Balancing the Art and Sciences of Marketing

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Balancing the Arts and Sciences of Marketing
Balancing the Arts and Sciences of Marketing

As one of the first speakers for the JUMP New York 2013 marketing conference, Jeff Allen, Adobe's director of product marketing for digital analytics, kicked off his session by asking the audience one simple question:

“Have you ever noticed that everybody has an opinion about marketing--generally, everybody except marketers?”

Everyone consumes marketing. Consequently, many people feel obligated to put in their two cents when it comes to aspects like creative and budget, Allen said. To identify people's true marketing sentiments, Adobe conducted a study entitled Click Here: The State of Online Advertising back in October 2012. So, how do consumers really feel? According to the study, 53% of respondents think most marketing is just a “bunch of B.S.”

“This just couldn't be further from the truth,” Allen consoled.

Allen emphasized that the marketing landscape is changing, particularly for digital marketers, and that brands must rely on analytics when forming marketing decisions.

To ensure that marketers successfully use both the left and right sides of the brains, Allen revealed his top five success secrets in his “Five Ways to Elevate Your Game as a Marketer” presentation.

1)  Become a Data Guru

“Becoming a data guru is partly a branding exercise for your brand to associate what you do with the science of marketing, more than the art,” Allen said.

Bringing significant data to the surface can be a bit challenging with tidal waves of information constantly rolling in. Allen encouraged marketers to identify what data “makes the needle jump” and what courses of action marketers need to take to capitalize on insight. “Ultimately, attribution is the way to repeat a successful result,” Allen said.

2) Learn, then document learning

Testing is an area Allen says marketers definitely need to improve upon. However, he says that following a three-step test, measure, and document process is vital when it comes to backing up decisions and blocking out “hippos” (or highest paid people's opinions).

“One of the worst things we can do as marketers is relearn every time,” Allen said.

3) Become automatic

To become automatic, Allen sais marketers need to develop a dependable predictive model and collect data to identify trends and forecast results. 

For example, in its Adobe Digital Index 2012 Online Shopping Forecast, Adobe predicted that Cyber Monday's online sales would reach $2 billion; hence growing by 18% since 2011. Adobe later realized that its estimates were off and announced that Cyber Monday online sales had actually reached $1.98 billion, growing by approximately 17%.

Allen also encouraged marketers to identify their “guiding star” within the organization and to pinpoint what metric each team member contributes to the company.

4) Master Targeting

Every company has target segments; however, Allen said that “drilling down” into the data to identify “micro-segments” and how segments are defined drives higher conversion rates.

5) Stay a Marketer

No one understands the “blending of the art and the science of marketing” better than marketers. So, Allen wrapped up his session by just encouraging marketers to be themselves.

“We know how to apply creativity as business,” Allen said. “Don't become a finance person. Don't become a data analyst…If you skew to the science side, go work on the creative side. You're still a marketer."

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