Making Sense Of Modern Marketing: Advice From Everette Taylor Gary Parkinson December 18th, 2015 Modern marketing is a rapidly evolving field. As an organization expands into new territory, it relies on their marketing teams to facilitate that growth in whatever capacity delivers results. According to Everette Taylor, a marketer has to become a great multitasker.Everette is the founder and CEO of Millisense - a marketing firm that understand the value of data science. Everette has built a reputation as a strategic, data-driven marketer who helps brands use analytics to refine their marketing campaigns and achieve business objectives.We asked Everette to share some of his thoughts on the evolving nature of the marketing industry, and to let us know what advice he gives new marketers who are building their reputation in the industry.SL: What is your definition of a modern marketer? How has a marketer’s role changed in 2015 compared to ten, five, or even two years ago?Modern marketers are more versatile than ever. They understand the importance of analytics and how to use data to grow their companies. They are savvy with technology and social media. They are familiar with automation, experienced in product development/management, embrace testing and conversion rate optimization, and deliver a must-have experience to their customers/users.The role of the marketer is constantly changing, especially within startups where they are expected to be more tech savvy than ever (which includes knowing how to code). Traditional marketing just doesn’t cut it anymore. In the past, marketing decisions were made more subjectively. In today’s environment brands expect ideas and growth experiments to be backed by data and reasonable hypotheses along with key performance indicators (KPIs).The modern marketer must be open-minded to continuous learning and humble enough to understand that growth requires a team effort. As marketing evolves with new technology, organizations must recruit talented people with various areas of expertise to remain at the top of the game.SL: Analytics and data science are innovating the effectiveness of marketing. What is the role of data in modern marketing and how can it increase brand awareness, conversion rates, and overall growth?Data rules the world in modern marketing and everything you do as a marketer should be backed by some type of data. Data helps teams strategize and develop purpose for campaigns by creating content based on the interests of targeted users. For example, a marketer can increase inbound traffic to a website but that traffic yields little value if there are no conversions. Data helps marketers identify what types of content appeal to their audiences, which can increase rates of conversion as well as retention. These kinds of insights are invaluable for teams with high growth targets.Begin by defining which metrics are important to your brand and will help quantify the success of your campaigns. Some of the common goals shared by numerous marketing departments are increased brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and measureable growth for the company. Once you establish your goals, develop a plan to achieve those goals. This typically requires research into your target audience, your competitors, and trends within the industry. Compile this data and experiment with different types of content that provide unique value for end users but also help you achieve your goals.Measure the effectiveness of your content and your campaigns by reviewing the analytics, the activity on your social channels, and your search visibility. Consistent discipline with data helps you track progressive growth and ensures you are satisfying your ideal users. Satisfied and successful users drive the most powerful form of marketing - word of mouth.SL: Data-driven marketing helps marketers build audience profiles, which inform the types of content created by an organization. How does the end consumer impact the campaigns or strategies executed by marketers and the return on those campaigns?All brands ultimately want the same thing from end users - sales. As a marketer your challenge is to put yourself in the shoes of your consumers and relate to your organization’s product or service from an outside perspective. How have existing customers engaged with your brand? Was there a particular piece of content that convinced people to convert? Your analytics can help you answer these questions. Once you figure out what that desired outcome is, you can use this to add creativity to your marketing campaigns and also set KPIs to determine the success of your experiments towards these users.Build a profile of your ideal customer using data like the amount of time spent on a page, click-through rates, and bounce rates. These numbers tell you about the behaviour of your customers, their openness to learn about your product, the value they see in your content, and most importantly, their willingness to advocate for your brand. The data will naturally impact your strategy to acquire more of these types of users. By building a profile based on the habits of your existing and promising users, you can acquire better leads at a lower cost and increase conversion rates.SL: You’ve established a successful career built on a reputation of hard work, dedication, and authenticity. How important is it for modern marketers to establish character traits like trust and credibility, not only to boost their own reputations but to accelerate growth for the brands they represent?For one thank you, that’s very humbling. Secondly, this is a tricky subject. Make sure that your company’s brand is already trustworthy and credible before even thinking about your own reputation. The company always comes first.The reason this is a tricky subject is that growing your personal brand and publicly displaying your character can be good and bad. Some companies prefer a marketer that’s more behind the scenes and not necessarily so visible. I know that because my personal brand is very authentic, which includes being honest and upfront about issues I’m passionate about. This isn’t an ideal position for every company. As both a marketer and business professional, I stress that you calculate the pros and cons of growing your personal brand. Some of the best marketers I know are relative unknowns.That being said building a great personal brand around trust and and credibility can be extremely advantageous for you as an individual but also for any company you represent. I work mostly in tech and startups where people are notoriously skeptical of marketers. Bringing that proven credibility and track record to the table is invaluable.From the growth perspective, it allows you to leverage certain channels that other marketers are unable to do. Building an audience around your personal brand - if done right - will only help increase the exposure of any brands associated with you. Building your own brand will encourage other marketers and potential customers to trust your opinions and expertise.SL: You’ve been quoted in publications like Forbes Magazine discussing the challenges facing millennials in the modern marketing sphere. In your opinion, why do organizations automatically expect millennial marketers to be “multitalented?”The short answer is that it's almost 2016. More people are earning college educations and becoming technologically savvy in a job market that is more competitive than ever before. I don’t think it’s just marketers but business professionals in general - everyone is expected to be cross-functional. I think the expectations are higher in startups where you are expected to contribute so much more but bigger companies are slowly adopting the same mentality. Marketing is evolving and as a millennial you have to be on top of your game and constantly challenging yourself to learn new things.SL: Would you call yourself as an influential marketer? What advice would you give to creative artists with aspirations of thought leadership and influence?Seth Godin, Sean Ellis, Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin, Ann Handley, Noah Kagan, Andy Johns, Gary Vaynerchuk….even Kris Jenner (laughs) - these are the type of people I think about when I think of influencers in marketing. I still have a long way to go in my opinion to get to that level of influence, I think I’m on the right path and I’m confident I will get there eventually. My consulting rate might have just went down with those previous statements (laughs) but I’m being honest.As far as those with aspirations of thought leadership and influence, my advice is to be yourself. Always be conscious of the fact that a positive image goes a long way but still be yourself. Humble yourself, don’t think certain things are beneath you. I try to take advantage of all branding opportunities I can, whether big or small, to grow my influence. One day I may be in Forbes, the next day on a little known podcast. You have to get your name out there because that’s part of how you develop a skill/talent to build your personal brand.SL: Finally, what are your thoughts on the future of marketing? What do you believe will be the next innovative solution to transform the industry?Marketing will continue to get more and more technical. I believe that one day it will be standard for marketers to have engineering backgrounds as well. Data will continue to drive marketing and those who aren’t analytically savvy will struggle to keep up. Don’t forget creativity, which will always be the key to marketing.I think we’ll see email, content, and other CTAs become more personalized as we learn to collect more data. We can use these insights to anticipate the wants and needs of our ideal customers - remember to build that profile. I think you’ll see some traditional marketing tactics like direct mailing and out-of-home advertising become prevalent as the digital space becomes more and more competitive. Mobile will continue to scale, especially as millennials spend exorbitant amounts of time on their phones. Video content and live streaming will become even more popular and the smart marketers will take advantage of this trend. Of course social media will continue to evolve marketing while brands become even more creative with their content.As far as the next innovative solution for the industry, my answer is vague yet simple . I think tools that help automate marketing tasks, tests, and campaigns will allow marketers to devote more time towards creating quality content that increases awareness and engages with users.