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If Your Marketers Aren’t Geeks, Get New Marketers

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Forget Don Draper and the 9 am bourbon (or two). Marketing is now a full-contact, data-enriched, personalized sport. As much as we’d love to rub elbows with the suave marketeer, the new reality is very different from even a few years ago. As one recent conference pitch put it, “The meek may inherit the earth but the geek is winning all the marketing budgets.”

The trend is so profound, in fact, that CIO’s everywhere are complaining that they’re losing their most precious jewels…IT budget…to marketers who refuse to play by IT’s long timelines and big costs.

The new CMO is probably buying SaaS products that the CIO may not even know about.

Business savvy analysts

The change isn’t small. The leading marketing departments are staffed with data analysts that understand the business and are using analytical tools expertly. Compare that to the marketers of just a few years ago, where the job was to segment the market and find just the right message to match with each demographic. The business analyst of today is able to bear hug data that wasn’t being tracked in the past. That data comes from traditional sources like the infamous ‘marketing database’, but more often from the customer or prospect themselves. Data also flows in from CRM systems, transactions, geolocation, social media and anything that creates greater relevance and better customer experiences.

It’s the data, stupid

This new world of marketing means a change out of skill set, strategies, tactics, processes and technology. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that today’s top marketers aren’t students of traditional marketing. In fact, the marketing degree may be an obstacle more than a benefit in a world that is data-driven and most likely, very close to real-time. Marketing reports? They’ve been replaced by analytics that can be accessed and manipulated by anyone in the department (and very likely well beyond).

Marketing never used to track customers…that was sales’ job. Forget that. Technology today allows marketing to have perfect insight into everything a customer or prospect does. Marketing has become the Big Data Department, in effect. Their omni-channel systems have to be tuned to get the right data in the right amounts to be effective without being overwhelmed. This also means having the right amount of personalization without being creepy. It becomes clear pretty quickly who has that talent and who doesn’t.

Are you marketers geeks? No? Time to get new marketers.

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