Data produces nothing. Changes nothing. Does nothing.

Data is dead.  As dead as a bug nailed to a display in the Smithsonian. If you want to attribute special powers to your consumer data, go right ahead. You may be paying a lot for that data, so I can understand your persistence in wanting to believe it has some value — in and of itself — to your business.

The truth is there is something far more important than the data. That is the intelligence you bring to it. And your intentions behind it. Both intelligence and intention constitute the animating force that makes the data come alive and turns it into something useful. And in that there is something magical and therefore undefinable.

The laboratory in which this transformation takes place is a Creative Laboratory. Many marketers have no idea what goes on in this laboratory. They know it from the outside. But let’s be honest, creative folks have always had an uneasy relationship with business folks. Why? Because business by its very nature needs to be highly structured and accountable. And the creative process, like life itself, is spontaneous and unpredictable.

Can there be a meeting of the minds? Can business and creative types work together in mutual appreciation of what it take to breathe life into their marketing programs, to turn consumer data into something vital and relevant?

Business represents the quantitative element. The creative side represents the qualitative element. The former includes data analysts, who in most cases feel uncomfortable on qualitative terrain. Someone like Steve Jobs understood that both realms need to be respected to make their products and advertising programs successful.  All of us can learn from his example.

Minds+Motives Motivational Styles was developed to bring data closer to reflecting our true natures. Not simply that someone buys this or that, and not superficial fictions that may go under the name of “personas” — but to reveal the deeper reasons for the decisions we make. This opens the door to a more fertile dimension, where both quantitative and qualitative considerations can bear fruit.

Until you try it, it is as undeniably dead as any other data. However, bring Motivational Styles into your Creative Laboratory and, with a little bit of nurturing, it will come alive. That is the transformative moment when you will see your own nature reflected, as well as your most intimate friends and the potential customers you are trying to win. Now you have a firmer basis, rooted in psychological truths, that allows you to develop messages that ring true with how people really are — because it also rings true with your own experience.

Logic and intuition can work together. But it is the latter that brings the former to life.  That is the difference between working in a museum or stepping out into the world.

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