Until the beginning of the 21st century, marketing was mainly the realm of creative types. Writers and artists enticed potential buyers with eloquent words and tempting images. As we’ve moved into the Digital Age, however, marketing has transitioned from a field that was mostly art to a combination of art and science. Though many people still think of marketing as just words and pictures, that’s only part of the equation. The data behind the marketing campaign is equally as important as (if not more so) the copy and graphics. With data being recognized as a critical component of marketing success, people who understand and excel at the science of marketing are in high demand.
In today’s markets, companies are competing across more channels for customers with almost unlimited options and shorter attention spans. Just as with many other areas of life, technology has become a necessity in attracting and capturing today’s consumers who have high expectations and almost endless options. The shift towards data-driven marketing strategies has led to significant changes in how companies approach marketing their products and services. Marketing campaigns can be targeted directly to specific customers through social media and targeted ads. There are potentially billions of data points that can be collected and analyzed to understand and anticipate customer behavior and purchasing patterns. The success of ads can be monitored and measured in real-time, allowing companies to immediately see if a particular approach is working before investing significant money into it.
If you’re an engineer or (or any kind of technical expert), you’re probably thinking about all the different data points you could be analyzing right now to improve some aspect of your company’s marketing. That attitude is what is drawing technical experts to the marketing industry in higher and higher numbers. The enormous amount of data available to companies, paired with the competitiveness of today’s markets and a reduction in consumers who care about brand loyalty means that companies have to get smarter about their marketing and make their marketing dollars work harder than ever. And while the creative aspects are still essential to good marketing, the technical aspects are now equally as vital to success.
Even with that understanding, there are many technical people who are wary of making a move to a marketing role, since it isn’t considered a “hard” science. However, if you’re looking for a new challenge, marketing should absolutely be on your list of choices. Here’s why…
Lots and lots of data
Understanding markets and customers is essential to business growth and long-term success. Businesses these days are almost completely driven by data. Companies are collecting data points by the billions and all that information needs to be filtered and put in context in order to be useful. Analyzing data and creating systems for analyzing and utilizing data have become essential functions of marketing and are not going away anytime soon. Having people who can understand, organize and utilize data are critical to the success of any marketing campaign in today’s ultra-competitive online markets. As an engineer or mathematician, you are not intimidated by working with huge amounts of data and knowing how to manage data and analyze data to draw important conclusions is an important asset to anyone working in marketing.
In the information age, marketing results can be measured in real-time, on a minute-by-minute basis. There are hundreds of tweaks that can be made to a campaign and even a minuscule change can increase engagement rates, clicks and sales by a huge percentage. You can measure almost every single aspect of a campaign’s effectiveness and make changes to improve engagement immediately. If you’re like most technical people, having access to immediate results, and the ability to influence change and improve outcomes will be very satisfying. Plus, your successes can be quantified and used to model future improvements and new projects.
Adapt with technology
Understanding existing technology and having a willingness to experiment with new technologies is essential in digital marketing. Google, the undisputed leader in search, is constantly improving its methods for finding and displaying search results and online ads. Other major advertisers can make changes to their platforms at any time that can result in huge changes in the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategies. To keep your marketing relevant, you have to be willing to adapt to new technology at a moment’s notice. You cannot be competitive in today’s market if you aren’t passionate about technology. A strong desire to be constantly on the cutting edge of technology will serve you well in marketing.
Finding problems and fixing them
Finding solutions to problems is at the core of most technical jobs, and marketing is no different. Though the types of problems you’ll be solving will be different from what you’re used to, the methods you use to uncover a problem and find a solution will be the same. Having a method-based approach to problem-solving is a crucial skill in digital marketing, due to the sheer amount of variables that can be manipulated for a campaign. There are so many factors that go into building a successful campaign that there is rarely one “right” answer for how it can be improved. Technical people work on problems like this all the time, and it’s a great skill to bring to marketing.
As a stereotype with some truth behind it, creative people like writers and designers can be very passionate and get overly attached to “great” ideas based on how they feel about those ideas, rather than any hard evidence that the idea will work. Engineers, on the other hand, generally take a more pragmatic approach before declaring an idea to be “good.” They evaluate risks, consider outside influences, run tests and study possible scenarios and outcomes. This balanced approach to decision-making is a crucial check on the passionate inspiration that is embodied by creatives. Both the creative and analytical aspects are necessary for successful marketing, which is why more technical people have been making the move to the marketing sector.
Engineers love making things work better, or faster or more efficiently. (Really all three, whenever possible.) Given the competitiveness of the digital landscape in today’s world, innovation is crucial to gaining and retaining market share. A desire and willingness to innovate methods, technology, and processes will be a key to success in the world of marketing. The real-time nature of results allows you to test innovations and ideas without tanking an entire project. You can try a new idea, and you’ll get immediate feedback about the success and can then adjust accordingly, instead of waiting days or weeks for results. Digital marketing gives you the chance to constantly be innovating and improving your methods.
Though marketing has a reputation as a creative field, it has truly transitioned into a blended enterprise, requiring experts in both creative and technical fields. As such, the demand for technical experts in marketing roles is climbing. As an engineer, mathematician, or other technical expert, you already have many of the necessary skills to successfully transition and excel in marketing. If you’re willing to make the leap, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy the fast-paced world of digital marketing.
Source : Hackernoon