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Big data and Marketing...who leads who?

I have just read this article on 1to1 Media on Big Data, its huge implications for marketing and how we are short of talents ("McKinsey estimates that by 2018 this deficiency in deep analytical talent will rise to between 140,000 and 190,000 open positions in the United States") to make proper sense of all those data to help marketers make better decisions in a world that is more and more complex.

Some of the professionals interviewed or mentioned in the article indicated appropriately that Marketing Analytics is NOT and can NOT be an IT function. Some others indicated that the recruitment of those talents should be focused on data analysts who have proven their ability to make customer-centric decisions and/or who have experience in business/marketing decisions.

From my stand point, this is only one side of the equation...and actually maybe the wrong side. Let me explain.

Data analysis is here to help people make better decisions.

To do that, one needs to understand data analysis as well as the marketing decisions in question.

As such, a data analyst has to have some knowledge and experience in the type of decisions that a marketer needs to make and...a marketer needs to have some practical knowledge of data analysis to be able to communicate and interact properly and understandably with the data analysist.

In fact, between the 2, the biggest gap is with the Marketers for their knowledge of data analysis and that should be the focus on the gap closing effort. The fact is that those marketers know the decisions that they have to make....They just do not always know to ask properly the right question, to get to the proper help them find make those decisions.

Furthermore, it is only by democratizing the access to data and the practical understanding of data analysis, that the real power of marketing analytics will be unleached. This assessment is renforced by the emergence of online graphical marketing analytics interfaces that everyone and anyone can access.

As such, the key focus should be to educate Business Managers and Marketers (starting in College) to integrate "practical" math and data analysis into their skills set. That way, we will have no shortage.



Integration of offline and online marketing...The biggest challenge or is it?

So much paper and ink are used to write about the integration of offline and online marketing channels in a coherent mix...Even if 2 years old, a survey by Aprimo on the biggest challenges CMOs face indicated the following (in order): 1) Integrating & tracking multiple channels and 2) Doing More with Less.

Those multiple challenges are surely closely related the emergence of Digital Marketing like Internet, Mobile or Social Media...and the disturbance that those new channels mean in terms of sales funnel.

Well, let me throw some ideas to you:

* The purpose of Advertising (as a communication method) is singularly to create awareness. Can you do it offline, online or mobile? You sure can but it is still advertising.

* The purpose of Public Relations is singularly to generate goodwill from the business stakeholders. Can you do it offline, online or mobile? You sure can but it is still PR.

* The purpose of Sales Promotion is singularly to temporarily boost sales. Can you do it offline, online or mobile? You sure can but it is still Sales Promotion.

* The purpose of Direct Marketing is singularly to generate immediate response. Can you do it offline, online or mobile? You sure can but it is still Direct Marketing.

* The purpose of Word Of Mouth is singularly to make people recommend to people. Can you do it offline, online or mobile? You sure can but it is still Word Of Mouth.

So the point is simple. Behind all the smokes for the new tools, there is this core principle that one needs to use the right communication methods for the right purposes and that the media consumption of the target that you are aiming at, dictates if you should go offline, online and social media or any mix of those 3.



This is the first post that I am creating on this blog and I felt that a great way to start was to add some controversy. I will claim that aside all the smoke on Digital the end...the core principles of effective marketing remain the same:

  • Understand the needs and wants of the consumers in the market that you are aiming at
  • Identify and understand the competitors on that market
  • Based on this knowledge:
    • Identify your top target
    • For the top target, identify the top competitors to beat
    • Define the value (benefits for price) that you need to propose to your target, to beat those competitors
    • Define the positioning strategy that will support your value proposition for your top target
  • You can then and then only define your optimum marketing mix (Product, Price, Placement-Distribution & Promotion)...including your promotional mix which includes...Digital Marketing

So before you get to the shinny objects of Digital Marketing...a lot has to be decided and this is effective marketing 101

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