Ask Joe Bloggs to describe the inside of an advertising agency, and more often than not Joe will conjure up dimly lit board rooms, lubricated with a mid-morning round of whiskeys, and Don Draper crooning creative like some kind of prophet king.

The reality is very different, agencies of today look more like science labs than speakeasies, and for good reason – Science is celebrating a resounding victory over Art in the battle for every CMOs ear.

A couple of years back, the Saatchi Institute announced they had found the formula for effective marketing. They understood that the right balance between of Art (maximum differentiation from the norm) and Science (minimum deviation from your target audience) would give, and I quote, “the formula for peace and prosperity”.

And I thought it was just a billboard.

However, as 2017 draws to a close, as Evian now dedicates a whopping 80% of its $18m marketing budget to digital advertising, and as real time big data now gives agencies the unprecedented capability of getting in front of the right people, at the right time, with the right message, it seems that the formulaic balance is shifting permanently in the favour of Science.

Creatives may dispute this: bean-counters have their uses, but think of your favourite TV spot and there you have it – creative shines forth. This is true, I love Body Forms curt response to a macho keyboard warrior, but I’ve also never bought a pack of BodyForm MaxiLong Tampons (£1.79 at Boots).

The truth is, creative impact is all well and good, but it is the icing on the cake rather than the measure of a good campaign. Any ad-man or woman worth their salt will tell you, good marketing relies on nailing your target audience (and by audience I now mean individuals), with a message that is absolutely tailored to their needs, at a time and a place that suits them best. This can be achieved by Science alone.

Don’t believe me?

Campaign recently called data “the currency of business”, while AdAge stated that “CMOs now understand that a data-led strategy is driving top-line growth”. There’s a big elephant in the room – and he’s carrying a sketchpad.

It’s planning season, and there is a similar trend running across the 2018 strategies we are carving into decks for all of our major clients. Our budgets are measured on performance, KPIs and metrics, Science. CMOs everywhere are waking up to it, and so should you.

Leave the creative eulogising to Don, let the Scientists go after results.