Blending art and science to engage people

It’s often mentioned that Marketing is a combination of Art and Science. It’s totally right! In a recent #SeriousSocial, Katy chatted about how insights and data (science) can open up and direct creative opportunities (art). The pair go hand-in-hand. With a background in Music, and now having a career in Social Media Marketing, I’m sharing why these two fields aren’t so different after all.

My education is primarily in Music. When it comes to traditional music theory, people often talk about how numbers-orientated this is – and I certainly agree. Of course, when it comes to writing music for enjoyment, it’s hugely artistic and creative too. Having the ability to do both was crucial throughout my music education, which included psychology, production, recording, composition and performance. You just couldn’t say that it was either logical or creative. It’s always both.

My interest in music is less a way to outlet my emotion. It’s more an interest in the way that people are affected by music and engage with it. When I write music, it’s about having a hook that people will want to sing or tap along to. When I listen to and study music, it’s about recognising that I’m enjoying an element and using my experience to understand why.

This is precisely where I see direct correlations between Music and Marketing. Both of these fields have a lot to do with engaging people. To be clear, I see engagement as being an active response, as opposed to a passive experience of simply viewing something.

People engage with Music by playing it, remembering it and playing it again, dancing, singing, tapping along, even telling other people about it. It means something to them. People don’t just passively listen to music, they actively engage with it. When writing music, artists aim to replicate this engagement with other listeners.

Marketing is about capturing people, getting people to know about your product and influencing them to do something about it. And here’s the thing about Social Media Marketing – I think the level of engagement is elevated. Not only because you can measure it, but there are many more ways that a user can engage with content than, say, just observing. Take a video ad on Facebook for example. You can look at the ad, watch the video for 3, 10, 30 seconds or more. You can click the link, even click-through to buy a product and it can all be measured. You can like, react, share or comment on the ad. ALL of these engagements can be measured.

As Social Media Marketers, we get scientific when we research audiences and conversations before starting a campaign. It’s all about finding juicy inside knowledge that opens up the opportunity for smashing content.

We know how to encourage each different type of engagement with ad formats, copy and creative visuals. It’s an Art. We get creative when designing content and campaigns to get users interested and engaged in the brand.

And it doesn’t just start with the Science and end with the Art. No, they’re both intertwined throughout the whole process. When we report, yes we look at a lot of numbers, but we make sure they mean something, we explain them and we make sure that the results inform the next steps. And so the cycle goes again. Both of these fields MUST come together and work together for effective Social Media Marketing.

And that’s why Marketing and Music really aren’t so different. Both of these fields aim to engage people. And both of these fields require elements of Art and Science.

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