Jekyll and Hyde: The science of segmentation and the art of marketing | DMA

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Jekyll and Hyde: The science of segmentation and the art of marketing

During a recent conversation with some of my colleagues, we were discussing how versatile one needs to be as a marketer in 2014. The conversation was sparked by a recent Emarsys white paper. The paper describes how the new science of segmentation provides deep behavioural insight, but science can only get you half way. Without a certain level of creativity, and empathy with the individual status of each and every customer, marketers don’t stand a chance of truly engaging with customers.

The art vs science debate is very prominent in marketing, and has been ongoing for the past 30 years. Robert Bartels was one of marketing’s most prolific scholars, well known for his research into the “marketing as a science” debate in 1951.

The above research placed significance upon the differentiation between the left and right sides of the brain, and which is dominant in any specific individual. The left hemisphere is responsible for strategy, logic, rationality and language (a more scientifically minded personality). Conversely, the right side of the brain is responsible for creativity, intuition, fantasy and visual interpretation (an artistic personality). If you have time (after reading this blog), take a look at the following assessment, it claims to measure which side of your brain is most dominant – it’s interesting.


Anyway, back to derivatives ‘the science of segmentation’ and ‘the art of marketing’ and how it could have a Jekyll and Hyde implication. The core concept is that ‘the science of segmentation’ character would be a scientist and their alter ego would be ‘the art of marketing’, a creative marketer. Personally, I see aspects of both characters in myself, as a marketer I thrive on the creative side of my role but the processes I put in place exist within a strict logical framework.

Econsultancy recently wrote a blog on the Digital marketing and ecommerce trends for 2014. Personalisation was a key trend in 2013 and continues to be prominent in 2014. Marketing needs to improve the customer experience with a brand, keeping content relevant and personalised is imperative to the customer experience – this requires significant creativity. But in order to achieve this successfully, the science of segmentation is vital too. Messages between a brand and a customer need to be in real time, and marketing automation can help a brand achieve this without huge resources. This facilitates a multichannel approach, whether the customer is at work, home or on the move.

I attended a recent DMA Email Marketing Trends breakfast briefing where segmentation was again a key issue, however there was clear warning that segmentation needs to be considered carefully in a methodical and scientific way. Successful segmentation is key to ensuring the personalised customer experience, if you can achieve this then customers are far more likely to engage with a brand as their journey is enriched with creative content that is relevant to their individual needs.

Segmentation is all very well, but to achieve real customer engagement your content needs to resonate with your customers. It needs to grab the attention of your audience so that they are encouraged to respond with increasing engagement and loyalty to the brand, ultimately helping to improve a company’s ROI by making a purchase. I find the content that will resonate is eye-catching as well as relevant. To conclude, you need the best of both science and creativity and a platform that can facilitate both in a seamless manner.


By DMA guest blogger Josephine Scotchmer, Marketing Manager, Emarsys

Join the DMA and Emarsys at our next free webinar on customer experience, Strategies to personalise your customers' brand experience, on Wednesday 3 September.

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