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Marketing Career Focus: Customer Insights

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Each of these Career Focus posts will cover a specific track or specialty track within the MS in Marketing degree program that can lead to the acquisition of many, if not all, the skills needed to successfully enter the career under discussion.

Indeed.com is a good job search site because at a glance it shows you average salaries, years of experience for many mid-level positions and a job count, as well as locations. I looked at 10 to 15 customer insights job descriptions from major companies and frequently mentioned skills at such employers as McDonald’s, PepsiCo, American Airlines, Match.com and others. However, there is NO substitute for doing your own searches and analyses.

What does a customer insights employee do? Customer insights is an emerging area for marketing professionals who are not modelers, statisticians or data scientists. They often work more on the analysis and recommendation side of the profession. One who can connect the dots and tell stories — unlike most data scientists, who have never taken a consumer behavior course so often lack the connect-the-dots abilities needed for this job.

Shopper insights is a sub -category of this field that is heavily used by consumer-packaged-goods companies such as Conagra, Kimberly Clark and Procter & Gamble. A profusion of jobs now included under the heading of customer insights includes “customer experience” openings. However, customer experience is NOT to be confused with user experience, a different field that will be covered in a digital career discussion.

Forrester Research describes customer insights employees as… “Professionals who capture, manage, analyze, and apply customer knowledge to help your business win, serve, and retain customers. To succeed, you must capture customer data from all sources and manage it across customer-facing systems and functions as well as analyze it to obtain actionable insights and apply it to the business.”

MS in Marketing Customer Insights Specialty Track

Core Courses (15 credit hours):

MKT 6301 Marketing Management

MKT 6309 Marketing Research

MKT 6310 Consumer Behavior

MKT 6339 Capstone Marketing Decision Making (spring semester) or MKT 6350 Competitive Marketing Strategy (fall semester)

OPRE 6301 Statistics and Data Analysis

The following three Marketing Analytics and Customer Insights core courses (9 credit hours):

MKT 6323 Database Marketing

MIS 6324 Business Analytics with SAS

OPRE 6332 Spreadsheet Modeling and Analytics

Customer Insights Focus (four of the following courses—12 credit hours):

BPS 6360 Management and Organizational Consulting

MKT 6321 Interactive and Digital Marketing

MKT 6334 Digital Sales Strategy

MKT 6336 Pricing Analytics

MKT 6338 Enterprise Systems and CRM

MKT 6341 Marketing Campaign Management Lab

MKT 6342 Marketing Customer Insights Development

MKT 6343 Social Media Marketing and Insights

MKT 6352 Marketing Web Analytics and Insights

MKT 6V98 Marketing Internship (1-3 credit hours)

MIS 6344 Web Analytics

MIS 6372 IT Services Management

MIS 6380 Data Visualization

Average years of experience and salary average: Three to five years for a manager-level position with a salary range of $70,000 to $115,000. Note that compared with many other jobs, the lower end of the pay scale is in the $70,000 range, so someone working for large company or agency who has three to four years of experience can be in the $90,000 range. If you have no work experience, the skills listed below are the ones you need to get as a junior analyst in order to become manager within three to four years.

Typical customer insights job description (from a McDonald’s posting for a “Customer Insights Analyst”)

Key responsibilities include generating and analyzing reports for key stakeholders. Ideal candidate will go beyond reporting ‘the numbers’ and deliver analyses that also report ‘the insights.’ The Analyst will query databases to retrieve quantitative and qualitative customer feedback information for short and long-term trend reporting, as well as new product launch analysis. Feedback is analyzed primarily using Excel and presented in PowerPoint. This person will help manage requests for insights reporting that derive from various departments, regional/divisional offices and suppliers, and will work closely with Manager to prioritize the requests.

Top skills listed and courses the Jindal School MS in Marketing program offers that address many of the frequently mentioned skills employers seek. (Note: There is not a course for every skill; for example, Cognos Analytics is not taught at JSOM.)

