By Heather Baker
With the wealth of data now accessible to marketers and PR professionals, and sophisticated tools with which to carry out measurement and reporting, it’s time for marketing to be recognised as a scientific discipline built on hard facts and figures and not a dark art based on hunches and lunches.
I’m an advocate of this science of marketing – or, rather, of the need for greater recognition of marketing as a science. There is a growing tide of feeling in our profession that marketing can be monitored and its impact calculated; but there are a worrying number who resist this notion. For some, this would require a re-categorisation of a discipline that has been ticking over just fine without strict rule and measurement. In short, some marketers are scared of being put to the test against transparent, objective measures. For the rest of us, this is an opportunity to prove our worth – and the value of our work – to the clients we serve.
A crucial factor in this process is data analysis. There are a number of online tools at marketers’ disposal which enable them to survey the digital landscape, measure the impact of marketing activities, and adapt their campaigns for maximum results. Many of these tools are free to use, such as Google Analytics. With precise metrics to cross-reference against the execution of PR and marketing tactics, it’s now easier than ever to test their efficacy. Different permutations can be tested and results monitored in order to develop the best performing campaign. Marketers can experiment knowing that they will not be doing so blindly, and that successes can be replicated.
Similarly, decision-makers in companies that employ in-house marketing experts or outsource to agencies can see where their budget is going and what ROI has been achieved.
Decades of psychological study and market research can be brought to bear on the development of marketing strategies, helping marketers decide which tactics will work best with a particular audience. Differences of culture and gender will form the basis of audience mapping, and further research around influence, behavioural change and persuasion will inform the development of target personas as well as the design and execution of tailored campaigns to engage them.
For more information on the many factors which influence the way audiences engage with brands, including the use of images, personas and the principle of reciprocity, read this blog series on the science of marketing.
About the author
Heather Baker is the founder and MD of TopLine Communications, an integrated video production, B2B PR, social media, copywriting and content marketing agency in London. She edits three blogs: http://www.smallbusinessheroes.co.uk , the B2B PR Blog and the B2B Guide to Social Media.
About the company
TopLine is a B2B digital marketing company in London. It provides a fully integrated digital marketing offering that includes video production, video animation, social media, digital PR, B2B PR, and SEO services.