Marketing Increasingly Caught up in Data Science

May 01, 2017

Scott Adams had a lot to say about marketing over the years in his strip Dilbert, from how marketing was an Elysian field that served barbecued unicorn and required a two-drink minimum to get in to how it was mostly “liquor and guessing.” It's interesting to see that Adams hasn't addressed the growth of data science in marketing over the years, however, as this is a development that's turning a field that was once mostly art into one that's just as much science, and potentially more so.

The use of data science in marketing generates a wide array of potential benefits, starting with better sales and efficiency—knowing what to sell and to whom can result in much more useful marketing techniques—and all at lower costs as waste is removed from the system. This means a better return on investment, and allows for better product awareness as well as, ultimately, better market share.

For those who think “data science” is just another word for “analytics,” that's a common misconception, but one that should be cleared up. While analytics is also a valuable means to consider current data and analyze it into yielding useful patterns, data science goes farther than that. It takes not only the data, but also the algorithms and actions applied and incorporates it into one larger system of activities overall.

With all these points acting in concert, data science is generating a lot of capability in the market for marketing operations, allowing for better use

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of resources and better chances at improved returns. That's valuable, and so in order to make the most of it, experts recommend a focus in three particular areas: big data management, analytics operations, and connecting objectives with actions. These three points acting in concert should, ultimately, produce the best results by making the most of the data that's already in place.

We're increasingly seeing how the proper use of data can generate value in marketing operations; learning more about a market, for example, allows marketing content to address the best points in order to improve the chance of success. If a market is focused on price concerns, for example, marketing can reflect the value of a product over anything else. Thus, the use of data in marketing can improve the chances of the best outcomes—where people buy a product or service—and its increasing use in the field almost explains itself.

Using data in marketing can lead to great things; it's not a magic bullet solution, but it does improve the odds of better outcomes. That's worth considering in its own right, and makes data science a must-have benefit for future operations.

Edited by Alicia Young

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