Home Data-Driven Thinking Engineers Bring A New Era Of Creativity To Marketing

Engineers Bring A New Era Of Creativity To Marketing

SHARE:

peterreinhardtData-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Peter Reinhardt, co-founder and CEO at Segment.

Despite the rise of data-driven marketing, I would argue the future of marketing is still very much creative – albeit deeply engineering-enabled.

Effectively acting on all the data now at our fingertips requires new marketing skills, including the ability to query large data sets, build automated campaigns around the results and set up systems for funneling those insights across marketing tools and channels.

In general, marketing teams have become more technical. CMOs have hired more technical marketers and become more technically savvy themselves. They’ve embedded engineers on marketing teams. These teams understand the mechanisms by which data can be used to personalize the customer journey – whether it’s building the pipes or connecting data to a campaign in a particular channel.

Building this future requires that we think differently about what it means to balance art and science.

Data Is Not The Enemy Of Art

Previously, when trying to engage the masses, marketers had to meet the expectations of the average person. However, they found out that “average” is a myth. People don’t react in an average way; they don’t always do what they say or say what they feel. That makes it really challenging to connect with consumers in an impactful way at scale. The only way to do it is to use data to help understand how people really feel and learn from their behaviors based on what they actually do as individuals.

Programmatic technologies and machine learning have changed how we think about the interplay between marketing creative and data. It’s now possible to measure, and even predict, what is most appealing to a particular person, based not just on their demographics and the websites they’ve visited, but also newly available data streams like facial expressions and eye tracking patterns.

Modern marketers have structured their teams differently to accommodate new workflows, thinking and talents. You can see this in the roles that some of Silicon Valley’s leading companies are hiring for. The Instagram marketing team is looking for a decision analyst, who operates “at the intersection of data, marketing and product” and helps the marketing team make better decisions. It is also hiring a research manager to develop structures and processes, both quantitative and qualitative, that will help the team better understand how to reach hundreds of millions of people.

Gusto wants a head of customer acquisition who can lead “quantitative first-principles thinkers” in creating “well-crafted nurture campaigns,” while Slack is hiring data analysts who can demonstrate curiosity and strong communications skills. All of these roles necessarily blend analytical skills with creativity.

Subscribe

AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Marketing Is ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’

There’s no longer such a thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing campaign – customers implicitly or explicitly tell us what path they want to take, and each step provides more information about how they want to be presented with brands and products. Marketers must map out an almost infinite number of potential journeys, experiment with targeting, messaging and creative, test and measure, and then optimize for the best outcomes.

Achieving this level of complexity requires an engineering mindset for designing a system to gather that data along path to purchase, along with the creative capability to design various paths in the first place. The result is a complex customer journey that looks something like this:

reinhardt1

This balance tells me that despite the rise of decision analysts and technical marketers, there will always be a role for less technical marketers too. It’s their job to talk to customers, distill their needs and create unique messages. Engineers are shaping the flow of data, and marketers are shaping how those messages manifest.

All of this means that while working cross-functionally has always been important, it’s essential on this new marketing team, which is itself a cross-functional team.

I believe we’ll all be better for considering data and creativity as complements in the next era of marketing. When we’re able to use data to its potential, we are then only limited by our creativity in how we use that data. By understanding the data, faster, better and more engaging customer journeys will emerge, along with new opportunities for our businesses to grow.

Follow Segment (@Segment) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

Must Read

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.