Marketing Is a Science, Not an Art

Data Comes First

Dr Philip Kotler defined marketing as, “The science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market as a profit” (2001-2012)[1].

Kotler’s juxtaposition of science and art suggested that an equal weighting between these 2 components was necessary to achieve marketing aims.

However, in today’s data saturated world, marketing is becoming increasingly recognised as a scientific pursuit at heart.

Fuelled by the big data revolution and the rise of predictive technologies, marketing as a science demands that marketing departments adopt a data-driven, integrated and experimental approach. Art is no longer science’s equal.

Below, the Think Beyond experts explore these 3 tenets of a scientific marketing approach and outline how your business can make the most of the science of marketing.

If you’d like to speak with one of the Think Beyond marketeers direct regarding your business strategy, call 01625 682110.

Marketing as a science: 3 key tenets and what they mean for your business

1. Data comes first

It may seem obvious, but any marketing action should be founded on data.

Want to know whether an email campaign can generate profit? Look at your data. Want to know when you should post on social to maximise revenue? Look at your data.

At a strategic level, your marketing plan and business plans should be keenly guided by accurate data insights into your buyer personas, past performance and a firm understanding of your macro environment through PESTLE and SWOT analysis. Thomas Buckley, Director at Arctec Group Ltd adds “Using your data in Marketing (and all other areas) has the power to reveal the truth, and remove suspicion and gut feeling. If you embrace your data, use it in key decisions, then you will get to where you want to go, faster!”

Be prepared to continually invest in research and consider strategically partnering with a business consultant on your data discovery and analysis to gain the most accurate and objective results. A business consultant will ensure that your research is transparent, unbiased and brings considerable outside expertise to help you both interpret and manage your insights.

2. Customer journeys can be empirically tracked and modelled

In our digitally driven, data-filled world, customer journeys can be tracked across multiple touch points and audiences segmented to a granular level. In this respect, marketing closely resembles an empirical science and shares with the sciences of psychology and sociology a desire to find and understand patterns of behaviour and the motivations behind these cycles.

The rise of predictive marketing technologies and clever automation integrations allow marketeers to make the most of buyer patterns. Predictive analytics combine the latest in AI machine learning with past data to predict which marketing actions are most likely to succeed at a given point in the sales cycle. Smart automations when integrated with a CRM can take the guesswork away from lead scoring and offer truly personalised messaging to make prospects feel like they are being addressed one-to-one. This is the science of nurture.

3. It is open to experimentation

Marketing, at its core, is open to controlled experimentation.

A good marketeer is also a good scientist and someone who is prepared to test and retest hypotheses to gain acute insights. The value of experimentation lies in turning these insights into actionable, profitable actions. Want to know which content will generate the most customer engagement? Conduct A/B testing. Launching a new product or service? Conduct qualitative research to influence key decisions such as brand name. Here, science moulds art and the creative process.

The art of applying science to your marketing strategy

Science, not art, drives marketing. Yet there is a certain artistry required to marketing as science.

Inaccurate data, biased readings, poorly defined audience segments and experimentations without hypotheses represent just some of the dangers of ill-applied marketing science.

Partnering with a qualified business consultant on your marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to adopt a marketing as a science approach that works for your business. As recognised experts within their field, consultants bring to the table considerable business acumen and an impartiality to data collection and analysis that internal teams lack. A consultant’s knowledge of best practices and vast experience in latest innovations means that they can help steer your predictive and automated solutions. Furthermore, a consultant will support and guide your experiment methodologies, helping you to gain actionable insights that ultimately translate into business profit.

Think Beyond is a marketing management consultancy with a proven track record in delivering business solutions. Our team of consultants work with senior management teams on all facets of business strategy and are happy to discuss any aspect of your marketing development.

To speak with one of our qualified advisors, call 01625 682110.

Alternatively, you can request a call back by completing our online enquiry form.


  1. Kotler Marketing

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