The marketing field draws in professions from all backgrounds and Santo Ligotti used his data analyst knowledge to not only explore but conquer. He offers insights on how he changed gears from numbers to creativity.
I actually came to marketing from a statistics background. After completing an undergraduate degree in statistics and a graduate degree in Information Science, I started my career in database marketing in a data analyst role. At the time, this was still in its infancy, but the financial institutions were very much at the forefront; I spent my early days doing analysis and predictive modelling. From there, I grew into more senior consultative positions providing analytics advice to internal client groups-all focused on understanding the client and their needs.
Starting in financial service helped prove to me how important data is and how that should form the basis of understanding your customers. I`ve always had a passion for understanding the customer - it`s so important to frame any problem or opportunity through the customer lens - is what we want to do the simplest and most effective thing we can do?
After completing my MBA part-time, I left that role to take on a broader marketing role that encompassed all critical areas-acquisition, retention, PR, digital, and brand. For me, my biggest challengewas trying to determine what industry would be the best fit for me and additionally, how would I be able to use my analytical background effectively in what I considered a more creative space.
First focus on the client. Marketing provides a canvass by which we can experiment with constant testing and iteration. It involves constant collaboration with all areas of the business - both internal and external, that are singularly motivated to improve the client experience. I love being able to straddle both the creative and analytical side of marketing where I can make informed decisions about how best to connect with customers on an emotional level and remembering always that each relationship is unique.
Being ahead of what's next in technology shows a continued commitment and engagement with the client and technology has always played a role in growing marketing efforts. What's important for marketers is to stay abreast of all the technologies that the consumer is facing and demanding. Embrace the change and see it as an opportunity to be even more connected with customers.
The biggest piece of advice I would say is to take the time to understand what you really want to do; what's your passion, what motivates you and take that to a job that will allow you to thrive. Also, take risks, if you want to be the best marketer, it may mean you need to step away or spend time if you can in other areas of a business that will help you develop a stronger sense of what it means to be a client of the company you are working for. It will not only broaden your skills but also broaden your mind.
I was part of a restructuring that resulted in my job being eliminated. What I learned from that experience was that you should never let it define you. It's usually a blip on a long career path that always results in new opportunities.
I like people who want to know as much as they can, but at the same time that have a self-realization that there is an opportunity to understand more or understand it differently - someone who is curious yet humble. Stay engaged; keep up with the industry, volunteer if you can, read, and continually try to learn.