At a time when brand and agency leadership are coming under scrutiny from every corner of the industry, The Shipyard has introduced a new model, incorporating teams of marketing engineers. The intersection of data science and creative insights can be difficult to execute, but is critical. In fact, according to a recent study from Walker Sands Communications, slightly over 40% of US marketers said their company’s strategy is driven today by a mix of both creativity and technology.
“CMOs are consistently being pressed to prove the ROI on digital, eliminate inefficiencies and manage complexity,” said Rick Milenthal, CEO of The Shipyard. “Brand leadership needs data, strategy and ideas to navigate toward success. Marketing Engineering is our approach to ensure their job is ‘future proof.’”
The model, called Marketing Engineering, is a more rigorous and forward-thinking approach to building powerful marketing solutions through the application of tools and techniques. In a departure from traditional agency protocol, The Shipyard’s creative talent work hand-in-hand with data scientists as a cohesive unit of “marketing engineers” to reinforce their 3Ps model—prediction, personalization and performance—that are essential ingredients for campaign success in today’s increasingly data-driven marketplace.
“The Holy Grail of personalization requires marketers to engage in a dialogue with millions of people in order to figure out which messages actually resonate or are likely to motivate or persuade,” said Dave Sonderman, chief creative officer of The Shipyard. “This is a completely different approach to extract rich, real-life insights. Using advanced data techniques to find out what a million customers are doing, or what they believe in, is much more actionable than dissecting the comments of 12 disparate—or, worse, the same—people in a focus group.”
The Shipyard beta tested the Marketing Engineering model for over two years and is now implementing it at full scale, as the need for marketers’ performance continues to intensify. At last month’s ANA “Masters of Marketing” Conference, coverage included hot-button issues that ranged from data privacy to the opaque digital media supply chain. This led to animated discussions amongst attendees during sessions such as one entitled “Fire your CMO.”
The marketing engineers of The Shipyard give the CMO a shot in the arm by boosting the impact of brand advertising; leveraging tools and methods that revolve around creative experimentation and providing deeper predictive insights into the stimuli, which influences purchase behavior. The net effect is braver marketing strategy, providing essential fuel for creatives to experiment, and for analysts to create a more dimensionalized view of how customers perceive a brand.
“Marketing today is clearly not reaching its full potential,” added Milenthal. “In order for it to become mission critical for all companies, it needs to change drastically.”
In their quest for deeper and richer data, marketers often struggle to tell their brand stories, while rightly trying to balance first-party and independent sources of data and technology with creative agency input.
“An overreliance on either side of the data or creativity proverbial coin is the quickest path to failure,” said Milenthal. “Instead, both must learn to live harmoniously without one being sacrificed for or detracted from the other. This is where Marketing Engineering has proven so critical and our team of Marketing Engineers are poised to create great value. By always pushing against each other, and challenging one another, we ultimately come together with the best solutions for our clients.”
For a copy of The Shipyard’s white paper on Marketing Engineering, click here.