As a marketing pro, you know how tough it can be to capture the attention of potential clients and keep them. There are more than 10,700 digital advertising agencies in the U.S., giving business owners a lot of options. So, if you want to stand out, you need to be more than an expert in digital marketing. You need to be an expert in marketing science.
If you’ve spent years promoting your agency as the go-to for all things digital marketing, this can be a hard pill to swallow. But the fact is the landscape has changed. To be successful, you have to position yourself as a true marketer—who happens to love digital marketing.
Why Digital Marketing Expertise Isn’t Enough
No marketer wants to hear that their digital marketing expertise isn’t enough. I get it. You’ve likely put a lot of effort into studying proven frameworks, staying on top of trends, and even recruiting top talent for your agency. And chances are, that effort has paid off. However, having an agency adept at digital marketing won’t bring you to the pinnacle of success—not without marketing science savvy.
- Digital marketing has been around for a long time.
Although digital marketing has evolved, it’s not a new concept. The history of digital marketing spans more than 30 years. In fact, the term was introduced back in 1990, around the time the first search engine (Archie) was launched.
In short, everyone knows about it by now. And many agencies are doing it. Unfortunately, that means your digital marketing know-how isn’t anything novel or unique.
- Business owners get digital marketing (for the most part).
Today’s business owners are more knowledgeable about digital marketing. Of course, they don’t necessarily have a clear grasp of it. And there are still plenty of marketing misconceptions out there. But research shows that 47% of small business owners handle their marketing efforts themselves. So, it’s fair to say they get it—more or less.
In most cases, potential clients aren’t impressed by an agency’s ability to handle social media, implement SEO tactics, manage paid advertising, etc. They’ve heard it all before. Even if you can do it better, that may not be reason enough to outsource to your agency.
- Marketers have to work extra hard to earn respect.
DigitalMarketer’s own Mark de Grasse has talked about how marketers don’t get the respect they deserve, and it’s true. As marketers, we have to work harder than other professionals to demonstrate our worth and prove we know what we’re doing. Claiming digital marketing expertise—even if you do have it—just won’t cut it. You need to have broad marketing knowledge and use marketing science to back up your recommendations.
- Tools and tactics change, but the principles of good marketing don’t.
As touched on previously, digital marketing is constantly evolving. New tools and channels are constantly being introduced, resulting in new tactics to adopt. But if you focus too much on what’s changing, you lose sight of what doesn’t. Being on top of every new “shiny object” doesn’t matter much if you can’t follow the principles of good marketing. And that only comes with an understanding of marketing science.
What Do We Mean by Marketing Science?
Many believe that marketing is both an art and a science. And they’re right. But for now, we’re focusing on the latter. After all, it’s the piece of the puzzle your digital marketing agency is likely missing.
There are several different takes on marketing science out there. But when we talk about it, this is what we mean…
Making Decisions Based on Data—Not Guesswork
Those who embrace marketing science know that data is key. That doesn’t mean a marketer’s knowledge and experience should be tossed aside. However, data should play a critical role in decision-making.
Leveraging data just makes sense.
- It allows us to see what’s working and what’s not.
- It provides valuable insights that help us answer tough questions.
- It ensures we’re making the right decisions for each client.
Science-driven marketers are skilled at compiling, analyzing, and interpreting data from various sources. They apply their findings accordingly, using facts and figures to support their choices. As a result, they can serve their clients better—and with more confidence.
Applying Techniques from Other Disciplines
Digital marketing can be bolstered by other practices. Science-driven marketers know that. They see the value in disciplines like psychology, sociology, economics, and neuroscience (the last of which is combined with marketing to create neuromarketing). That’s why they look at research from those disciplines to see what they can leverage. Then, they apply techniques to make their marketing efforts even stronger.
Conducting Well-Designed Experiments
Experts in marketing science realize that experimentation is essential to improvement. After all, you can’t ensure the best result if you don’t do some testing first. So, they conduct experiments using the scientific method to determine if their initial choice (or hypothesis) is correct.
The most successful marketers tend to be those who are constantly testing. On a granular level, they create different variations of assets, analyze the data, and make improvements as needed. They view every test as a source of valuable information and use it to their clients’ advantage.
Using Technology Wisely
True marketers who understand the science side use technology to their advantage. They don’t get hung up on every new tool that arrives on the scene. Instead, they conduct in-depth research to create a marketing technology stack that benefits them and their clients.
At the most basic level, they find technology to assist with the following:
- Data tracking
- Keyword research
- Model building
Although most marketers understand the importance of marketing technology in serving their clients, scientific ones don’t suffer waste. They only invest in tools that will enhance their efforts. And they strive to get the most out of each one they use.
Taking a Holistic Approach to Marketing
There are many different facets of marketing—social media, paid advertising, SEO, email, copywriting, web design, etc. But science-savvy marketers don’t see them as individual pieces. Instead, they view them as parts of a much larger whole. They know that each one contributes to a business’s online presence.
That’s why they take a holistic approach.
They ensure consistency in all assets across all channels, connecting them for maximum impact. Every part is working together to promote the client’s business. More than that, every team member is doing the same.
How Marketing Science Yields Success for Agencies
When you’re an expert not only in digital marketing but also in marketing science, you position your agency for success. It helps set the stage for being known as unique and smart.
- You can frame your agency as an authority in the space.
- You can demonstrate your understanding of marketing as a whole.
- You can encourage your team to start thinking about the big picture.
- You become more strategic in marketing for each individual client.
- You can provide proof that your efforts are yielding results.
- You can gain a competitive advantage over tactical marketers.
Ultimately, it doesn’t just make your agency better. It makes your agency appear better to current and potential clients.
These days, digital marketing expertise isn’t enough to stand out from the crowd. If you really want to take your agency to the next level, you need to embrace marketing science. You need to show you have what it takes to build a business, develop a brand, and achieve long-term results. By convincing clients you’re a true marketer who offers digital marketing services, you’ll have an easier time acquiring and retaining them.