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Marketing Analytics in Business and the MBA

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Analytics are invaluable in marketing decision-making, but many firms lack personnel with the skills needed to compile the data and leverage this information. According to the CMO Survey, a biannual report that provides insight into the field of marketing, marketing analytics are used to make 37.5 percent of business decisions—but only 1.9 percent of firms have the people in place to measure, analyze, and use the marketplace data. McKinsey & Company recently found that 36 percent of executives report that they lack big data specialists. Not only that, McKinsey forecasts that 1.5 million more managers and analysts with analytical skills will be required by 2018.

According to Christine Moorman, a senior professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the founder and director of the CMO Survey, “More firms are using quantitative tools to demonstrate the long-term impact of marketing investments.” And an MBA could be part of the solution for meeting this growing need.

Marketing Analytics and the MBA

Many top-tier business schools have recognized the marketing analytics gap and have begun to offer MBA courses and concentrations focused specifically on this area.

For example, at Fuqua, MBA students have the option of concentrating their studies with six courses in market analysis and strategy. This concentration—which includes courses in data mining, market intelligence, and strategic modeling and business dynamics—is designed for students interested in careers in marketing strategy consulting and marketing analytics.

The school also offers an additional concentration in decision sciences, which teaches MBA students how to apply and use analytical tools to make decisions. Courses include “Information Management,” “Data Analytics for Business,” and “Forecasting.”

Meanwhile, at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MBA students can take courses specifically geared toward that school’s marketing analytics concentration. The curriculum is focused on how statistics can be used to analyze and interpret results in economics, marketing, consumer behavior, and more. Courses include “Data-Driven Marketing,” “Pricing Strategies,” and “Digital and Algorithmic Marketing.”

As for Emory’s Goizueta Business School MBA students, 5 percent of the Class of 2015 was employed in a marketing analytics function thanks in part to that school’s marketing analytics concentration. This concentration includes 10 courses such as “Marketing Analytics Consultancy,” “Analytics for e-Markets,” and “Decision Modeling.”

And these are just a few of the schools and MBA programs offering a specific focus on marketing analytics, and the offers are growing to meet employers’ needs. Northwestern Kellogg School of Management offers a Data Analytics Pathway; Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School offers concentrations in both marketing and quantitative analysis with courses specifically dedicated to marketing analytics; and NYU Stern offers a business analytics concentration with a marketing career emphasis.

The CMO Survey

Other findings from the CMO Survey:

  • In the upcoming year, there will be an increase in the outsourcing of marketing by 5.1 percent—the highest increase in three years.
  • There will also be an overall increase in marketing budgets. Since August 2016, marketing budgets grew by 6.7 percent, and they are expected to increase another 8.9 percent next year.
  • Social media spending will continue to grow. It currently accounts for 9.8 percent of marketing budgets but is expected to increase to almost 31.9 percent for B2C companies.
  • Mobile marketing spending will increase from 6 to 13 percent over the next three years.
  • Spending on digital marketing is expected to increase by 13 percent over the next year, while at the same time, spending on traditional advertising will fall by 2 percent.

The CMO Survey is a biannual survey sponsored by the American Marketing Association, Deloitte, and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Initiated in 2008, its is one of the longest-running surveys dedicated to the marketing field, garnering insight from 349 top marketing executives in its most recent administration.

Fuqua Professor Christine Moorman founded the CMO Survey and also acts as its director. Her influence and Duke’s partnership with the survey also brings in MBA fellows from Fuqua to act as consultants and research assistants. For this most recent survey, three fellows participated in its authorship:

  • Shiwani Kumar: A second-year MBA student at Fuqua, Kumar works as a strategy and operations consultant, helping CPG and retail companies use analytics to drive their marketing strategies.
  • Caroline Vincent: A first-year MBA student at Fuqua, Vincent is interested in behavioral economics, talent development, and brand building.
  • Sylvia Yang: A second-year Fuqua MBA student, Yang is a strategy and operations consultant with interests in consumer behavior theory and analytics.

For more information about the CMO Survey, who participated, and their role, visit the about section of the survey website.