How to Build a Rock-Star Marketing and Analytics Team

​Having the right people in place to leverage marketing analytics is a persistent issue for today’s chief marketing officer. ...

​Having the right people in place to leverage marketing analytics is a persistent issue for today’s chief marketing officer. According to TheCMO Survey(February 2019), marketing’s investment in training and development reached a five-year high as companies grappled with how to cull insights from customer data and hone marketing strategies. Finding the right talent can be tricky, and companies struggle with determining the right combination of technical skills and data expertise needed, as well as how to most effectively utilize these talented professionals.

With marketing jobs evolving into a hybrid of art and science, new titles like, “marketing data analyst,” are cropping up. The ANA Data Analytics Center (DAC) suggests that an ideal marketing analytics team is a mix of leaders who act like orchestra conductors and hands-on specialists who stay on top of technologies. They describe these five key roles as essential players:

  • Director of Data Science and Analytics

  • Data Translator or Storyteller

  • Data Scientist

  • Market Researcher

  • Systems Integrator

Director of Data Science and Analytics

This is a leader, capable of drawing insights from disparate threads. Strategic, curious, and creative, this role drives strategic business decisions, sets KPIs, and is the liaison to the C-suite and department leaders across the business. The astute recruiter will seek a candidate with a background in data science, but also someone with an entrepreneurial mindset and an interest in rolling up their sleeves and staying on top of developing technologies.

Data Translator or Storyteller

This individual (sometimes also known as business intelligence specialist) has a gift for simplifying the complex and connecting data to business requirements and future impacts. They can converse with product and subject matter experts, and present insights to decision makers. It’s helpful if a translator has enough expertise to pull their own data in a pinch, and they should certainly be capable of manipulating statistics, reports, and dashboards to support the needs of others.

Marketing Data Scientist

This role is responsible for developing predictive models, gathering competitive intelligence, and measuring campaign effectiveness. At the entry level, it could include digital marketing and web analytics that form the base of understanding consumer behavior. Senior candidates will have strong tech backgrounds, be savvy with data models, and likely have prior experience as a junior analyst.

Market Researcher

This function has long been part of marketing, but today’s consultants will have experience in social media, brand equity, and will be capable of diving deep into understanding consumer behavior. People formerly with advertising or digital agencies typically do well in this role because they bring broad views from different markets and are skilled at serving as a liaison for multiple brands.

Systems Integrator

Sometimes called a data engineer, this professional is well versed in both technology and data science. He or she can speak the language of DevOps and software developers. Bringing this role on as part of the marketing team helps to ensure that technology tools are implemented properly and data quality is high. We’re seeing increasing demand for this role as marketing teams become more dependent on data to accomplish their mission. Candidates with this hybrid background can be a rare find.

Because marketing and analytics are still in the process of blending, we expect more new roles and companies to modify the team composition. If you’re just getting your team off the ground, beginning with consultants can be a wise option. Consider bringing on a seasoned consultant to serve as your founding team member or use consultants to fill those specialist roles.  

You may be better served by having a clear vision for your team over seeking people that fit specific requirements. Don’t underestimate the importance of an individual’s soft skills and how they’ll fit into your culture. A rock-star team isn’t a solo act; it’s about how all the players come together.