Posts tagged ‘marketing’

The science of marketing

Before I started typing, I checked the Category as “rambling” as I don’t know where this post is going, but I was thinking while driving home this evening (always a dangerous prospect). My conclusion: marketing is no longer an art. Marketing is now a science.

Back when I was at UBC, I obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts (English & Art History). And while marketing was not even on my radar at that point, I never considered myself a man of science. I mean, I always enjoyed Science Fair projects, but I really was not a fan of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc. Math was something I dreaded going to. The benefits of Science at UBC, was the 432 and some of the beer gardens.

When I got into marketing, I was focused on the copy writing, communications, branding, programs, and the like. I have been calling it “extroverted marketing” now for several years… though this is mostly to differentiate it from the “introverted marketing” that I was doing over the past 5+ years. Introverted marketing is the product marketing, market requirements, technical specifications, product road maps, and the like.

In conversations with my father-in-law (an Engineer), marketing has always been second fiddle to a man of science. We were the ones that wrote the “spontaneous quotes” to feed the executive team. Science was what made the world go round. But at some point in the past few years, marketing has become a science. I don’t know the exact moment it tipped, but it has.

This really hit home when I was reading a very good post from ClickEquations called “The Economics of Quality Score”. In this article Craig Danuloff wrote:

So What Is Quality Score Worth?
Knowing this is how cost-per-click is calculated, we’re able to determine the specific impact of any quality score on your cost-per-click.

And therefore the exact cost or savings from any single-digit increase or decrease in your quality score.

Yes that’s right – we can tell you the specific change in your CPC that is due to the quality score you’re getting for each of your keywords.

For example, your QS=10 keywords are enjoying a 30% CPC discount as compared to if they were QS=7 and in the same position. And your QS=4 keywords are paying a whopping 75% premium for their position.

This excerpt was followed by a very good analysis of the importance of quality score and how it can dramatically impact your paid search marketing activities. Check our the piece for sure…

But here I was, a self-professed math-o-phobe, reading with interest the statistical analysis of quality score. This is, of course, on top of the bi-weekly Marketing Experiments webinars on landing page optimization. More science.

Every day, I am pondering the stats and metrics of my assorted paid search campaigns. What gives?

You see. Marketing has changed. It is no longer an art. It is a science.

What does that mean to the world at large? Well perhaps the next marketing recruits will no longer be coming out of the art schools. Perhaps agencies should be scouring the Physics and Math departments of university campuses. I don’t know… maybe they already are?

Years ago, I was brought back to UBC by the Arts Undergraduate Society to talk to 1st and 2nd year students in a session called “Beyond the BA”. The focus was on what a person could do with an Arts Degree. Of the other panelists, I was the only one to go out and get a ‘real’ job. The rest had gone on to a technical program (BCIT), onto Education [when in doubt, teach], or onto Law.

The advice I had for the students at the time was that it was OK to go out and learn business on the job. Use your BA as an opportunity to learn how to learn, how to communicate, and how to synthesize. These traits would be useful wherever life takes you, and at the time this took me into the marketing of software.

But in hindsight, seeing at where marketing is at presently, perhaps the advice I should have given was this. If you want to be a good marketer, forget about studying English and Art History as yours truly did. Go out and look at the hard sciences and learn to do research. Think about the math programs so that you could discover the next formula for optimization. Be a scientist. And with it, you will become a better artist.

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March 26, 2009 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

Dreambank.org launches a marketing dream

I attended the official launch party for Vancouver-based Dreambank.org tonight. Congrats to Dawn Bowles and her team for turning this dream into a reality. In their words…

DreamBank.org is about helping dreams come true and doing it in a way that helps the planet and important social causes. Instead of giving gifts that, although appreciated may not really be wanted, with DreamBank you contribute to someone’s dream. As well as helping fulfill a dream, your contribution helps spare the planet some of the nasty side effects of manufacturing and packaging unused gifts. Plus your gift automatically generates funds that are given to important social causes.

What intrigues me about this opportunity as a marketer is one that may not be self evident, but it was a driving force behind Stepcast when I was running this circa 2001. The concept of a wishlist or gift registry (which, when you distill it right down, is exactly what Dreambank is… but with a social conscience) is a marketer’s dream. If marketing is about getting a customer’s attention and getting them to raise their hand, this is what happens in the registry.

Consider a few of the most recent dreams that you see posted on Dreambank. Andrew Halt posted his dream/raised his hand and said he wants to go “heli hiking in the rockies”. I wonder what Canadian Mountain Holidays would pay to be able to contact Andrew? I assume that their marketing budget is pretty standard and that they would be willing to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 per lead. After all, they are doing search marketing for phrases like “heli hiking” [sorry… I clicked on your ad, but I’ve linked to your site, so hopefully you can forgive me]. In Andrew, the marketing effort is done. Now all they have to do is nurture the relationship over a period of months (or years) and then they will have a customer.

Then there is Rebecca Bollwitt of Miss604 who dreams of the bright lights of Vegas and BlogWorld. I wonder what they spend on their marketing budget trying to convince people to come to their conference? Do you think they want to do everything they can to help Rebecca (or her friends and family) make her dream come true?

In any case, the concept behind Dreambank is solid. I don’t know where the longterm vision holds for enabling this (if at all), but it really could become a marketer’s dream.

NB. For those interested, they prompted all of us who attended to add our own dream. I was initially going to try for something simple and realistic, but instead I opted for something more unlikely. But one can dream.

July 11, 2008 at 1:19 am 1 comment


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