Three Challenges for the Next Digital Marketing Superhero

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Dustin Engel, iProspect
Dustin Engel, iProspect

All of us have access to more data every day, but how do you understand and uncover insights from that data? That's the sweet spot in the Big Data revolution.

Here's my profile of the digital marketing experts best able to mine brilliant nuggets from all that data: they must be a quantitative scholar with a degree in statistics or econometrics; they must have practical experience in the marketing channels that they measure and provide insights about; and they must be able to read nuances in the data and explain those insights to the data stakeholders with a storyteller's touch. Know anybody who fits this profile? They'll be in high demand in the next few years.

Here are three digital trends that this Digital Marketing Superhero will have to tackle.

1. Not just more data, new data

The rapid adoption of attribution platforms such as Visual IQ and Adometry, data management platforms such as BlueKai and eXelate, and emerging channel data sources such as mGage allow us to see the customer in new ways. They allow us to identify where demand exists and what the customer journey to revenue looks like. These new data sources are merging with existing customer databases, site analytics, and media delivery and buying platforms. This creates a potpourri of customer data that needs to be analyzed and turned into action.

2. Media fragmentation

The days where one could construct a healthy digital marketing mix simply by calling up the AOL, Yahoo, and MSN sales teams are long behind us. That's a good thing. It creates a broader and cleaner canvas for digital marketers to craft their masterpiece. The rise of audience extensions such as the Facebook Exchange and Amazon's upcoming ad network will deepen that fragmentation as they use different approaches to go after existing ads. People who can analyze and explain the fragmented ad landscape will be in higher demand than ever.

3. The growth of display

With the rise of display-heavy channels such as the Facebook Exchange, there'll be a resurgence in decrypting the value of the impression. View-through skeptics, beware. You'll have to compete with savvy marketers who understand the value of the impression versus the click. Those same marketers understand the creative and placement attributes that drive more view-through conversions. Watch out.

Dustin Engel is executive vice president at iProspect.

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