Going into 2014, the ability to make data-driven marketing decisions is one of the core skills that can set any marketing professional apart from the rest of the crowd, especially during the job-seeking process.
Most employers in the marketing and advertising fields want to see some experience with web, social media, email, mobile, and more traditional methods of data tracking on a resume, especially for candidates who seek a more senior position.
There is something to be said for the kind of intense, data-driven analysis that cannot be replaced by any other type of knowledge or marketing intuition. You simply need to get “scuba gear”-deep into the data.
There’s nothing like understanding every step of your customer’s decision-making journey at the ground level, which means sifting through the many metrics and tracking capabilities that are on hand.
Key performance indicators and reporting
In addition, knowing the key takeaways or performance indicators and how to set up a robust yet efficient reporting program is an equally valuable skill. After all, a level of accountability is likely going to be required.
So being able to create or work with existing analytics platforms and knowing how to present the data — making it tell a story that can be easily and quickly understood by managers and the C-suite — is become a pretty essential skill.
The ability to keep reports, concepts, and other presentations intelligent and data-driven, but also simple and intuitive, is perhaps the most valuable skill that anyone in the advertising or marketing business can have, going into to 2014.
Discovering new opportunities
Big data is a trendy phrase that online marketers have been throwing around lately. But you need to understand what it actually means and how it will affect clients, campaigns, and other marketing efforts.
Using data and analytics to identify future opportunities and develop new insights is one of the essential abilities that will lead to success in the upcoming year.
Despite their current buzzword notoriety, however, big data and data-driven analytics can lead to valuable perceptions into the target audience’s mindset, needs, and desires. They therefore hold the keys to the campaigns and website performance levels that are extraordinarily successful, because they are based on actual consumer behavior and desired customer experiences.
All it takes is the ability to glean useful observations and information from a constantly increasing pool of data, and transform that information into something actionable (or at least insightful) for the rest of the team. Easier said than done!
Education is crucial
Whether you’re currently employed, practicing your profession while running a business, or seeking a new gig (or some combination of the above), an education on the analytics programs currently available to marketers is a great way for anyone in the field to get a step up on the competition. Plenty of material is available for free online or for the relatively low price of a book or two, and many employers are willing to offer training, access to seminars, conferences, and other opportunities to buff one’s professional skills.
Let’s face it: The vast majority of marketers and people in related professions (web design, SEO, SEM, programming, and similar Internet-based jobs) have to deal with overwhelming amounts of data on a daily basis. An education on the various types of metrics, what they mean for the client or campaign in the short and long terms, and how to determine which stats matter, is something that virtually any employer in the field would value.