the Future of Advertising.” One of the panelists was Teresa Alpert, Global Planning Director at Lowe Worldwide, and the very first thing she said was the most interesting nugget of the entire discussion.  She described her role as sitting at the intersection of “logic and magic” — what a great way to describe what it is that most marketers should do.

Certainly there is a “logic” side to being an effective marketer — you must develop strategies and programs that deliver on the business objective and plan.  You must be able to prove the results of your work and demonstrate a positive ROI.  And you must sell in your plans in a way that makes sense to CFO’s and others who are most likely to be won over by logical arguments.

But at the same time there must be some “magic” in what you do — you must think creatively, challenge conventions, and sometimes take a (huge) leap to get to that idea or to uncover that insight that no one else would have come up with.  You need to inspire and motivate people to support your plans.  And sometimes, say when the next big product intro turns out to not be so big or when you don’t even have a new product in the first place, you need to create something out of (practically) nothing.

It seems, great marketers must do both logic AND magic — one without the other really isn’t sufficient.

Do you agree?  Any examples of challenges you’ve addressed with both logic and magic?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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