Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

The Importance of Data in Marketing

I came into my internship with a preconceived idea of what goes on in the marketing department. I thought that to be a marketing genius, you only required creativity and strategy (everything qualitative). I never thought that the department would use quantitative data to make key decisions about the company and department but I was wrong.

I intern at an e-commerce retail company in the marketing department doing PR and branding. When I began, I mostly worked with articles posted about us and researched about possible partners we may like to have. As the days went on, my manager told me that corporate was interested in understanding if our TV investments have been worth it (in other words payback). To do this she told me to use Tableau to pull data and analyze it. This is when it hit me. To all the marketing concentrations out there: corporate and senior management care about the numbers and the payback, pretty aesthetics are not everything!

I thought back to my experience in the second year IT class at Babson and began to apply what I had learned. Tableau gave me data on which months did best and worst in the past 3 years. Through graphical analysis, we found unusual spikes that may have given us valuable information. We looked at tableau to find the best products sold in the last year. This allowed us to understand what combination of products displayed on TV interested members most. Similarly, every morning I pull data to find the best shows that aired and most popular products. This allows my team to understand whether the show is bringing revenue or if we need to do a re-air.

Data tells marketers if what we are known for (creativity, advertisements, and aesthetics) are working or not. At the end of the day, the marketing department invests money into channels that will give the company the most revenue and in my case also members. In 2019 data is everywhere so my best advice for any concentration is to take a data class and understand how to analyze whether it is on your job description or not.