For years, marketers have been attempting to escape being seen as the arts and crafts department of the business. We have struggled to prove that marketing is much more than just creative storytelling, clever slogans, and the occasional perfectly placed gif. Preaching this has become a common theme, but now it’s time to prove that marketing is a science.
While creativity, originality, and personalization still drive marketing and allow us to connect with an offering on a human level, with new changes in technology, our actions can now be confidently backed by data. It is time to capitalize on the emerging technologies around us and close the gap between our left and right brain.
Why Should Marketing Be A Science?
You may be asking yourself, ‘why should marketing be a science when I’ve already honed my skills at producing well-written copy around my super technical product? I’ve separated myself by crafting content that is persuasive, educational, and digestible all at the same time. I also consistently put on events that keep people buzzing for months!‘
Because once you shift your mindset to think of marketing as a science, you’ll be able to:
- Craft and execute an experiment based on a predetermined, specific, unique hypothesis
- Collect and organize data
- Examine and publish findings
- Tweak and optimize failures using different variables
- Replicate and build on success by retesting in new environments
- Trust the process because it is based on data
Hopefully, these goals are shared amongst your team— so why then have marketers fallen short of reaching scientific levels of accuracy? The answer is because we’ve lacked the tools to enable accurate measurement. Historically, marketers have been armed with the tools to perform experiments, but not the tools to examine them. The data has been there all along, but marketers lacked accessibility and visibility, placing a bottleneck on our ability to analyze and optimize marketing performance.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates
The Double Helix Structure of Marketing
In the real-world scientific realm, this marketing visibility gap mirrors the 1953 discovery of the helical structure of DNA. Once scientists Crick & Watson gained visibility into how DNA molecules interact and form bonds in a double helix framework, the possibilities were limitless. This led to more questions and more historic discoveries that advanced the human race and our understanding of the world around us. After uncovering this set of genetic instructions, we started noticing patterns, which led to cloning sheep, genetically modified organisms, and maybe someday, synthesizing life and beyond.
How Can You Test, Clone, Modify, and Evolve Your Marketing Efforts?
By embracing a scientific mindset and striving for complete visibility.
- Design each campaign with a clear hypothesis. Every piece of marketing has a different objective within the funnel, so set out with a goal and accompanying KPI’s.
- Ingest data from every source possible (CRM, MAS, your website, social platforms) and take a multi-touch, cross-channel attribution approach.
- Analyze which marketing programs are working best at each stage of your customer journey.
- Compare results to your hypothesis— ask complex questions to figure out what happened and why.
- Use your findings to map the customer journey.
- Test campaigns across new accounts and segments.
- Trust the process because it is based on data.
To Boldly Go Where No Marketer Has Gone Before
Blending marketing with science leads to increased decision-making confidence. With a solid understanding of your marketing mix, you can re-frame your approach to next quarter’s budget allocation and campaign planning. From the macro level of determining marketing’s impact on revenue and pipeline as a whole, to the microscopic questions like, “where is this ebook most effective in this buyer’s journey?”.
Granted, there is no perfect structure for everyone, and each company has its own unique DNA. Landscapes, industries, and organizations are constantly changing, but by blending art with science, your marketing organization can evolve too. Now grab your crayons and popsicle sticks, get back in the lab, and start making history.