Bill Gates famously said “If you don’t like geeks, you’re in trouble” and he wasn’t half wrong. Geekery, in the form of big data, marketing automation and scientific management of decision cycles and user journeys. Its not a home for old-school, pat on the back, “lets get some leaflets printed” sorts. They’re, mostly, extinct alongside the huge business empires that grew from mass marketing of the 60s,70s and 80s.
The new marketing geeks are winning the lion share of marketing budgets from departments that now rely on smart, commercially-minded analysts who understand data and can harness its potential. These are the people who can make sense of the big data from social media, CRM systems, email tracking, user journey histories and digital services reporting.
The output, for those who know how to find the nuggets, are distilled pureness of understanding; an almost super-hero level of comprehension and the hard facts to slay the HiPPOs that “hang-around marketing because they know what they like and like what they know”. This is not a world of opinion, the facts speak the truth.
So, how do you spot the breed of marketing hero? In the 1980’s it was, rather annoyingly, bright red glasses and an equally bright persona. Today, you’re more likely to find them, head buried in an e-reader or participating in online dialogue. They’re more closely related to programmers and, in many cases, that’s their skill – mining huge datasets.