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Modern B2B marketing: part art, part science

I like the idea that the modern marketer needs to be part artist and part scientist but I can’t see them coming together in one person, any more than a web designer and a web developer are ever the same person.

The skills need to evolve so that people can decide which is the role for them. This is not to say that a single person cannot express an opinion about both roles, but they cannot really play them because, honestly, a good content person is unlikely to be good at the detail in data, or should try.

At this early stage in the development of the ‘new’ marketer, each person should make sure they understand both roles, because both are needed to get a perfect result, but over time, the industry will enable specialism. Then, individuals need to be honest about which role suits them best; a good content person should not be wasted on the science of tracking, performance and analytics and conversely, a scientist is unlikely to have the skills to generate amazing content.

And both individuals need to be really good these days. There are people out there generating amazing B2B marketing content, which reminds me of the heyday of the advertising industry in the late 1950s. And in analytics, some of the tools now available mean you can track prospect engagement from initial click right through to contract signing, but many of them are expensive and bloody hard to use.

I imagine you can guess where my sympathies lies; I’m a content guy and I am happy to mentor anyone who demonstrates the talent for coming up with and developing great ideas. When I look at the people who work for me, what that means is they are challenging me daily to keep reviewing what makes a great idea.

So, let me repeat: if you claim to be both artist and scientist, you are probably neither.


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