Marketing Evolutions have played a key role in taking marketing forward in the past several decades. What worked in the past, no longer works these days. The old ways of traditional marketing where instinct ruled over everything else is truly gone.
Traditional marketing in the days of big data has demanded a new type of professional, one with instinct as well as technical skills. In the era prior to big data, marketing professionals relied on many “soft” skills gained through grey hair, long teeth, and years of experience. Formulating campaigns in print, TV, and radio were the popular modes to reach audiences, but how did they know which TV station to air a commercial? Also, how did marketing know if their client’s customers were country music lovers or contemporary soft-rock fans? Did the customers read newspapers? Last, could the client afford a robust campaign mixing all modes of advertising or did their budget allow for one source? These were challenges that marketing teams had to overcome by formulating a hypothesis about their client’s customers. Before big data, they used old fashioned instinct.
What exactly is instinct? The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines instinct as “something you know without learning it or thinking about it; a natural ability”. The problem with instinct though is that – either you have it, or you don’t. Instinct rests below the conscious level, it a gut reaction/response. It is often based on common sense or “street smarts” of someone that has been around the block a few times. This is a gamble that many companies take when they hire a traditional marketing firm. Does the firm that they contracted with have that killer advertising instinct or are they complete duds?
Fast-forwarding to present times, we have seen an increase in Digital Marketing agencies. These agencies can devise and manage a company’s entire Social Media persona. The agency will establish the presence and maintain status by posting weekly or daily, and responding to chatter. But, the challenge again is answering the question of “how do we attract more RELEVANT followers and how do we get possible customers to like us or consider us a favorite? Instinct? Possibly… but, the new era Digital Marketers rely on something that rests above the conscious level, something that is literally at their fingertips. What is this? It is the Technical Layer embedded in the Social Media accounts, the big data portion that is now being incorporated into all great advertising campaigns.
That Technical layer of skillsets is the art of embracing the analytics provided by Social Media. Whether it is provided in the individual accounts that you have established or partnering with IT to mine data, having the ability to analyze and interpret the online world is key to the new era marketing professional. From the outside, it may seem very simple to go into your Facebook account and look at how many impressions and likes a particular campaign has generated. The real talent relies on drawing connections between various categories of data such as: demographics, gender, age, and interest groups. What do these seemingly different elements have in common and how can the engagement process advance to further target a new audience? These are questions that rise to the surface of any campaign that analytics can quickly answer with the correct tech savvy marketing professional driving the solution.
So, which element is most important in Digital Marketing, instinct or technology skills? The answer in today’s world of marketing is both! The new age Digital Marketing professional is required to have a balanced mix of natural instinct coupled with strong technological skills.
Platforms like Avlino’s Alenza blend technology and instinct providing real-time continuous analytics to readjust the instinct to be more effective.