The importance of intuition

We live in a world where data is more important, and more available, every day. Superficially, this feels like a good thing – everything is more measurable, more quantifiable, and more accurate.

Yet, it isn’t the collection of data that makes human beings unique – it’s our ability to imagine something new and make it a reality. This is creativity, and it’s a fundamental driver of human progress in everything from art and science to business and technology.

Creativity is integral to success in the businesses of advertising and communications. From PR to direct marketing, creative work attracts more attention; is more interesting; creates greater brand awareness; engenders more favourable and longer-lasting attitudes; and generates stronger behavioural intentions amongst target audiences than non-creative work.

But, what is the impact of an increasing prevalence of data and our reliance upon it? Does it diminish creativity in marketing and communications?

We conducted research, spoke to industry experts, and uncovered trends (some of them particularly worrying) that answer these questions; showing where we are today, and where we’re heading.

The simple conclusion: intuition is being lost from the creative process in favour of data-driven propositions, placing us at critical tipping-point for the creative industries.

Today, intuition has become almost entirely removed from all analytical and planning tasks. In itself, this may not seem like a direct threat to its role within the creative aspects of advertising, marketing and communications, but this erosion of its perceived value is already seeping into creative tasks.

Key takeaways


Of creatives point to intuition’s diminishing role in their work today, and in the foreseeable future.


Common industry task remains where preference is given to intuition over data (identifying creative opportunities).


Of industry insiders admit to being more data-driven today, with intuition’s ‘unmeasurable’ nature decreasing its value.

Overall, our findings point to companies, agencies, and industry leaders leaning more on data. Its reassuring perception as tangible and trustworthy comes at the expense of our own instincts – and the instincts of others.

The solution to preventing an over-reliance on data doesn’t lie in preferencing intuition in the creative process; it lies in ensuring data isn’t automatically defaulted to, forcing intuition out of the equation. None of us want identikit concepts and campaigns that result from blindly adhering to what the data tells us we should do.