Marketing is an art. Good marketing is a science. Great marketing is an art AND a science.
Many marketers gravitated towards, or stumbled into, the discipline because of an interest in the artistic, visual, or communications-related topics in school as opposed to the core sciences. Not many marketing professionals, even at high levels, have formal training in analytics or statistics (the math behind the magic).
Great marketing has to be both artistic and scientific. Creativity without science is guessing, and only works for the extremely lucky. Science without the creativity is boring and can’t engage an audience… which is critical in the digital age where we are constantly bombarded by information. Only the unique or the personal or the relevant is retained, shared, and acted upon.
Even though the internet and search engines have provided new ways of measuring the effect of marketing efforts more accurately, and targeting specific audiences more directly, many marketers still do not know how to use these tools, nor what to do with the metrics if/when they gather them.
The metrics are often more of a pacifier or security blanket that make us feel as if we are spending marketing dollars wisely because we have a binder full of numbers and some interesting charts from Google Analytics that we can push in front of our peers in a board meeting. I’ve been there. The truth is: most marketing professionals aren’t exactly sure WHAT to do with those numbers and how to move them in the desired direction.
Simultaneously, the pressure to measure everything has influenced a migration towards online advertising regardless of whether the online medium being used is actually more effective than the offline advertising options. In some cases, offline marketing can be more effective than online – but the latest wisdom recommends a smart, integrated mixture of the two rather than one or the other.
So what is a smart mix? Paraphrasing a quote commonly attributed to Edward Deming: how can we improve what we can’t measure? Even more importantly, what does it matter if we measure, if we don’t know what to do with the measurements?
There is help. Talented individuals and agencies are appearing that can help companies get a clear picture of where they’re currently at and what aspects of their marketing mix they can adjust to achieve optimal bang for the marketing buck. In addition, new tools are arriving that can make the previously â€œunmeasurable,â€ measurable. It is now possible to confidently budget and execute a hybrid mix of strategic offline, online, and mobile marketing options and measure the effectiveness, in great detail, of each channel.
It is my humble opinion that marketing dollars are wasted where there is no plan. To maximize the return of your marketing investment you must start with a plan; know how and what you will measure; and understand what adjustments to make in response to what the metrics are telling you. This is where experts like O-Codes and Serfwerks come in. They know how to measure. They know what to do with the metrics. And they can educate you and your team about how to use the tools available to achieve specific and tangible results from your marketing efforts.
Taking advantage of their expertise will not only make you look like a marketing wizard, but will create a sustainable competitive advantage for your company in the marketplace.