Analytics and creativity divide
Some professional fields are changing. Let me rephrase that… all professional fields are constantly changing! But today I would like to draw your attention to a specific kind of change that I call an analytics/creativity divide. My favorite example of this phenomenon is the marketing industry. 30 years ago, to be great in marketing you needed a bag full of catchy slogans and marketing experience to know which ones would work.
During the 80’s and 90’s the marketing environment changed. More emphasis was placed on data driven campaign management, strategic brand positioning, and a scientific rather than creative approach. Don’t get me wrong! Catchy slogans are still needed, but this type of work is getting outsourced to creative agencies and internal marketing departments looking for more operational, rather than creative personalities. The history of marketing is wonderfully illustrated in the story The evolution of Marketing (absolute must read!). Perhaps due to technology emergence and international competition marketing is becoming less creative and more data driven.
Can this trend of creativity and subsequent data analysis be observed in other industries? Is it a sign of the industry growing up or perhaps an indication for a need to focus on specialisation? After all, there are numerous examples where industries were created by innovators and subsequently managed by more analytical people (car industry, electronics). Is the same happening in the social media industry?