“I hope I’ll never have to do marketing, it sounds so boring”
That was a text message I received from a good friend recently, following a conversation about what I do and where the world of marketing is headed. As you might imagine I had quite a few thoughts and things to say about what my friend said.
As I began to explain why I think there was never a better time to be a marketer, it got me thinking… What is it we’re doing here as digital marketers? What’s at the very core of digital marketing?
Whether you’re an analyst, a data scientist or even a C-level executive, our job is as fascinating and intriguing as it has ever been in this digital age. Yes, it is about storytelling, compelling messaging and branding, harnessing or building communities and so on. But there is something much more profound here. (At least based on experience and methodologies).
The way I see it, our job is to investigate and research human behavior.
And let me tell you, I invest lots of efforts into tracking, and attempting to figure out how to harness machines and software to detect and determine human activities in order to obtain actionable insights and intelligence that could provide value to a target audience.
In my mind, these days this is the core part of our job as marketers.
Personally, I find it by far more interesting than being a programmer, a financial analyst or any other line of work.
Because human beings are fascinating unique creatures. Sure one can claim that eventually, we’re all very much the same, and act according to very typical and predictable patterns of behaviour. But, the fact is that the human mind can feel an infinite range of emotions, that are often times being translated to various actions as opposed to machines that follow strict sets of rules and regulations that have been designed by its creators. (Yes some may disagree, and I am aware of the latest AI advancements).
There was never a better time to be a digital marketer, study and analyze human behaviour. This day and age we have fantastic tools to track so many types of data and online activities, crunch the numbers and make sense of it all. If you’re still rolling your eyes and thinking “This dude is high”, just keep in mind the following: According to IBM, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.
This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, post to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. Many of those data sets are public, and are trackable, quantifiable and can be used for many purposes in the marketing world. From creating tailored content to a subset of prospects to profiling and segmentation of your audience, funnel optimization and so much more.
Some of my favorites tools are Buzzsumo which enables one to track how content is distributed on social channels, Audiense which allows one to slice and dice Twitter followers easily and efficiently , IFTTT which I dedicated a post on how wonderful and free it is as an alternative to social monitoring systems. Not to mention the world of Marketing Automation, a transformative technology that enables you to track literally everything going on your web properties at a very granular level. (As oppose to Google Analytics cumulative stats and overall approach)
What do you think? Did I drink the kool aid of marketing intelligence? Or did I binge watch too many episodes of “Person Of Interest” (Fantastic show, highly recommended) I’d love to hear your thoughts about our role as marketers in this digital age.