Why ‘modelers,’ the data experts in marketing technology, are so needed now

Martech expert Scott Brinker has developed a taxonomy of the roles within marketing and marketing operations. It’s known as the “5 Ms”: managers, marketers, maestros, makers and modelers. It just might be that one of those personas—the modelers—is the hottest role in martech.

“Really their expertise is around the data, and this is not just like looking at a dashboard or, you know, running a report in Hubspot or something,” he said during a recent Martech Live session. “This is like, ‘I want to be able to run my own AI models for machine learning against the different data from sales to different campaigns.’ It’s true data science work, and the people who do that, a big part of the way they think is in terms of models.”

It’s this distinction between how they think compared to other roles in the marketing team that makes them incredibly valuable, he said.

“I think a lot of us now feel like we’re citizen data scientists,” said Brinker, who in addition to being program chair of the MarTech conference works as VP of Ecosystem at Hubspot. “We kind of dabble in it when we need to, but boy when you sit down and have a conversation with someone that does that professionally for a living they are just operating on a qualitatively different level.”

A recent MarTech survey found that nearly one in eight respondents said that hiring data scientists was their top personnel priority for fiscal 2021.

“In some ways, the past decade was the age of the big data where it was all about collecting this data, and I think it’s only now, here in the 2020s, that we’re starting to really shift on a large scale to be like, ‘Okay, so we’ve got all this data now what exactly do we do with this, how do we find value out of this?’” he said. “So I think it’s going to be a lot of both innovation from the technology but also just professional growth and development in that discipline.”

In fact, one of the more recent models these experts may be called on to run is media mix modeling, according to Adidas Marketing Analytics Assistant Manager Dimos Papadopoulos, who recently spoke with MarTech Today.

These are “advanced analytical and measurement frameworks in order to understand how each channel is performing and what its contribution was during a campaign,” he said. “It is greatly researched how to measure and combine offline methods, such as online banners, stores and television to a wide array of digital data available. It is considered the future as campaigns become more and more integrated by nature.”

Watch Scott Brinker’s clip below:

The 5 Ms of marketing technologists

For a deeper look at all of the marketing technologists in the 5 Ms, here is a breakdown to keep handy.

  • Marketers – The tech-savvy, data-driven operators that perform the daily marketing functions and have the most knowledge of marketing platforms and their efficiency; 
  • Maestros – The ‘orchestrators’ of the martech stack, those who are the producers of the technology and tools in the martech department and also specialize in process; 
  • Makers – The builders on the team, usually for external audiences, building everything from websites, interactive web apps, mobile delivery, chatbots and more. Makers often work with engineers and developers, as well as IT and project management departments; 
  • Modelers – The data scientists and sophisticated data engineers that are usually in more internal-facing roles who dig deep into data and technological capabilities like running AI models for machine learning. Normally found at an enterprise level, connecting dots between martech functions and their value.
  • Managers – The position that sits above the organization of a martech team. Found at larger corporate entities, often acts as a go-between with other departments, including sales, IT and project management. 

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.

About The Author

Rodric J. Bradford is the Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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