Blog post

MKTG 102: Foundations of Marketing Analytics

By Christi Eubanks | September 03, 2015 | 3 Comments


The smell of football tailgates and fresh erasers. Even with school days long behind me, it’s a Pavlovian cue to snap out of my summer daze and get studious again (or blogging again, as it were).

Welcome back, marketers. I trust you’ve had a lovely holiday and committed to your summer reading with as much zeal as you committed to your tans. No?

Luckily we’re all about the fundamentals this week. No prerequisites; no pop quizzes. Collective exhale. The first day is just a review of the syllabus anyway.

Welcome to MKTG 102: Foundations of Marketing Analytics.

Before we get too far, I should warn you: Marketing Analytics isn’t a career path so much as it’s a career romp through the woods with no map or flashlight. To some extent, all digital marketing could be classified as uncharted territory, but we’re not just hikers; we’re survivalists.

If you work in marketing analytics today, you have a position that didn’t exist 10 years ago. For half of the data-driven marketers we recently surveyed it didn’t even exist five years ago.* There is no agreement in terms of essential skills, no licensing exam, not even standard coursework. In fact, with a few exceptions (and a couple of MOOCs), most schools don’t have a single class on this stuff. Which is a problem. Because there is no pipeline of prepared new analysts ready to close the talent gap.

But who needs school when you have the internet? [Kidding… kind of.]

I’m regularly asked, by both clients and civilians, how one can prepare for a new role or career in marketing analytics. While I’m tempted to say, “put on your Nikes and Just Do It,” I decided to take a stab at what a great foundation looks like – the course I wish I could’ve taken.


Fall Semester 2015

Course Description:

This entry-level course focuses on the theory, history, and practice of marketing analytics, one of the fastest-growing, most in-demand fields in business. By 2017, 69% of marketers expect data to drive most of their decisions. Designed for those aspiring to be better marketing generalists and those embarking on careers as analysts, it provides you with the building blocks of data-driven marketing from information, to insights, to activation and optimization.


  • Understand data available to marketers and learn how to use it to power the customer journey
  • Develop familiarity with the essential technical skills needed to manage and analyze data
  • Learn to communicate results to non-technical business audiences
  • Demonstrate ability to show business impact of marketing efforts
  • Apply knowledge by working with real data


There will be no formal exams, but you will be measured on your ability to deliver business results and prove the value of marketing efforts. (Exams are too easy, and rote memorization won’t get you far in this field.)


Week 1: A (very brief) History of Marketing Analytics and Defining the Discipline

Week 2: Data Basics: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Party

Week 3: Data Collection: Tags, Cookies, SDKs

Week 4: Data Ethics: Identity, Anonymity and How Not to be Creepy

Week 5: Wrangling the Data: Big Data, Small Data, Quant Data, Qual Data

Week 6: All About Analytics: Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, Prescriptive

Week 7: Math for Marketers: You Can Use Excel.

Week 8: Measurement and KPIs: Beyond Clicks and Likes

Week 9: Code for Marketers: You Don’t Have to Write It, But You Should Recognize It

Week 10: Visualization and Storytelling: Charts and Dashboards That Don’t Suck

Week 11: Optimization and Experimental Design: Testing, Controlled Experiments and Incrementality

Week 12: Data Driven Advertising: Overview of the AdTech Alphabet, DMPs, DSPs, RTBs

Week 13: Attribution: Top Down and Bottom Up Converge; MMM meets MTA

Week 14: Tools: What A Marketing Tech Stack Looks Like

Week 15: Case Studies: How Best-In-Class Organizations Do Data-Driven


Is this a course you’d want to take? Or would you drop the class like it’s hot, right after my intro spiel?

For marketers: No, it’s not an explicit ‘How To,’ but use this as a checklist if you’re stuck on where to start or looking to fill some knowledge gaps. I’m not planning to make this into a blog series, but if there is interest, please let me know in the comments or @ceubanks.

For marketing educators: if you stumbled on this post and want to make it into a real course, by all means, go for it. I want more than anything for aspiring marketers to know this specialization exists and that companies are hiring for it.

For clients: You’re in luck! We have a wealth of content this week focused on the basics. Some of the topics align with my content themes above. And if you don’t see the answer to your question, you know where to find us during office hours.

*Clients can read the full report here, but that particular data point was unpublished.

And that’s the bell.







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Leave a Comment


  • jonathan says:

    So this isn’t a course, but it should be

  • Bob Willcox says:

    Excellent post.

    Suggestions; I would add some new items and refinements
    1. Following on the communication objective, as I find this one of the most difficult aspects in getting projects/programs underway. It deals with two different aspects but is center around communication
    “Business Collaboration: Translating business requirements into strategy, and creating insights from data.”

    2. Best practices to reveal meaningful actions. Typically occurs in channel but needs to be elevated in the omni-channel world
    “Analysis: Developing hypotheses from discovery and assessment of multi-channel analytics”

    Refine #2, Data Basics, to include: “Customer Data Types (Behavioral, Firmographic, Attitudinal) ”
    and #14 Tools, to include: …and integrating that data

    • Christi Eubanks says:

      @Bob – Thanks for the comment! These are spot on suggestions. If I ever do teach this (or make a blog / note series out of it), those are must-have additions. #1 and #2 could probably encompass enough material to warrant dedicated courses.