In order to progress in their careers, marketers must embrace their creative side but also “truly embrace” data as they are expected to demonstrate ‘unicorn’ qualities.
Speaking on at Marketing Week Live today (8 March), Luis Navarrete Gomez, head of global search marketing at Lego Group, Julia Porter, board director at Origin Housing and Liz Curry, business planning and process manager at Comic Relief, agreed that marketers need to focus more on data and the technical side of the business to progress.
“There will always be a skills gap but many people in the industry come from non-marketing backgrounds and it is important to utilise this,” said Gomez.
“[Lego is] looking for someone with functional skills, who feels comfortable with data but at same time is creative enough to not lose focus.”
Porter believes there are four key areas marketers need to focus on in a technological age. These include leadership, functional skills such as CRM or ecommerce, channel skills and data literacy.
“Marketers need to be unicorns. They need right and left brains, to be creative and competent with numbers. That way you end up with a portfolio of activity and that turns you into a well-rounded person.”
The comments are in contrast to those made by Direct Line’s Mark Evans and Zoe Harris, from Trinity Mirror, earlier in the day. They both said marketers must avoid getting “bogged down in data”.
Yet Porter said that with changes to how marketing operates, including a shift to zero-based budgeting, marketers now more than ever have to demonstrate how a campaign is resonating with its target audience, meaning data is even more important.
“Marketers really need to understand how data works. Not everyone is thrilled by data but your have to be comfortable using it,” she explained.
However, Comic Relief’s Curry said marketers should not lose sight of what it is they want out of their career and to ensure that their passion matches an organisation’s.
“It is important you think about what you enjoy. There is no point trying to make yourself a data scientist if you hate maths or statistics. It’s important to look at what an organisation needs as well as what you need,” she explains.
- Marketing Week Live continues tomorrow (9 March) at Olympia in London and there is still time to register to attend. Simply visit www.marketingweeklive.co.uk for more information.