While many view traditional marketing as an art and some view it as science, the new school of thought is looks at it as engineering.
Several forces are transforming nature, scope, and structure of the marketing profession. Today, marketers are seeing faster changes in the marketplace and are barraged information. As a profession, marketing evolves beyond relying exclusively on conceptual content to drive decisions and actions. Concepts that have been honed by experience will always have a role to play in marketing. “But 21st century marketing requires more systematic analyses and processes,” says Arvind Rangaswamy, anchel prof of marketing, The Smeal College of Business, Penn State University, USA.
Rangaswamy was addressing a workshop that aimed at better understand the new concepts and analytical tools for teaching/training tomorrow’s marketers organised by K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research. The workshop was attended by educators, corporate trainers and working professionals. During the workshop, Rangaswamy covered traditional areas of marketing analytics as well as emerging aspects of analytics for online, mobile, and social media. He also gave insights for managing and exceeding customers’ expectations. Being one of the pioneers of the subject of 'Marketing Engineering' (ME), he provided an in depth overview of each of the power tools of Marketing Engineering for Microsoft Excel.
Much of marketing resembles design engineering like putting together concepts, data, analyses, and simulations to learn about the marketplace and to design effective marketing plans. “ME has got nothing to do with collecting, sanitising or organising data but it tells you what to do with that data,” said Rangaswamy.
Speaking about the importance of not only collecting but also using data, Rangaswamy provided examples of successful companies. “Amazon has been collecting and using data from the start, not just addresses and payment information but the identities of everything ever bought or even looked at,” he said adding that while other companies do that, too, Amazon’s doing something remarkable with theirs. “They’re using that data to build customer relationship,” he said.
ME helps people/ businesses make better use of market knowledge/statistics in making decisions. It is a balance between judgment, intution and analytical data. “This software helps students learn the value of analyticals in different areas after which they apply these to real projects and products,” said Rangaswamy adding that ME is a tool to help people think about marketing in a different way. “It aims to drive management thinking and to prepare students for different types of market situations,” he explained.
In the end, the goal is to link theory to practice and practice to theory. “It isn't about a software or the amount of market data, the idea is to train marketing engineers to translate concepts into context-specific operational decisions and actions using analytical, quantitative, and computer modeling techniques,” he concluded.