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Analyzing Analysis: What Marketers and Developers Can Learn From Each Other

Good marketers know there’s far more to crafting a good campaign than simply finding the right message. Place, time, engagement: any one of these variables can mean the difference between a successful effort and a failed one. Now, it’s possible for marketers to track every part of a customer’s buying process – and that can result in an avalanche of data to analyze. Although there’s more information than ever before regarding a campaign’s performance, it can still be incredibly difficult to ascertain exactly why an initiative succeeded – or why it didn’t.

Strong analytical skills are invaluable when you’re designing marketing campaigns. Metrics can define conversions and goals with real, mathematical evidence, so you can compare campaigns based on the bottom line. In that sense, marketing can turn out to be much more scientific than artistic – and when you take an analytical approach, you can help your customers see exactly what kind of return they’re getting with your company, as well as new ways to optimize their investments.

Sharing Knowledge for Smarter Marketing

So, what can marketers learn from people with a background in software development? The short answer: a lot. Every marketing channel involves software, and that involvement is only going to grow. (Sure, there will still be direct mail pieces and outdoor billboards, but now, those physical channels aren’t nearly as powerful as an online presence.) Similarly, as long as marketing continues to integrate with the Internet, data analysis – a tool developers use every day – will continue to play a large role in marketing. Analyzing the results of a campaign will allow to you use that data to make an objective decision next time, rather than base your success on intuition, or what you and your client are already comfortable with.

There are a few problems with a completely analytical mindset, though. People with a background in software tend to look for the purest, most correct answer when solving problems. Sometimes, this can result in an over-engineered solution that’s too late to stand out or make a difference. Fixing this is simple: Getting closer to the client and understanding his needs and goals can help you discover the right strategy faster.

Collaboration from Both Sides

Not every marketer has a software background, of course. But there are still ways to share strategies from both disciplines to make an even better product for your clients. For example, marketers occasionally write up software requirements and expect developers to create a product that fits, but this rarely works, unless the marketer has in-depth knowledge of the latest software techniques and tools. To help bridge that gap, it’s better to have a common ground of client-approved specifications that play into the client’s marketing goals and story, so marketing and development have common ground to build from.

It’s rare to find someone who crosses over from software engineering to marketing, and vice versa. But that doesn’t mean that your developers and marketers can’t begin to bridge the information gap in your company and begin to build a smarter, more integrated process. Find out what a knowledge-sharing session for your two departments can accomplish for your clients and your business. It just may make the difference between a good campaign and a great one.