Friday, January 7, 2011

Week 1 of my Complete Immersion in Marketing

Just wanted to share some observations at the end of the first week of my marketing lovefest.
  • Technology Marketing has the most diverse student mix of any class I've taken so far. It is pretty evenly split across 1st-year students, 2nd-year students, and part-time students. I met someone that drives down from Milwaukee for class twice a week.
  • As expected, there is a lot of overlap across the classes. Some of the common themes that have emerged so far include:
    • Shifting the prevalent mindset from product-centric to customer-centric (both in words and in actions). Using this new mindset as the foundation and metric to drive decisions. In Tech Marketing, this leads to the notion of collaborative marketing versus product/brand marketing. In I/T Based Marketing, this leads to the shift from profit to the Total Lifetime Value of a customer. In Marketing Channel Strategies, this leads to designing and implementing channels that can best deliver the needs of your targeted consumers (for example, Apple creating retail outlets that allow people to play with all of their magical gizmos versus using Walmart, which would keep them locked up in a glass case).
    • The need to deliver the best experience possible across all customer touch points, whether directly or indirectly under your control (Marketing Channel Strat). The customer experience is your brand (Technology Marketing).
    • The impact of technology and the increasing amount of available customer information on the future of marketing.
The last point was by far the most impactful for me. If you believe the notion that the amount of information collected on consumers is going to continue to increase, then it's not too big a leap to think that being able to analyze and pull insights from this information is extremely important going forward (more information increases the noise/signal ratio considerably).

Therefore, quant and analytical skills are going to be crucial to the next phase of marketing, and according to the professors, there is currently a massive skill gap in the industry to address this need. So, if you happen to come from a background that is strong in these areas, such as engineering, then you can either move toward the usual functions, like finance and operations, where there is already an abundance of these skills, or, you can move toward the gap where those skills will be more sought out and improve your chances of becoming a rockstar.

I don't know if this is true or not (I could just be rationalizing my decision!), but I'm willing to gamble on it.

2 comments:

  1. Orlando, cannot agree more w/ this post - @ Coke it's mind-blowing how much data there is and also, how much we are not even using- the preponderance, lately of firms that do analytics of "your data" for CPG's is a sign of this trend you are talking about.

    I'm going to link to your post no doubt and comment a bit more on it - brilliant post though!

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  2. Thanks for the perspective! Hearing something similar at the Marketing Conference - ~"we have lots of customer data, but not organized to use it"

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