Marketing Analytics Skills: Differentiating Good from Great Marketers

An up-and-coming marketer recently asked me, "Which skill or tool should any marketer work to strengthen themselves on? What will be the crucial capability set for the marketer in 2021 to differentiate and grow an organization?"


While it may be tempting to think about growth through nascent platforms like TikTok and their competitive clones, the most important skill for the modern marketer is a deep, operational expertise in marketing analytics infrastructure.



When Is The Right Time To Think About Marketing Analytics Infrastructure?


The younger the company is, the more important it is to get marketing analytics infrastructure properly implemented. The time to figure out bespoke needs and build properly is around the time of a Series A and certainly no later than a Series B financing round.


Those companies that wait for maturity often realize an uncomfortable truth--they are too big to implement the processes and structures needed to accelerate their business AND marketing is seen as a cost center and not a profit driver.


Early Stage Companies Have To Fight a Different Battle to Win


Early stage companies tend to have less money than their entrenched competitors. As a result, they can't spend as much on paid marketing and they certainly can not scale this acquisition channel until confident in their marketing analytics.


Marketing Analytics Skills Replace Costs


When an organization hires the right marketers early on, they save significant resources on expensive analytics tools and wasted spend. The smart marketer knows not to let perfect get in the way of "good enough" and can set up systems that give management confidence that money is invested well.


Free Google Analytics, lightweight Chartio or plot.ly dashboards, and a well-governed campaign ID system is all that is needed--assuming it is implemented thoughtfully and with durability. Eye-tracking tools, heatmaps, and the like are not necessary to give the team its foundational growth launchpad.


Marketing Analytics is a Product Marketing Skill


Early product marketing hires need to have more than email and CRM skills. The best product marketers skills' reach deep in to the analytics framework. Being able to pull out insights from limited data and translate them to winning product concepts is an undervalued skill on the marketing team.


The marketer that starts with diagnosis and ends with prescription finds increasing organizational traction. It's actually quite simple to do and simply requires intellectual curiosity and pattern recognition.


For example, segmenting traffic between search intents, browsers, languages, and internet connections reveal a treasure trove of product marketing insights to push performance forward.


In marketing and life, new things are silver and old are gold. Focus on the foundational, time-tested elements to survive in 2021 and beyond.




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© 2020 by Evan Waters