I've always been creative (every child is). But I've also always loved math (yes, math). In 6th grade I actually tallied up the stat lines for our fantasy basketball league myself, using a newspaper (pre-internet) and a TI-85 calculator (pre-iPhone). Then in college, I even chose my first major based off my creative skills and love for math. But after two years at the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University, I realized that it was actually too design based and lacking the engineering I had expected. I wanted more math. I wanted more data. That's when I found the perfect career -- Marketing.
Marketing and advertising have always been stereo-typically creative fields (i.e. Mad Men's Creative Director, Don Draper). But today, great marketers are more than just creatives, they're analytical as well. Today, marketers have to thoroughly enjoy digging into the data and tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) on a weekly basis. In order to be a successful marketer in the digital age, you need to track campaign effectiveness from the top of the funnel through the sale.
And now, there's a new marketing buzzword sweeping the nation: Big Data. According to smartdatacollective.com, "big data refers to our ability to collect and analyze the vast amounts of data we are now generating in the world." Now, with big data, marketers can start analyzing and utilizing information earlier in the sales process, before suspects even enter the funnel.
For example, have you read the story about how Target figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did? Or how President Obama's 2012 campaign used big data to rally individual voters? Both are examples of how "marketers" analyzed the vast amounts of data available to them to target specific audiences and then persuade them to act in accordance to their organization's goal. And both are examples of how, today, marketing isn't just about being creative. Today:
Marketing = Creativity + Data