You might look at marketing analytics as heralding a new generation of business analytics. Marketers certainly didn't invent analytics (although I've known a few who thought they did), but marketing's adoption of analytics over the past decade or so helped to fuel today's broader business interest in data.
Analytics were already in common use in pharmaceuticals for drug development and clinical trials, within business intelligence teams, and in sectors such as manufacturing operations research and oil exploration. But once marketers got their hands on analytics tools they drove data to the forefront in the corporation.
SAS's Adele Sweetwood
Today, you are unlikely to find a marketer who wants to go back to the old days when the success of a product campaign was based largely on guesswork, and branding was evaluated in an annual survey that utilized 10 year-old metrics. It's easy to forget that big data wasn't on the radar a relatively few years ago. Marketers were the pioneers when it came to understanding the big data concept.
Analytics haven't just changed marketing, they have reinvented it, as Adele Sweetwood explains in her new book, The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization from HBR Press.
Sweetwood, who is Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Shared Services at SAS (sponsor of this site), wrote:
All marketers today need baseline skills in data and analytics. Today’s marketer needs to go well beyond reporting and metrics, and be more proficient in a full range of analytical skills --including knowledge of data management principles and analytical strategies, and an understanding of the role of data quality, the importance of data governance, and the value of data in marketing disciplines. Marketers today also need a nuanced understanding of current and emerging digital channels.
On Wednesday, Sweetwood will discuss her book and the ways that adoption of analytics has changed not just the marketer's role but the marketing department as a whole, including how marketing interacts with other departments. Sweetwood will be the featured guest on a webinar hosted by Harvard Business Review, The Analytical Marketer on Wednesday, November 16, at 12 pm EST.
The analytics-driven changes in marketing aren't just about marketing itself but truly are reflective of how entire enterprises are going through a reinvention.
Read an excerpt from Adele Sweetwood's book here.