Left and Right Brain Image Word-diane.a.curranThere is a popular social media multiple choice test (on Facebook mostly) making the rounds this week. It boldly judges whether you are “right” or “left” brained. Several friends have taken it themselves, and are rather mesmerized by their results.

Conventional wisdom has it that art is right brained, and science is left brained, as I’m sure you’ve heard. Well, in recent years, science studies have upended that entire paradigm, so we may all be in for some surprises soon. We will have to rethink our personalities, lifestyles, and maybe our entire identities. What fun.

Until that moment let’s ponder the question at hand: Is marketing an art of science? I wrote an article on LinkedIn talking about this, and it triggered quite the conversation, with many waxing eloquent ton ether side, here.

But really, can marketing be both?

We often think of pictures and images as art.

Visual, visible, and open to wildly different opinions in the eye of a beholder. A picture is worth a thousands words we say, and that give the art folks an early edge in race to the answer. Click anywhere on the Interwebs, and you’ll be inundated with photos and graphics in wild array. Words seem to be losing the battle with emojis, those teensy little icons seeking to codify complex emotions, wordlessly.

Does this mean words are only science?

Not a no-brainer to answer. Ask any novelist wrestling with character arcs and their passion to make dialog and narrative sing out from the page. Any any orator who seeks to use the power of a single word or pithy phrase to burn  an idea into a listeners’ brains. Ask any lawyers arguing their case before a judge and jury, where one wrong word can steal victory away in their pursuit of justice.

I might drive a few readers a tad crazy and not answer this question. I’m going to present no evidence — today.

Instead, I’ll fling the question up and out, let it hang glide in the air, rattle around in our heads: Like an artist tackles the challenge and mystery of a blank canvas. Like a scientist requires herself to live in suspense with hypotheses that have yet to be proven.

But Im not letting myself off easy. I’ll return to this question in future posts, perhaps with more queries than final answers. I love a good marketing mystery.

— Diane A. Curran






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