Marketing today is largely influenced by how technology is used to understand consumer behavior. According to a study involving 1700 Chief Marketing Officers conducted by IBM, there are four major changes that are “pervasive, universal game-changers”: the data explosion, social media, proliferation of channels and devices, and shifting consumer demographics. Web analytics are a critical tool for taking advantage of these game-changing factors, and as a response to this influence, web analytics classes, seminars, certifications, panel discussions, and Master’s programs are popping up on the Internet and at academic institutions across the country. Your companies web analytics skill sets will become a vital part of the Marketing 2.0 horizon.
The most effective format for an education in web analytics is still uncertain and under development, and businesses cannot wait for academia to set the course in this rapidly-changing environment. There is a need for on-the-job adjustment. The deepest fear CMOs have, according to a recent Forbes article, is “that they themselves, and much less their teams, won’t know how to regenerate the relevance of their brands in this [rapidly changing] environment.” Ironically, because the environment is changing so rapidly, new marketing professionals have many of the same fears.
According to MarketPro Vice President Cindy Underwood, “Many young professionals are challenged to find opportunities in the field because of their lack of experience.” However, Underwood sees very few companies that are willing to provide the necessary training needed to start the future web analytics professionals. She suggests two approaches: provide more internships for young professionals seeking experience, and offer those professionals with a well-rounded knowledge of marketing the opportunity to expand their skills.
The question becomes, what skills do companies need to be targeting as they expand their marketing teams and supporting the development of in existing talent?
Underwood believes that the best analysts are not specialists. Instead, they have a great abundance of knowledge across a variety of business subjects such as usability, product, marketing, advertising, and media – with a thirst for knowledge that keeps them at the leading edge of new development. What they understand best is revenue growth and profitability, but they are also great collaborators. These practitioners are not just producing reports; they are looking for problems and then finding the data to make recommendations to fix them.
In the end, the skill set most beneficial to the CMO will be trust: trust in their team’s ability to offer help with new ideas and with social media, trust in their end users’ feedback with regard to perceived value and the digital storefront, and trust in the data and the advantage of technology to their business.
MarketPro is the leading marketing staffing and marketing executive search firm in the United States. Whether your need is interim / contract or direct placement, we provide top companies with talent that exceeds expectations both functionally and culturally. Our recruiters know the best marketing talent, because they are experienced marketers. MarketPro places talent in all marketing related disciplines and does so in less time with a higher success ratio than anyone else in the industry.