The danger of half-brained marketing teams

Marketing Power-Up #9: Great marketing lives at the intersection of head and heart.

As marketers, we LOVE data.

I’ve written in a previous issue of  that the dark side of marketing’s obsession with data is that we could end up drowning in meaningless information.

But there’s a more catastrophic effect of an unhealthy attraction to data.

Data-obsessed marketers are at risk of cultivating only half a brain.

Great marketing lives at the intersection of head and heart.

A few weeks ago, I shared an illustration of the qualities of a left-brained versus right-brained marketer on Twitter and LinkedIn. I asked people which type of marketers they were.

Most said they were both left-brained AND right-brained.

In reality, being perfectly balanced between the emotional and analytical self is rare.

I’m sure it’s what we’d like to have. But, most probably, lean toward one over the other.

📝 Ramli’s unofficial brain quiz

Here’s a non-scientific quiz to determine if you’re more of a left-brained or right-brained marketer.

  1. It’s Friday, and you’d like to end the week on a high note. If you could only complete one task today, which one would you pick?

    1. Dig into Google Analytics and identify the best-performing blog posts that drove the most signups this week.

    2. Go through some customer interview scripts to help you hone your company’s narrative and copy that will better resonate with prospective customers..

  2. When friends recount a story, you usually prefer that they?

    1. Get straight to the point and spare the details.

    2. Recount the story in its entirety, sparing no detail.

  3. Whenever you meet someone new, which one do you remember the most?

    1. Their name

    2. Their face

If you chose mostly ‘a,’ you’re more left-brained than right-brained. On the other hand, responding to more questions with ‘b’ means the opposite.

But if you said that you’d do both ‘a’ and ‘b’ in all three scenarios, congrats, you’re perfectly balanced! 😉

🦮 Compensating for blind spots

The point of my brain quiz is that most people lean on one part of their brain more than the other.

Knowing that helps you become a better marketer because you’re more self-aware of where you’d overinvest your time and resources towards. Thus, you can act and adjust your approach in three ways:

1. Hiring people 🏆

Knowing your blind spots also helps you when hiring. You want to find people who are different but complementary to your natural inclination. Having a team full of left-brained marketers might only sometimes bring the most creative ideas. A diverse team is a winning team!

2. Time management. ⏳

If you’re a more right-brained marketer, you probably lose track of time while creating, writing, and building things like I am. It’s easier to get in a flow state when you’re doing things that give you energy.

Knowing that helps us be mindful of time to ensure analyzing data, going through the details, and organizing work aren’t left behind. We’d have to schedule that into work intentionally, or else it’d likely get done last minute!

The same is true for left-brained marketers. Take the time to visualize the bigger picture and understand the emotional triggers to get customers to buy.

3. Working with others. 👩🏽‍💻

It’s human nature to be around people like us. As a right-brained marketer, I often get thrown off working with others who are purely logical.

But working with people who are unlike us is a power-up! It helps ensure that our blind spots are covered by others who might catch a detail we missed.

So, now I have a mental note of who on my team prefers digging into the numbers. And when I’m working on something, I purposely get feedback from them. Often, they see something I don’t!

Which one are you?

I’d love to hear from you!

Could you take 10 seconds and let me know if you’re more left-brained or right-brained?

Reply to this email or leave a comment on Substack.

⭐️ Mini power-ups

Fun-sized blurbs to help boost your marketing.

How to win in a recession: Patrick Campbell, Co-Founder of ProfitWell, shares his tips for winning during a recession. My takeaway: Focus your 2023 planning on why your software is necessary, not optional.

✨  If not Twitter, then where?: With the uncertain future of Twitter, writes in  that "when you’re building on rented land, your landlord can change the terms at any time." It's best to diversify your social channels quickly as soon as you get great at one.

Product-Led Summit 2022: I’m sharing a new framework based on Super Mario Kart to help improve your user activation and retention. It will most likely be a new book I’m writing for late 2023 or early 2024. I heard it here first! 😄 So, get your free tickets for the Product-Led Summit.

Have a powered-up day!

Ramli John

👋 Say hello on Twitter and LinkedIn

P.S. If you found this helpful, would you share the love by tapping on the heart below? And if you’re feeling generous, kindly forward this to colleagues or click the share button below.


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    Written by

    Ramli John

    Ramli John

    Ramli John is the founder of Marketing Powerups and author of the bestselling book Product-Led Onboarding. He's worked with companies such as Appcues, Mixpanel, and Ubisoft to accelerate their growth.

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