A recent issue of Information Week carried a factoid that 500 million users generate 340 Million tweets, daily! It also commented that in this deluge it’s hard to identify the real experts in any discipline, and in this case they referenced Business Analytics.
Because we are particularly interested in the linkage between integrated marketing and sales enablement, I reviewed the LinkedIn skills of Integrated Marketers and the skills listed in their biographies which enable sales. When we compiled the data on 100 Marketing Executives, or Integrated Marketing (those more extensively describing their duties) at technology companies (but relevant to all industries) what was absent in a huge majority of biographies was the phrase “I am skilled in use of analytics”.
The dominating skills mentioned were branding, social media, social media marketing, events, webinars, speaking, white papers, success stories and other soft skills. No-one disputes that these skills play a very important role in one’s job, but when a company buys a technological solution it is most interested in the solution’s impact on costs, ease of use, price vs. performance and maintenance costs – all requiring quantitative analysis.
My conclusion is that marketing (and also sales), in addition to the soft skills, must also be able to utilize analytics to produce data for such things as productivity gains, cost reduction, environmental improvement, low rate of failures, etc. and how their solution compares to competition in important attributes. [By the way, how many marketing managers in technology or manufacturing companies know the term “MBTF”?] There is lack of evidence that analytical techniques are used by marketing folks in the execution of educational, branding or sales enabling campaigns. By the way, on a personal level, I dislike the word “demand generation”. A much better term would be “awareness creation”. At least one could sleep a little bit better knowing that they are differentiating themselves from the deluge of 340 million tweets!
Not every marketer has the luxury of working with a highly recognizable brand. So analytical skills (not only with data but also market or account/product/service insight) about both the seller and buyer side will allow us to better identify and assess where and when our products and services a solid winning chance.
And let us not forget that in the end we all operate on a “shoe-string” budget as the Global Fiscal Crisis has shown.