Data and marketing, data marketing or just marketing?
For years I have described myself as a data marketer. I firmly believe that with the amount of data and techniques that are available, if you aren't using data to drive your activity and you are getting great results then you are lucky.
In the world of marketing there are lots of people that are familiar with the buzz words around data, big data, predictive analytics… but what I saw was a lot of people using words but not necessarily understanding what they meant, or what you did with them. In my time on the client side I saw or spoke to hundreds of agencies and marketers that talked a good game, but I couldn't see what they actually brought to my team or existing group of partner agencies. This isn’t because they were necessarily bad, but making great use of data in marketing historically has been a niche, not part of the day to day.
When recruiting for marketing executives and assistants there were a lot of people with great experience and ideas for brands, in store activity, but the experience in using data to really drive their activity wasn't there. Worst of all, in some cases, some people had no interest in using data beyond having a list of customers/prospects to broadcast to.
Occasionally we hired students, either for their year of work experience or fresh from graduation. What I stated to see was people coming through that were much more data savvy, not analysts, but people that knew the value of data and some theory that needed to be put into practice.
I think there is a gap that has been created by the rapid growth in available data and analytical techniques. You have a generation of marketers that cut their teeth on creative approaches and survey results, that now get to add transactional data, web analytics and all sorts of other types of data and modelling to their repertoire.
There is a huge amount of opportunity though but it is just quite difficult to get at. Being able to make use of analytics and data output is still quite rare. Linking the data to the right techniques, to a useable output and effective activity typically needs good analysts, good strategists and good creative marketers. Finding this all in one person or agency is very rare.
Analytical people are at the opposite ends of a spectrum to creative people, it's a combination that doesn't really exist according to the Insights Discovery profiles and Myers-Briggs type indicator tests. This is a great example of the gap that exists between analysts and marketers, they just think in different ways.
As data driven marketing really takes hold, people develop and the next wave of marketers comes through this wealth of data will be exploited more and more and good activity will develop into great campaigns and great experiences for customers. Marketing is all about relevancy and nothing come close to giving that than using data.
I created Silver Jet Insight to help fill this gap. Every time I spoke to an agency or a marketer about data and analytics there seemed to be more and more of a need to make better use of data. I'm passionate about doing what is right by customers and for me this is a natural fit with data, it can tell you what your customers want and expect from you, it tells you how to communicate and when to communicate, all of which is what marketing is about.