In my days working in a corporate marketing department, we did a lot of group brainstorming to think about what our marketing messages should be. Headlines, campaign concepts, visuals. I always sort of hated these meetings, because I felt stupefied in them. Which sounds totally wrong because I'm the "creative" type who should love brainstorming and idea generation. And I do. But there was something missing from these brainstorming sessions: basic facts and research. So when it came time to "brainstorm", I felt like we were just pulling ideas out of our ass, and inevitably that led to others shooting down our ass-brained ideas. Not much fun.
I'm not trying to launch into criticism of our process, I'm just pointing out that many times in business, whoever is responsible for marketing is expected to generate these genius ideas that will win over customers and make a so-so company look world class. But they often try to do that with few facts, and little research as a basis.
The more I learn about marketing, the more I study it, the more I come to the realization that brilliant marketing is never achieved without facts, research and testing. Nobody knows it all, no marketer has such a level of intuition that they can create these concepts that will be embraced by millions. The marketer's genius is their ability to distill facts and research into an attractive and compelling message. And even then, in all the huge companies recognized for their marketing, that message is tested and tried and vetted to ensure that it is received well, before it's broadcast to the world. Yes, there is expense involved, but what's more expensive than research? A failed campaign.
Case in point: the horrible SalesGenie Panda Ad run during the SuperBowl vs the always popular Budweiser ads. Who has a better track record? Salesgenie has their CEO writing the ad from his own intuition (according to this article, anyway). No doubt, as CEO of InfoUSA this guy knows something, but apparently not market research. Budweiser spends months testing and their ads are always among the best.