Kelvin Chong is a manager in the transactional services division at Robert Walters in Hong Kong.
My company has just splashed out on a new analytics software package and we’re all being trained on how to use it effectively. I’ve never been a technical person, and have worked my way up to a marketing management position based on my gut feelings rather than spreadsheets full of numbers – this approach usually serves me well. However, it seems like the marketing industry is increasingly looking to analytics to make decisions. If I don’t keep up with analytics technology, am I going to fall behind? How can I become more of a “tech person”?
One of the biggest developments in the 21st century is the exponential growth of digital technology. As it becomes part of our daily lives, it becomes increasingly integrated with every facet of an organisation’s operations. It is fair to say that all professionals in the corporate world need to keep up with technology.
Mostly, technology has improved business strategies. The marketing function used to suffer from an inability to demonstrate ROI, but analytic tools have solved this problem. Marketers can now use technology to generate their own data and produce the reports necessary to support decision-making. The ever-growing popularity of social media, e-commerce and mobile apps also means that more consumer activities are moving online, which will further increase the importance of analytics.
As such, it is particularly important for managers to use technology effectively. While I am sure you have the skills, knowledge and experience that a marketing professional needs, it’s often necessary to present your work to people from various backgrounds – who may hold different views from your own.
This is when technology comes in handy, as you can use data and reports to support your stategies and gain buy-ins. Technology can also help you evaluate the success of campaigns being rolled out and identify areas for improvement.
There is no single route to becoming more of a “tech person”, as everyone learns things in their own way. You should find the most effective way for you to acquire new skills – some people prefer going to classes, some prefer watching videos, while others opt to read manuals and guides. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at using the software without any prior training. As the old saying goes, “practise makes perfect”, and spending more time using the software will help you adapt to it.
It is always painful learning to use a new form of technology, especially if you are not tech-savvy. However, most case studies show that analytics software can help you streamline your work and increase productivity and efficiency.
Focus on the positive side of being a “tech person” and try to appreciate the fact that technology is here to assist your work – and your profession. This change in mindset will help you embrace this new technology more.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Do marketing managers need to be tech-savvy?