Remember the days when the biggest ad in your local directory and a name like AAA Plumbing was an effective way to bring in business? How times have changed! Now, marketing is incredibly complex. It’s no longer primarily a creative-driven discipline but it has become a data-driven discipline.
Yet, despite this profound change in marketing, many marketers have largely maintained the old school approach. This is what differentiates digital marketing and winning at digital marketing! Marketers need to start thinking like engineers. Need convincing? Here are four reasons why you need an engineering brain to succeed at digital marketing.
- Engineers think differently
Engineers are problem solvers from their core. They anticipate needs and develop answers that resolve consumer and societal problems. Their motivation to help and design solutions enables people to do what they otherwise couldn’t have done. They also create a robust framework that is built to last. Good marketers do the same.
- Engineers bring simplicity out of complexity
What once was a very simple world now requires an intimate knowledge of many technology platforms that are rapidly changing. Marketing is no longer set and forget; it’s about engineering solutions that meet both the needs of your business and, most importantly, your clients. Good coordination of a team of specialists to realise proper implementation is also a must.
- Engineers take a systems theory approach
Systems Theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems and how they function independently and within a larger, more complex system. Marketers need to be able to take this approach to marketing.
They need to focus on the individual components (think content, pay per click and social media) and carefully design, build and execute each system so it fits together cohesively to ensure the overarching marketing system brings a healthy return on investment.
- It’s time for a name change
At the core of great marketing lies project management. There’s so many moving parts and people involved that marketing needs a logical and systems based approach to effectively manage the entire process. This ensures that, not only that nothing gets missed, but the desired results are realised.
While specialists are an essential part of the marketing team, they need good oversight. When people are working in silos without regard to the system as a whole, the results are nowhere as good as they should or could be.
Perfecting each part of the marketing system requires completing many different tasks. Let’s look at a piece of content, for example:
- The thought leader has an idea.
- The right content strategy is developed to determine the who, what, where, when and why.
- This strategy is reviewed, customised and spruced up by a content marketer.
- Then it gets suitable imagery from a graphics designer.
- Then it needs to be placed properly on the website by the web administrator.
- It also needs to be posted and advertised on social media.
- The content needs to be optimised for organic search (SEO).
- The content needs to be emailed out to the database.
Marketing has become more of a science than art.
When we’re honest, the science behind marketing is becoming more and more important if you’re looking for the best results. While the creative element is still important, marketing is now about the collecting, tracking and correct interpretation of data. Marketing is about getting the whole to work better than the sum of its parts.
Marketers need to analyse the numbers, identify patterns, predict behaviour, capitalise on trends, and report results. All the while ensuring this data is captured meaningfully so it helps the business continue to improve and optimise their marketing messages, reaching the right people, at the right time, and in the right way.
That’s why we believe engineers will soon make up the majority of senior marketing managers if they are not already.