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting

Courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Critical thinking and business analysis: Connecting the dots to actionable consumer initiatives. Storytelling (see recommended book)

MKT 6310 Consumer Behavior

MKT 6342 Marketing Customer Insights Development

MKT 6339 Capstone Marketing Decision Making

or MKT 6350 Competitive Marketing Strategy

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting & courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Knowledge of scanner, demographics, market research and shopper data and tracking (Nielsen), data vendors

MKT 6310 Consumer Behavior

MKT 6323 Database Marketing

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting & courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Techniques used in scanner data analysis are covered in MKT 6337 Predictive Analytics using SAS

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting & courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Market research and proficiency with data analysis software: SPSS, SAS or R and Surveys (Qualtrics)

Knowledge of retention and loyalty analysis

Business Intelligence tools (Cognos, SAS)

MKT 6309 Marketing Research

MKT 6323 Database Marketing

MIS 6324 Business Analytics with SAS)

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting & courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Excellent oral and written presentation including data visualization (Tableau, Cognos)

MKT 6342 Marketing Customer Insights Development

BPS 6360 Management and Organizational Consulting: Theory and Practice

MIS 6380 Data Visualization)

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting & courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Advanced proficiency with Excel (pivot, what if, solver) and SQL

OPRE 6332 Spreadsheet Modeling and Analytics

MIS 6320 Database Foundations (Note: This course currently is not included on the Customer Insights track, but you can take it anyway.)

Top skills mentioned by at least 10 major companies with this job title posting & courses of special relevance. See the syllabus for each course for relevant skills, as not all skills are taught in every course.

Web and social media analysis

MKT 6352 Marketing Web Analytics and Insights

MKT 6v99 Special Topics in Marketing Web Analytics. It is not MIS 6344 Web Analytics, which covers other areas, such as pay-per-click.

MKT 6343 Social Media Marketing and Insights

Popular Books on Customer Insights (consumer insights, critical thinking, storytelling)

Beyond Big Data: Using Social MDM to Drive Deep Customer Insight, by Martin Oberhofer, Eberhard Hechler, Ivan Milman, Scott Schumacher, Dan Wolfson (Upper Saddle River, N. J.: IBM Press, 2015)

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping — Updated and Revised for the Internet, the Global Consumer, and Beyond, by Paco Underhill (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2009)

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini, (New York: Harper Business Revised Edition, 2006)

Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting, by Victor Cheng (Seattle: Innovation Press, 2012)

Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals, by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons, 2015)

Critical thinking can mean many things to many people, but often those who think they don’t need it are the ones who need it most. This can include otherwise smart people who have a blind spot in this area. Every single member of the Jindal School’s Marketing Advisory Boards tell me that finding recruits who are software proficient and can generate routine tasks, such as regressions, is relatively easy. However, finding someone who can think critically and “tell a story” is extremely difficult, they say. The table below came from an article that summarizes “critical thinking” skills. Many Jindal School MS in Marketing courses teach these skills, but the MKT 6342 Marketing Customer Insights Development course was developed just for this purpose.

Source: www.oceansofdata.org

Certifications: There are no major certifications specific to customer or shopper insights listed in the job postings analyzed or that are in demand by industry.

Professional Associations: There are none in the DFW area, but there are groups that touch on important areas for this profession, such as data visualization. One worth attending is the DFW Data Visualization & Infographics meetup group.

National groups — mostly for Consumer-Packaged-Goods Shopper Insights:

LinkedIn: Shopper Insights and Brand Experience

For Shopper Insights: Shopper Insights and Retail Activation

Source: www.Indeed.com

Source: Glassdoor.com


Alex Edsel

Alexander Edsel is the director of the MS in Marketing program and faculty member who teaches courses in digital marketing. Topics include e-commerce platforms, marketing automation, mobile apps, search-engine optimization, pay-per-click and web analytics Read more articles

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