Marketing has become an engineering profession.
Yesterday, a friend and colleague framed the shift to metrics-driven marketing in a way I hadn't heard before, but that rang so true. He said, "Marketing has become an engineering profession," and he's right.
Wikipedia (I know, stick with me here) defines engineering as "the creative application of science, mathematical methods, and empirical evidence to the innovation, design, construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, devices, systems, processes, and organizations." If marketing automation isn't a system that requires construction and maintenance guided by math and empirical evidence, I don't know what is.
It's profound, but the more time I spend in this space, promoting the efforts of a team more capable and analytical than I could ever dream to be, the more I've realized that I'm surrounded by as many math minds and computer scientists as I am by marketers. Our clients' success is measurable and it can be affected by the slightest tweak, driven through the results of a report or the bars on a graph.
More and more courses around data analytics are gearing themselves toward the modern marketer. Soon enough, it's safe to assume that we'll see Marketing Analytics and Engineering degrees because that's what an industry driven by numbers needs - people with the technical savvy to crunch numbers and with the business background to understand which numbers should be crunched and how those metrics can be applied to the art of marketing. I say "art" because marketing will never be a perfect science on the whole (creativity and risk are the most exciting elements of marketing if you ask me), but it has become so technical over the last many years that we can't keep our heads above water without technicians capable of driving proven results at scale.
We have to look at the big picture of driving revenue as the launch of a rocket. Hundreds of systems throughout the vessel require careful supervision and refinement if it's going to get off the ground, and then even greater care to keep it flying. The beauty of modern marketing is that it is possible to draw out the grand schematic of the revenue rocket, just as it's possible to check systems and turn wrenches.
If we require engineers to make rockets fly, why shouldn't we demand engineers to build and maintain our revenue engines?
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About the Author
Tom comes from a background in customer success across a variety of industries and has carried that experience into his role on Elixiter’s Growth team. Tom splits his time equally between marketing and sales and therefore appreciates the importance of a well-oiled growth machine. Nothing makes him happier than seeing Elixiter clients succeed.More Content by Tom Kochevar