Two decades ago the concept for many of a marketing professional, was a creative individual who would try to develop campaigns to entice consumers to buy anything. Terms such as segmentation, data analysis, Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing, were either in their infancy or simply didn’t pertain to this industry.
These days it is quite a different story with consummate marketing professionals now having to be part-scientist, part-psychologist and part-creative.
Marketing today is often more about data analysis to measure campaign effectiveness across multiple platforms, than it is shiny, glitzy marketing campaigns.
And the traditional approach of convincing consumers a product is a “must have for them” has long given way to campaigns which start with identifying a pain point for customers and providing the solution to that problem.
An effective campaign uses data to identify who the customer base for that product or service is likely to be – our focus is the retail sector – and how best to reach them and then engage them.
That is the true beauty of being able to analyse the data being collected – you can identify which brands are best served by those glitzy campaigns and which are better served by simple and repeated messaging.
Breaking it down to a specific target, using data insights to understand the target market and which platforms they are using, is known as segmentation, targeting and positioning.
Apple serves as a particularly good example of this – check it out here.
Traditional market research, which formed the basis of campaigns in earlier generations, has been largely replaced by segmentation, SEO, SEM, data analysis and interpretation, as tools to understand target markets.
This isn’t to say the creative elements of marketing have disappeared. In fact, there has been a need to become more creative, to stand out from the crowd, to better promote clients and to deliver the most effective campaigns possible.
They are just better informed by the knowledge contained within the data collected. And this is why modern marketers need to be both creative and analytical.
The creative side of today’s marketer
- Develop campaigns which are memorable and evocative
- Include the use of graphics, sound and other sensory devices to make an impact
- Help the client’s product/service to stand out from the competition
- Excellent communication skills
- An ability to understand and connect with audiences
- Content development
- Good design means an eye for colour and design and image creation
- Videography and photography skills
The analytical side of today’s marketer
- Data collection and analysis
- Data reporting
- SEO experience
- Lead generation
- Content Strategy
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Developing campaigns within tight budgets
In marketing, it is essential to create space for both the creative and analytical; the ability to use both the left and right brain. While one can indeed exist without the other, any campaign which comes from just the creative mind or the purely analytical mind will likely miss it’s target.
And so continues the evolution of our industry. I wonder what it will look like in another two decades.