One of the complaints that scientists often lodge against marketing is this: it is too intuitive. Scientists get frustrated that they can’t judge the quality of the decisions that are being made when marketing to scientists. These scientists want to see data; in contrast, the marketers often want to use their intuition.

Intuition has a role in both marketing AND science. Many examples abound of the role intuition plays in science (e.g., read the story of the discovery of the benzene ring).

Nevertheless, scientists complain about marketing. “It is too seat of the pants,” they say. I maintain that “seat of the pants” is fine, as long as you have some really fine pants. Good pants, like good instincts, can get you a long, long way.

But if you worry that your instincts are not that finely-tuned, or that you can’t judge whether the people to whom you’ve delegated your marketing have good instincts, then what should you do?

The short answer: Worry more about the process that is being used and less about the person filling the pants. A good process can make up for the lack of great intuition. A good process can often yield better results than average intuition.

If you need examples of this, just look at the scientific method – where good processes can make up for the lack of great intuition.