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Right Brain, Left Brain

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"When I grow up, I want to be a direct marketer," said no child ever.

Astronauts, movie stars, quarterbacks, ballerinas, even nuclear physicists, maybe. But, direct marketers? Not so much.

In reality, however, direct marketing is a career that more people should aspire to. It's a great way to use both sides of your brain — the right side, typically assumed to be responsible for the arts and creative-thinking AND the left side, more often credited with problem-solving and analytical-thinking. There's no profession that marries the two quite so seamlessly.

Here are some qualities that are often attributed to those with a dominant right brain:
• Emotional and sensitive
• Spontaneous and impulsive
• Artistic and creative
• Imaginative and fanciful

Here are some that are attributed to left-brain thinkers:
• Rational and logical
• Orderly and methodical
• Scientific and analytical
• Realistic and precise

The beauty of direct marketing is that it only succeeds when the two different ways of thinking come together.

For example, as creative copywriters and art directors, we love using words and pictures in smart new ways. Part of the fun for us is coming up with ideas that no one has thought of before. (Or ideas that someone thought of but that we can refresh, update, improve upon.) It's enormously important to us that our copy and design is elegant or intrusive or entertaining, or even downright shocking — depending, of course, on the client, the product, and the target audience.

That last bit is important. Because our creative work (whether it's elegant, intrusive, entertaining, shocking or countless other adjectives) is only successful if it WORKS.

And that's where the other side of our brains kick in.

Because we're direct marketers as well as creatives, we have to pay attention to numbers. Our work isn't being hung in a museum or above somebody's sofa, it is being MEASURED. So, who we send what we send to, whether they engage with it and— especially — whether they take action becomes just as important as the witty words and pretty pictures. We're not creating in some Parisian garret with stale bread and cheap red wine. We're SELLING something.

So, we make it a point to understand everything we can about a target audience: who they are (left-brain) and what they want (right-brain). We dig into demographics (left-brain) and psychographics (right-brain).

And, we study current marketing trends and time-tested techniques (left-brain), while we brainstorm creative concepts (right-brain).

And, last but not least, because we're direct marketers, we don't see data as the enemy. In fact, it's as important to the creative process as a blank page and a sharpened pencil.

Direct marketing is where art and science come together. It's where the ballerina meets the physicist. And, when both the left and right brains come together, the result can be a masterpiece.











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