When I first began in marketing I was under the impression that it was a very creative role, much more about art than science (even though I was marketing science related products). It was one of the reasons I questioned whether I would be able to do it having spent years in laboratories. The more experience I have gained however, the more I believe it as much a science as it is an art.
In my mind, science is about testing theories, taking measurements of some sort and then reviewing data to improve your next series of tests. Well isn’t that exactly what marketing is all about? We create a campaign whether that be online, on paper, audio, video….and then we run that campaign.
The key thing is then to measure the success of that campaign against the criteria that we set at the beginning i.e. against our hypothesis. A given campaign may have been devised to generate more sales, equally it may be about raising awareness, increasing visits to our website, advertising an event. Whatever it is, we must measure the results against the hypothesis we set up at the beginning when we designed our campaign so that we can learn from it.
Peter Drucker famously said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Having measured our campaign therefore, we can now manage it with a view to continually improving it. We can perhaps improve targeting, use more engaging images, concentrate on the best channels – you name it, it can be tweaked and improved.
With social media platforms, the length of time it takes to go through this iterative process is now a matter of days, even hours. No longer do we have to wait weeks for sales data or audience figures, we can view engagement of a message in real time. It is also so easy to run multiple messages / adverts so that least performing ones can be stopped and better performing ones enhanced.
So marketing, I believe, needs a harmonious marriage of artistic creativity and scientific analysis; only then can you have a truly effective campaign that you know is working.
The Last Hurdle are business development specialists that drive SMEs towards their stated goals.