“Are you using your whole brain on that marketing problem?”
This question could be taken in many ways. But when viewed through a neuroscientific lens, “whole-brain thinking” means using both analytics (left-brain thinking) and creativity (right-brain thinking) to perceive a situation and make decisions that will effect favorable change.
In the context of marketing, here is how your brain – as well as the collective brains of the members of your team – needs to operate to compete optimally in the marketing world today:
Be analytical – start with the raw historical data to generate knowledge and build hypotheses
Be reductive – break problems down to into manageable chunks in order to better understand them
Be detail-oriented – seek to understand the technical nature of campaign execution (software, processes, roles)
Be time-conscious – work within deadlines and time frames
Be syncretic – “fold in” data and knowledge from different domains, combining and synthesizing them to form something new
Be holistic & integrative – see the big picture, see how the pieces inter-relate to form a new, better whole
Be creative – stay open to experiencing flashes of insight that illuminate both the problem landscape and the solution set at the same time
Operate outside of time – see past, present and future phases of your campaigns as co-existing
If you believe that your marketing organization tends to rely on one half of the collective brain more than the other, try seeking more balance. To compete and succeed in marketing today, neither pure data nor catchy creative alone will do the trick. You need the whole thing to come together and work in tandem in order to move the needle in the right direction.