Recently, I gave a friend direction on a few marketing tasks including how to name a product, product positioning, and strategies she can use to effectively reach the target audience. She is an engineer, and while very savvy, I’m disappointed that her firm didn’t secure marketing expertise for the launch of their new product. With all the tools we have at our fingertips–hundreds of fonts, high res cameras to create beautiful images, and multiple editing suite options–it seems that everyone feels like they “know” marketing and they can “do marketing” without securing the services of a marketer. Does this mean we are seeing the end of the marketing discipline?
I feel the answer is no. Actually, I believe this era marks a rebirth of the marketing discipline as it that blends the highest skills of art and (data) science. Let me explain, starting with the data science part first.
Data Science and the Marketing Discipline
Many marketers enjoyed data mining even before data was available in abundance. Now that we are immersed in a near overload of real-time data, we can dive even deeper and use findings for planning, testing, and analyzing.
Have an event planned? Get someone to track the number of attendees and, as they track, tell them to note behavior or demographics. Did you prominently feature your website as the call-to-action on the collateral handed out? Make sure someone is tracking hits to the website and determine the event lift. The list goes on and on but having quick access to meaningful data has changed a marketing discipline that was “perceived” as valuable to a core driver of the business.
Data has taken the guesswork out of such marketing conundrums as when will results start and end, who is the audience (far beyond tracking demographic segments), and how can I get a buyer to repurchase? I don’t know about your marketing group, but in mine, we have skilled analysts studying the results from which they are able to propose hypothesis and set up the next round of testing. I could analyze the results on my own, but I appreciate the experienced analyst who can provide a fast, comprehensive, and actionable analysis that takes us to the next level.
The Art of Marketing
And that next level brings us to the art of marketing. This is the stuff we dreamed of when we were learning marketing―the anticipated moment when the world would acknowledge our new tagline right up there with “Just Do It” and “Can You Hear Me Now?” Yes, we know these moments are rare, but we can dream.
When we aren’t working on a breakthrough opportunity, we take that creative energy and turn our attention to every detail in each aspect of the visual design. What better way to showcase our solution than creating the ultimate combination of image and copy? We find the best image with the highest quality and pair it with copy that will captivate our audience. This series of steps takes talent, time, focus, and a certain way of thinking that comprises the art of marketing.
If you are getting by without hiring marketing expertise then you are missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch your product with the best of the best on your side. No, marketing isn’t lost; we are moving it a step up and redefining what the marketing discipline means for a new era.