In the 1980s, nerds were having a tough time. The geeky, hyper-intelligent, somewhat socially awkward folks portrayed in classic high school comedies like the Revenge of the Nerds series dwelled in the shadow of their arch enemies – the jocks. Nerds lived in constant fear of ending up on the receiving end of a solid beating after school or stuffed head-first into a dumpster.
Fast forward to 2015, and it’s no secret that nerds rule the world. 
Proto-nerd Bill Gates already showed the global jock community who’s boss by becoming the richest man in the world. Riding his coattails, today’s hoodie-clad elite includes technocrats such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and their Silicon Valley cohorts. Arguably some of the richest – and nerdiest – men on the planet. 

Game over, jocks!
In 2015, marketers also need to channel their inner nerd when it comes to taking their marketing initiatives to the next level. It’s all about customer data – the key to the future of marketing – and how geeky you can get with it.
So much data, so little time
Right now, marketers are facing a major challenge: Today’s hyper-connected consumers – with their always-online mobile devices – are generating troves of data at a faster and faster rate. 
Consumers fork over data such as preferences and purchase histories gladly, giving marketers exactly what they need. But perhaps it’s more than they can handle.
As we speak, the global market for big data is exploding. By 2018, it will be worth $48.3 billion according to a recent Transparency Market Research study. And to no surprise, the highest growth rates are in the storage segment, with a whooping CAGR of 45.3%. 
Now, storing the data is all very well. What’s getting harder, in the process, is mining the data for actionable customer intelligence. The kind that empowers decision makers to drive segmented and custom-tailored dialogues for long-term royalty.
Making things more complex is the fact that some valuable data lingers on the sidelines. Hidden in the shadows, like nerds in a 1980s high school cafeteria, this data remains to be unlocked and leveraged by just the right person, with just the right kind of eye.
Revenge of the (marketing) nerds
The problem is, most companies are looking elsewhere. They are relying on “digital experts” to excavate and activate the data. But only in very few cases, these digital folks are also familiar with the basic tenets of marketing.
Maybe somebody else could have a look? Somebody smart, talented, a little geeky, misunderstood, perhaps. But with expertise in both marketing and the digital realm. What the world needs to get a handle on all this data is a new type of technical genius – the Marketing Nerd! 
Marketing Nerds make all the difference by zooming in on relevant data and cracking open data silos. But who exactly are these folks? Aside from the telltale hooded sweater, personal traits of the genus marketing nerd include, but are far from limited to:
• Appetite for crunching numbers. Marketing nerds love to chomp on heaps of data and keep a constant supply flowing. This includes test runs of landing pages, newsletters, birthday mailings etc. – all used for future improvements.
• Eye for essentials. Their horn-rimmed glasses always laser-focused on the bigger picture, marketing nerds ask: Is all of this data really necessary? What’s the most relevant set? Are we targeting the right channels? And at the same time: Are we missing essentials?
• Unflinching marketing expertise. These nerds are marketers of the highest order and always keep their marketing know-how together. 
• No fear of algorithms. Marketing automation software like Selligent is the wand for marketing nerds to wield their magic. Abracadabra! Automated scoring, profiles, reports, drill-downs materialize out of thin air.
The most important asset in the marketing nerd arsenal, however, is their passion for data – the yin to their marketing expertise yang. Plus, a knack for programming languages – not expert level – also helps when it comes to transforming streams of data into heavy-hitting campaigns.
Blending their love of marketing and their love of big data, marketing nerds are at the forefront of next-generation marketing campaigns. Let them take the wheel, and they will steer your campaigns to success, targeting the right customer segments with relevant messages across all the right channels.
Calling all Marketing Nerds, your time to shine is now!
Think you’ve got enough inner Marketing Nerd to join Selligent? Check out the openings on our careers page and drop us a line:   

Image: Stokkete /

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