No aspect of business remains unaltered by analytics.

Analytics has transformed organizations' ability to understand, predict, and shape how customers experience their brand. But the real business value lies in continually improving that interaction. And that requires more than analytics.

Marketing must engineer a shift in mindset, talent, structure, and leadership. Marketers must evolve or fail.

If you still rely on a few mathematically inclined team members to "do" analytics, it's not enough. As a marketer, you can no longer be either creative or analytical. You must be both if your marketing is to be successful.

The marketing landscape today requires you to fully apply analytics, and to do that, both executives and their marketers have to modernize almost everything they know and do.

That realization is causing pain and disruption for many in marketing. I know; I've felt it firsthand. The good news is that a successful shift to this mindset is possible.

For example, the marketing organization I lead has a new mindset. It also sports new talent, a new structure, and a new leadership style, but change wasn't easy. We needed to enhance the visual and creative side of marketing by embracing a data-driven and analytical approach. That required a radical retrofit of the way we operated and our skill sets. We had to rethink how we were organized and how leaders could guide this new kind of analytical marketing organization.

Data and analytics at the core

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image of Adele Sweetwood
Adele Sweetwood is vice-president of Americas marketing and support at SAS. She is responsible for directing interactive marketing plans and investments with a focus on increasing and protecting revenue.