Marketing science .. And a bit of archaeology.

Like most of my blogs they are prompted by random thoughts triggered off by events in life or meetings at work.

Today, we were discussing talent management and how we attract great people to work in customer communications or marketing disciplines, I suddenly linked the various things I have done in my life together. That might sound like a big leap, but read on and hopefully I will explain.

At school I was fascinated by stars and atoms, I thought both these “worlds” were magical, our natural senses are insufficient to understand them – and also no one subject told me everything I wanted to know.

For my first degree I studied astrophysics – which taught me all about starts (and atoms as well), it combined quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, fluid dynamics, cosmology, general relativity and many other topics.

I then came firmly back to earth and studied Archaeological Geophysics. Archaeology is a fascinating area, many of you probably have images of people scraping around in the dirt to find pieces of pot (I’m not talking about students and the lounge carpet, that’s the other sort of pot) . However archaeology is heavily populated by scientists, physicists, chemists, biologists, computer scientists and forensics to name a few. This disparate group of people come together to reveal amazing insights about our origins, combining their knowledge to identify outcomes none of them could have achieved individually.

That was when the light bulb went on. My original view of marketing was some sort of fluffy magic, combined with a bit of colouring in – probably much like many outsiders view of archaeology.

Marketing is the business equivalent of archaeology, it is probably the most multi-disciplinary function in any organisation – we have creative strategists, brand marketers, data scientists, software developers, psychologists and manufacturers of print and point of sale.

Just look at google and the technology behind its targeted advertising, both in terms of selecting what you see and also how revenue is generated from auctioning words and then all the peripherary technologies they use to learn more about you.

That’s what I like, the variety and combination of disciplines coming together to achieve really cool things none of them could do alone.

I interviewed someone a few weeks ago and asked him why he wanted to work in marketing and he replied “because its the area of business that will develop most of the next 10 years”. I think he is right , the explosion of digital channels, the opportunities presented by today’s computing power to analyse large amounts of data, the overwhelming amount of advertising we are each subjected to meaning that unless my message is really targeted you just won’t bother, make this one of the most challenging and exciting areas to be in.

So, having gone from thinking marketing was an art and therefore not worth the time of day I unashamedly say, whatever your area of interest, there will be an application in marketing, so come and join the marketing science department.