Take  a look at this list of career opportunities at a major consulting firm:

Our organization is looking for experienced professionals in:

–          Paid Search

–          SEO/SEM

–          Marketing Analytics (SAS)

–          Digital Marketing and Advertising

–          Digital Brand Strategy & Transformation

–          Interactive Account Management

–          Web Analytics

–          Social Media Implementations

–          Mobile Product Marketing

–          Web Diagnostics

–          Digital Media Planning

–          Digital Data and Analytics Solutions

–          Site Optimization

Anything missing? Like individuals that can conduct a market or gap analysis, construct a competitive landscape, design scenario marketing and role-based messaging?  How about people that can run a customer-oriented experience design session?  Or individuals that can identify stategic business options, construct logical partnerships and/or marketing alliances, translate the CEO’s vision into strategic positioning and messaging, or launch a new product?

Granted, marketing is more of a science than ever given our ability to actually measure not just buyer behavior, but how buyers feel about the experience through sentiment analysis.

But have we become obsessed the idea of being digital detectives versus good marketers?  Do we have armies of people ready to analyze the data – at the expense of people that need to construct the right marketing story in the first place?  To figure out the right product for the right audience for the right time?

What I found especially odd about the above list – no one is needed to help convert suspects into prospects – prospects into customers – or customers into advocates (let alone someone to run advocacy marketing).

One of the downsides of the digital obsession I observe frequently is the propensity to make premature decisions.  I just saw a seasoned marketing executive abandon a campaign because it didn’t generate the right amount of  traffic to the campaign’s landing page.  Together we examined the campaign’s actual story line and validated it was a good product with a good value proposition – clearly being marketed to the right audience. So what was the problem? Turned out .. it was risk.

If you’ve done everything right (right product, right audience, right time) and the response rate is low – there’s usually some element of risk in the buying decision you haven’t addressed. At least this was the issue with this particular campaign.  And as soon as it was addressed, traffic increased – substantially – and the campaign was back in business.

As marketers, we need to step away from the computer – turn down the obsession with data – or at least look at the qualitative dimensions of marketing before we let the numbers rule all our decisions.

  1. 26 April 2011 at 10:46 am
    Michael Cretzman says:

    Wow, excellent points. I’m relatively new to marketing and most of the stuff I read about it is concerned with data analysis. It seemed strange to me because data analysis is quite simple, whereas identifying what your potential customers’ main concern might be is difficult. That kind of outside-looking-in approach often yields better info than stats.
    Great article.

  2. 26 April 2011 at 11:51 am
    Richard says:

    Thanks, Michael. We love getting our hands on “newbies” before they are brainwashed -))

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