First off, they’re some of the most needed marketing elements in nearly every industry. Secondly, you’ll never keep up in these key areas without a substantial amount of data and the ability to make sense of it.
Undoubtedly the ability to effectively gather, make use of, and present data is useful in many fields today. But there’s one additional point that makes marketers with data chops particularly well suited to do their own analytics: all the data chops in the world don’t matter if you don’t know what data to gather, and what data is important. Here’s where the first-hand experience of marketers becomes extremely valuable when coupled with data science tools. Marketers have knowledge of what metrics matter, where to obtain metrics that matter, and industry knowledge of stakeholders, KPI’s, and value for clients.
With that said, there is undoubtadly value for marketers that know data science. But the question is, how much data know-how is necessary?
What Marketing Role?
First, we’ll need to distinguish between marketing roles. Copywriters need to be data literate to obtain feedback on their content, same with those in public relations, user experience, and so forth. Depending on your role as a marketing analyst, you could be compiling reports, and setting up data pipelines. This is to say that while most marketing roles benefit from at least a level of data literacy, not all need data experts. Below are some common marketing roles with the level of data expertise necessary for those roles in contemporary marketing organizations.
Marketing Specialist – Data Literate through Data Expert
Social Media Manager – Data Expert
Search Engine Optimization Specialist – Data Literate through Data Expert
Email Marketing Manager – Data Expert
Web Content Writer – Data Literate
Web Producer – Data Literate
Product Manager – Data Literate through Data Expert
Marketing Analyst – Data Literate through Data Expert
Advertising Coordinator – Data Literate
Advertising Manager – Advertising Coordinator
Public Relations Manager – Data Literate
Brand Manager – Data Literate
Media Buyer – Data Literate through Data Expert
Chief Marketing Officer – Data Literate through Data Expert
Digital Marketing Manager – Data Literate through Data Expert
Digital Marketing Director – Data Expert
eCommerce Manager – Data Expert
Data Literacy Vs. Expertise
While almost all marketing positions deal with processing data into information in some form, there are many components of a solid data-driven process that require greater expertise. Establishing data pipelines, data warehousing and storage, large scale data mining, data cleaning, online analytical processing, live data, and business activity monitoring tools (just to name a few) are often matters that need to be created and monitored by data experts. Where most of a data literate team may interact with these data sources in more user-friendly formats — like online dashboards or spreadsheets — data experts help to establish the information systems and policies themselves, playing a much more crucial role for many organizations.
Data Scientist in Marketing vs. Marketing Data Analyst
A good case study of the difference between demand for data literate versus data expert employees can be seen in comparing marketing data analyst roles vs. data scientists who work in marketing. Just looking at salaries, the average marketing data analyst salary in the United State is $53,993. The average salary for data scientists working marketing is $93,146. Data scientists performing marketing data analysis are paid almost twice as much as marketing analysts without as extensive of a data background. That’s because data analysis is truly only part of the job. Greater statistical, querying, scripting, scraping, cleaning, warehousing, and training skills are needed in truly data heavy jobs in marketing. All aspects of the data pipeline are necessary prerequisites for solid analysis of marketing data. Unless you obtain data from external parties, or have another branch of your business generating your data for you, marketing departments have continued to embrace the need for well rounded data experts among their ranks.
How Data Scientist Skills Align With Marketing Positions
To hone the link between a variety of marketing job descriptions and data science more, lets take a look at a common data science toolkit and how it pairs up with marketing jobs. While marketing-centered expertise and experience is necessary as well, many marketing positions are centered around what are essentially data science skillsets.
Common skillset of Data Scientist
Exploratory data analysis
Generate prescriptive insights
Selection of Methods and Metrics for reporting to a variety of stakeholders
Training of Employees to understand important data and data use
Aiding Management With Data Pipeline
Common Marketing Positions Centered Around Data Science Skills
Exploratory data analysis — Brand Manager, Digital Marketing Director, eCommerce Manager
Selection of Methods and Metrics — Brand Manager, Media Buyer, Chief Marketing Officer, SEO, Advertising Manager
Training of Employees to understand data — Digital Marketing Manager
A/B Testing — UX Manager, UX Designer, Advertising Manager, Social Media Marketer, Media Buyer, eCommerce Manager, SEO, Email Marketing Manager
Aiding Management With Data Pipeline — eCommerce Manager, SEO, Email marketing manager, Social Media Manager
Where to Learn Data Science Skills For Marketing
While many quantitative degrees will offer some portion of a data science skillset, the standard for data scientists “in the wild” is a master’s in data science. There is a wide variance in data science programs, however, as some focus on singular industries (say healthcare, or aeronautics, or banking). To this aim, we’ve compiled a marketing-centered ranking of data science master’s degrees. If you’re more interested in a combination of data science, business, and marketing knowledge, make sure to check out our other rankings particularly MBA’s, Master’s in Marketing, and Graduate Level Certificates in Marketing. However you find a program that suits your needs, note the following skills are central to data science roles in marketing today.
Important Skills For Marketing Data Scientists
Scripting Language Like R or Python
Statistical or Machine Learning-Based Predictive Modeling