Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we only use between 10 and 20% of our brains and, with hot debate surrounding the convergence of so many digital channels and disciplines, it’s important to make sure we know how best to use it.

While some integrated marketers simply get on with it, others argue and engage in constant conflict.

What channel to use, which is the best, where does this channel fit, how do we structure and adapt to change?

I viewed a fantastic infographic last week from Marketo on Right Brain Vs Left Brain Marketers. It talked about the personality traits associated with each side of the brain.

What’s more, it gave a neat overview as to how these personality traits influence our approaches to TV, magazine and Billboard ads, as well as online marketing. 

Whole brain marketing in digital

Whole brain (balancing the left and right) marketing is essential in today’s digital environment as the integration of methodology and technology across multiple digital channels is almost changing in real-time, it’s that fast.

In order to make the most out of the talent in an every changing digital environment you really need to:

  1. Match traits associated with left and right brain marketers according to what digital discipline they operate in (SEO, Content, Social, Display, Product, IT).
  2. Foster collaboration between these left and right brained marketers.
  3. Utilise the convergence of left and right brain thinking to structure, deliver, and grow integrated marketing campaigns and departments.

How many times do you hear people debate, fight, and feel the need to justify their department, channel, and existence? The Black Hat v White Hat SEO, the social media consultant and the search department, the search department and the display department – the list is growing each day!

How many times do you also read articles on the resistance to new marketing concepts, experience inter departmental conflict between CEO’s and marketing, marketing and sales and online and offline departments?

Whole Brain Marketing is now essential if you want to plan, run, and optimize digital campaigns in line with change and the convergence of so many media channels.

With that comes a close need for collaboration between left and right thinkers and organizational structuring based upon these personality traits.

Below are just a few examples of the left and right brain conflicts:

Biddable media

The growth of the DSP and the convergence of search, display and social media is a great example of how left and right brain marketers need to meet and/or adapt to a whole brain strategy.

Optimising people is just as important as optimising performance media. Search marketers can help display and exchange specialists with auction-based media. Display people can help search specialists with dynamic creative and understanding of networks and exchanges.

The same strategy can be applied to SEO, content marketing, and social media.

Inbound Media

As debate continues on the convergence of SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media roles we see left and right brain conflicts as technology meets creativity and content

Inbound media can take the form of many thinks from SEO and PPC through to content, webinars, video, retargeting, link building, emailing.  Indeed, all the way through to the whole spectrum of social media delivery and channels.

In many ways inbound media ties new and traditional marketing techniques together under one umbrella. Now that’s lots of people, lots of skill sets, lots of left and right brained marketers meeting together.

You can see why this is a topic of such hot debate and why many organisations still struggle to manage talent and structure their marketing department accordingly. The left is resisting the right.

Social Media

Social media has been around forever. It’s not new. What is new is the technology that has enabled people to interact in a number of different ways.

That in itself has spurned new and innovative ways of thinking about social media so that we can build strategies around this technology. Once again, huge debate rages in this area on ROI versus influence, and accountability versus experimentation. 

Why? Because technology and marketing creativity meet head on as left and right brain marketers collide.


The key to integrated marketing success, from campaigns to agency structuring, lies with whole brain thinking. Not everyone can be a whole brain thinker. It’s only natural that some people are too far left or too far right. In fact, it can be viewed as a sign of genius!

Forget the technology, changes, and economy for just a second and think about how you organise talent and make the most out of whole brained, left brained, or right brained marketers and talent. 

It’s all about balance and at the moment many individuals, organisations, agencies, and brands are struggling to make the most out their left and right brain marketers and cope with change. The ones that do clearly lead.