With more and more companies understanding the undeniable value of customer data, it should come as no surprise that the biggest marketing technology trends of 2018 all center around data.
From creating a more personalized brand experience to redefining “high-value content,” ingraining social media in the B2B marketing experience to refining your martech stack, customer data will play a critical role in how marketers define and execute on their strategy for the new year. Because there is such a universal focus on extracting insights from the information customers share, a new role is rising in prominence across many of the top marketing teams around the world: the marketing data scientist.
This is one of those marketing technology trends experts have been forecasting for some time now. Back in 2012, Gartner predicted that 4.4 million big data jobs would open up in coming years (and that only one-third of them would get filled). Fast forward to 2017 and the data scientist is the reigning champion two years in a row on Glassdoor’s Top 50 Jobs in the U.S. With a record like that, it is no wonder the Harvard Business Review dubbed data science “the sexiest job of the century.”
Why Does Your Company Need a Marketing Data Scientist?
It is one thing to collect customer data from your data management platform and something else entirely to extract valuable insights from that data. Today, marketers have an unparalleled opportunity to get to know their audience like never before and, as a result, create campaigns that speak directly to that audience. The problem is that traditional marketers often do not have the skills or the desire to piece together actionable marketing decisions based on customer information. In fact, 27 percent of marketers today outsource data analysis to the IT department, a team with no real understanding of marketing technology trends, techniques, or even your product necessarily.
It makes sense that marketers prefer to spend their time on strategy development and campaign design efforts. The creative component of marketing is what draws most to the field, not the often-tedious process of mining through data to better understand your audience.
However, the reality of marketing today is that a successful marketing plan is less an art and more of a science. Making decisions based purely on creative intuition is not just ineffective today, it is potentially dangerous. Consumer demands for better, more targeted outreaches from brands are a primary motivation for marketers to create data-driven campaigns. Without them, your brand reputation suffers alongside your conversion rate.
Beyond relying on marketers with no formal data analysis training, it is also not enough to rely solely on developments in marketing technology to help extract insights from your customer data. While marketing technology trends lead toward more automation, the reality is that a human touch is still required when it comes to understanding customer information. A good data management platform certainly helps by unifying, cleaning, and enriching your data. Even so, someone still needs to pull that data from your data management tool and develop actionable insights. Here is how a marketing data scientist can help.
How Does a Marketing Data Scientist Solve These Problems?
A marketing data scientist helps you better understand your target audience in two key ways. First, they help you extract the right data from the right sources. Marketing data scientists understand where to go to find the right information about your customers based on your industry, company size, location, and product or service. As a result, they can help you understand where to go (and what to do) to source customer information. Whether it is the right social media channels to spend time developing, or how to build a content library that will draw attention to your brand, data scientists will tell you where to focus your efforts so that you are collecting the highest value data about your customers.
Second, a marketing data scientist will make sense of your inbound data and turn it into actionable insights to inform future campaign development. A good marketing data scientist can tell you where your customers are coming from, what brought them there, and how you can bring more to your business based on activity analysis and insights drawn from key demographic, behavioral, and psychological data.
What Tools Do Marketing Data Scientists Rely On For Better Insights?
Marketing data scientists rely on a number of different reporting and analysis tools to derive quality insights from your customer data. A data management system like ReachForce is an absolute “must” because the platform brings inbound data streams together into a single-source from which data scientists can make more targeted, accurate conclusions.
Enrichment tools like SmartForms add another layer to your existing customer data, giving marketing data scientists a complete portrait of your target audience.