Marketing Eye

Why every marketing team needs a data scientist

Speaking to a Professor at one of America's largest Universities the other day in Atlanta, was an eye-sight into how slow many universities are moving in creating educational programs for marketers to have jobs in the future.

This particular University, isn't sitting by the side-line. In fact, they are leading the way and have added Data Science to the program, and are ensuring that each and every person who does a marketing degree has an opportunity to learn about data science and all that it encompasses.

There was a huge shift more than 10 years ago, where marketers had to be digital marketing experts too. Those who failed to learn new skills and adapt to a changing marketing paradigm either fell to the way-side or off the cliff completely.

Entrepreneurs and CEO's are demanding to know if there marketing spend is getting a ROI, and now, more so than ever before, there is a way to find out how. The problem is that many CMO's are just getting over the fact that they had to be across digital marketing, and another 'new thing' is causing havoc particularly for CMO's over 40 and 50. Sorry, it's true and even I took a deep breathe when the world changed and I needed to know about big data, internet of things, data mining, data science, robots and everything else the technology industry is throwing at us - but I know that without this knowledge, marketers will become powerless.

This new career as a data scientist is exciting. For anyone entering the marketing industry with a passion for marketing, digital and mathematics - this is one very high paid job that if you do your deal right, and ask for a slice of the action on the sales gained from better marketing spend - you will be one rich dude!

Harvard Business Review named Data Scientist as the "sexiest job of the 21st century." And that it is. But like anything new, there is a shortfall and anyone with data science capabilities can command a lot more money than their marketing counterparts. Gartner Group analysts predict that there will be a shortfall of Data Scientists by the end of the decade of more than 100,000. I think that this is one statistic they have wrong and McKinsey is much closer to the mark with their prediction of 190,000. 

To give you an idea of what a company is paying a Data Scientist with experience (3 years plus), you have to budgeting for $150,000 plus and that is not a managerial role. Throw "Manager" into the title and expect to pay $250,000 base plus lucrative bonuses. Fortunately for Data Scientists, they can easily give a case for what they are worth in marketing spend that they save and sales that are gained due to their skill base. Very few roles have this ability in today's business world.

For those of you who are now Googling your way to find out how you can become skilled in data science, a subset of the larger analytics discipline, it's not easy. Few Universities teach it and even fewer companies have true Data Scientists employed. The variable is so large that most won't know where to turn.

Data Scientists work with substantial amounts of data - BIG DATA. Using various technologies to acquire data, and ensuring that they have gateways that are clean into other technologies is imperative to the data science equation. This is transformative for small businesses as it allows them to disrupt their larger counterparts by basically 'out marketing them'. As we all know, large companies are slow to change, and if they have existing people in place in the digital marketing space, they often won't listen to others consult to them on data science and use of big data, because they are afraid that their high paying jobs will become obsolete - which is probably fair, as some will.

Micro-targeting ad micro-segmentation will help deliver specialized content marketing and campaigns overall to particular segments of the market.

Marketing is getting really interesting. Lots of people are talking about all of these buzz words, but few are walking the walk. With data science, New York headquartered company Beautiful Destinations were an early adopter and cemented themselves as the market leader in tourism marketing, with more than 15 million followers showing they can talk the talk and walk the walk. Let's see how fast others move.

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