No, marketers don’t have to be data scientists, too.

by | May 8, 2018 | Data-driven cultures

I‘d love to say that cognitive dissonance is something I rarely experience as a marketer, but if this was one of the most-tweeted quotes at Marketo’s annual Marketing Nation Summit, my head is about to spin once again. (Suggested listening: You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive )

An effective marketer today has to be a technology generalist, data scientist, and own the customer experience.

—Steve Lucas, CEO, Marketo

WAIT… So if marketers like me are really expected to be technology generalists, data scientists, and owners of the customer experience, when will I ever have time to actually do marketing?!

The truth is, I’m a marketer. I can’t do all those other things on my own while still doing my day job.

Now, I don’t disagree with Steve Lucas’s statement. It’s true that we’re expected to play many roles at any given time, but marketers shouldn’t be playing ALL of those roles. That’s why we work closely with colleagues who are the real technology experts, data scientists, and UX designers.

So what happens if you combine the other hot topic of the Marketing Nation Summit (data!) with this notion of teammates with diverse skillsets working together to achieve a marketing goal?

You get the recipe for modern data teamwork — the marketing edition.

Again, it’s easy to see why so many people at the Marketing Nation Summit so readily agreed with the idea of marketers-as-data-scientists. But if we don’t take responsibility for fixing modern data teamwork in marketing, we remain stuck in the cycle of believing we have to do everything by ourselves.

Personally, I love getting to work with other smart people like data scientists and UX designers who always broaden my thinking and make our projects better. Don’t you?

When you experience the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, you experience modern data teamwork in action.

Now, before you run back to the office to start incorporating modern data teamwork for marketing, you should know that keeping data and context close together throughout the process can be difficult without sound practices in place at the beginning. (Read the Manifesto for Data Practices to get a primer on modern data teamwork.)

Your team’s ability to practice modern data teamwork can mean the difference between a marketing campaign’s success and failure. With so much on the line, it should be no surprise that effective marketers seek out their data colleagues for help.

If you’re a marketer, know that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Say thanks to the data folks who help you bring great experiences to your customers.

If you’re a data professional, do your marketing colleagues a favor: ask how you can help them learn more about customers or products with data. They’ll appreciate it.

If you’d like to see how other marketers use data.world collaborate in context, get to work faster, and extend their wins, schedule a demo with us.


Big thanks to my colleague Andrew Duff for inspiring me to write this after returning from the summit and sharing his knowledge with me.

For additional reading, here are some other suggested recaps of the Marketing Nation Summit:

Customer Obsession, Analytics & ABM Take Center Stage at the Marketing Nation Summit | Demand Gen Report

17 Quotes to Inspire Fearless Marketing | LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog

Marketo Might be Saving the Soul of Marketing | Mighty and True blog

What if you empowered your marketers the same way you do your data scientists? Collective Data Empowerment makes data-driven marketing easier to achieve.

Read how to awaken your hidden data workforce of marketers with this complete guide.