What’s the best way to deal with creative differences between Brand Managers and Marketing Performance Team?

We have a performance marketing team that wants to create content a certain way in order to drive sales where as brand managers want it their way because they want the brand represented a certain way.

  • Data, e.g. via A/B testing can help resolve these differences. (Even if it isn't particularly solid data, people value what they can measure.) – jiheison Jun 10 at 4:29
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    Are you the person that these two teams report to? If not -> have you asked that person? – Jeroen Jun 10 at 9:18

This is a standard business decision and if the departments can't agree they need to elevate. Either one can make their argument how their approach supports the overall business performance goals.

in order to drive sales

That's an easy to understand goal and hard to argue with.

they want the brand represented a certain way.

I think this one requires some serious explanation on why a specific look is better than another and how exactly that impacts business performance (ideally with some quantitative analysis). Brand decisions ARE important but they require more homework to justify.

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    This topic is outside my expertise, but why do we automatically assume the marketing team’s idea will drive sales in a healthy way for the business, but we would need the brand managers to prove with data the brand image would be damaged? Shouldn’t both teams work together to balance driving sales while protecting what could be a very valuable brand image that has taken years to build? Short term sales are easy to chase, recovering from tarnishing a brand image is expensive and sometimes impossible. – ColleenV Jun 10 at 14:50
  • I was not assuming this at all. All I'm saying is that BOTH teams need to present their data, their analysis, their alignment with the current business goals. and their recommendation. This being said "drive more sales" is an easier starting point than "I want it to look a certain way" – Hilmar 2 days ago
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    I think "I want it to look a certain way" is a gross over-simplification of what brand management is... maybe you are misinterpreting "represented a certain way" to mean just a visual look instead of the complete public perception of a brand? For example, the marketing team may want to include an image of a porn star on the package because "sex sells", but the brand managers would object because it would conflict with their vision for how the brand should be represented in the marketplace. – ColleenV 2 days ago
  • I'm just going by what the OP has posted. I know exactly what brand is doing. If brand has a vision, they need to articulate it and explain why their particular vision is better than other options. That explanations should be tied to some quantitative metrics. Could be "brand awareness" "brand rating" "revenue" "change of market perception" etc. Same rules are apply to marketing: just stating to "drive sales" is not enough. They have to explain WHY this drives sales and what the trade-offs of their approach is. – Hilmar 7 hours ago
  • I think we agree then, but the way you phrased it in your answer it wasn’t clear to me. – ColleenV 5 hours ago
  • You can create both versions and test it internally, maybe one of the teams changes their minds

  • You can ask both teams to give pros and cons of theirs and other teams approaches, then sum up the better solution (mathematical approach)

  • You can sit them together and let them find a compromise, even if it means a completely new solution.

All approaches would probably require a neutral mediator, depending on how "stubborn" each team is about their solution. The final decision should be on someone above both of them, so they can continue working together without having any bad blood between them.


To understand the long term value of maintaining a certain reputation would require a careful evaluation of many details like how many long term clients and one shot buyers the company has? What could be the cost of loosing faithful clients? Can some more aggressive marketing bring enough new clients over time? There are strategic decisions involved here.

If a sales campaign changes the image of the company, what kind of clients would it be targeting, are there enough people with sufficient spending power to become clients in that segment of population? This is another strategic decision.

Probably the two departments already gathered some data and made their studies, but if they have no clear numbers on what ground are they pushing their ideas? The conflict rather than about creativity seems to be about strategy and if they can't agree the only option is to involve higher level managers, but before both of them should put down their opinions in clear numbers.

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