Every time I tell someone that I work as a ‘Marketing Data Analyst,’ I’m met with questions about the specifics of the job. Typically, people assume I’m a data scientist and work exclusively with code and database querying languages. While there is overlap between marketing analysts and data scientists, there are also distinct differences. As the name suggests, marketing analysts specialize within the marketing field, so engage with marketing-specific programs such as CRM and Marketing Automation platforms. The modern marketing analyst has evolved over the last ten years from a strict data-crunching role within the confines of a marketing department to a cross-functional position that influences product development and strategy decisions.
As the marketing analyst position has expanded, so has its responsibility. On any given day, I will analyze program performance using data-driven marketing and statistics tools, develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of existing programs and success of recently completed campaigns, monitor marketing trends, forecast future outcomes, highlight areas for growth and improvement, and report findings to management through text and data visualizations. Additionally, I work collaboratively with marketing team members to provide quantitative findings that support qualitative and illustrative reports and presentations.
There are a variety of tools and resources to help accomplish these daily tasks; some of those tools are available for free or freemium. Many of my responsibilities are standard for 0marketing analysts; however, specifics vary as marketing analysts work across a wide array of industries. (I.e. A conference focused marketing department might wade into statistics related to conference attendance, geography-related budgets, and the efficiency of specific caterers.)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing analyst employment is projected to increase by 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, an increase significantly faster than the 7% average for other occupations. The expected uptick in marketing analyst positions is due to the widespread adoption of analytics across all industries, creating more need to quantify and measure the effectiveness of marketing departments and their effect on business goals. The expected demand for marketing analysts thus begs the question: what traits make an effective marketing analyst?
In general, analysts are scientifically oriented, driven by numbers, data, and logic. Marketing analysts are no exception, but they also possess an appreciation for data visualization, design, and collaboration. Strong math, statistics, and analytics skills are vital to success in this role, and, although not required for all organizations, there is an increased interest by employers placed on technical skill and expertise in statistical analysis software, predictive analytics, and SQL databases. Further, effective communication is a critical function of the marketing analyst role—it’s imperative to relay key findings to colleagues and decision makers (including non-technical audiences) in easy to understand language. It is this communication that is often the basis for future department financial decisions.
Overall, marketing analysts study information to help their company and team make informed strategic decisions and optimize processes. Marketing analysts have the ability—if utilized appropriately—to positively contribute to the health and progression of a successful marketing department.
If you’re considering implementing more data-driven processes into your marketing department, download our free ebook, The Keys to the Kingdom: Making Marketing More Data-Centric, to get started.