Introduction to Part Two of a Two-Part Blog Series:
Those entering the marketing profession were taught that developing their talents in creative writing and data analysis would set them on a successful career path. But the savvy among us know that adapting to constantly growing and evolving technology is critical in today’s world. Seasoned marketers are expected to seek new technologies, know how to use complex tools, and understand complicated concepts. Marketers today must engage in and demonstrate continuous learning.
This two-part series started with the excellent post by Rosa Colon about the technological know-how needed during the early stage of a junior marketer’s career and now looks into the more advanced skills and knowledge of tools essential for experienced marketers.
“Changing World, Changing Role - The Rise of the Tech-Savvy Marketer” (Part 2 – Experienced Marketers)
The list below is not complete, and your list may be different depending on where you are in your career and the type of firm where you work. The three items below help me refine my skills and advance my career. I hope it will do the same for you.
Data visualization becomes increasingly important as we work with the decision-makers at our firms. The directors and chiefs are busy and need to see data in easily digestible images and charts that allow them to consider if/how the information being presented can help the firm form or meet its strategic goals.
Use data visualization to track your leading indicators. Over time you will learn the right leading indicators to track for your firm and can tweak actions to improve your lagging indicators.
Each firm may have a different mix of leading indicators; your list may include:
- Number of thought leadership articles published each month
- Number of website visitors and length of stay
- Number of website conversions each month (I know not everyone uses forms on their websites – you should consider it!)
- Number of meetings with existing clients and potential clients each month
- Number of proposals sent each month
Displaying your KPIs on a real time dashboard can be an amazing motivator. Most of us love seeing our names and achievements on the screen.
Data lakes and data warehouses will help you use and make sense of data from disparate sources. Know the differences between the two: the data stored are different, the end users of that data are different, and the purpose of the data is different. You are probably most familiar with a data warehouse, where the data has been processed and is structured; information in a data lake is raw. Data in a warehouse can be used by marketers and business users such as a chief practice officer; data lakes are most often used by data scientists or systems engineers. Data in a data warehouse are generally there for a specific purpose. There is no certain purpose for individual data pieces in a data lake - the purpose can change over time and by user. I use a data warehouse because I’m not a data scientist! I rely on the skills of engineers and VSPs (very smart people) to process and manipulate the data.
Augmented intelligence allows us to find actionable information in a fraction of the time it would take us to detect trends, find outliers and discover anomalies without it. Gartner defines augmented intelligence as a “partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision making and new experiences.” You are probably already using augmented intelligence with your digital marketing. Marketing automation tools use augmented intelligence to determine the best subject line for a marketing piece, the best pace for a marketing campaign, or the best personalized content to present to a client on your website. Do you present “you might also like” content on your website? That’s most likely done using augmented intelligence. When you suggest content and your client clicks the link, an algorithm is being refined in the background. This type of feedback link helps tools learn. This helps you avoid drudge work (aka busy work) and concentrate on more strategic thinking.
You’ve probably heard the expression “have a data-driven culture”; acquiring the skills mentioned above are essential to a senior marketer’s technology toolkit. However, our list only touches the surface of the proficiencies marketers need to advance the objectives of their firms and their careers. The more technology evolves, so should the skillset of the modern marketer.