The marketing industry is quite an interesting one. Just consider the pervasiveness of the industry; marketing moves vertically and horizontally across other sectors, exerting its influence everywhere. The overlap of STEM in marketing is multifaceted but easy to break down. Let’s start by looking at how STEM currently applies to marketing, and then how STEM can improve marketing.
What is STEM’s Role in Marketing?
Because so much of marketing is now done digitally—from email subscriptions to social media campaigns to marketing automation—it’s easy to see how reliant marketing has become on technology. Computers, iPhones, and smart TVs are how modern consumers are gathering information about products and services, after all, and how those devices and their related software provide businesses with valuable audience data and metrics.
Modern systems such as the cloud and big data aggregators collect and store the data, which is then synthesized to help marketers understand their audiences and refine their strategies. It streamlines the process, taking out the painful middleman of having to hunt down consumers and product purchasers to take paper surveys. Data can be collected on the backend, saving marketers time and money.
Is Marketing a STEM Industry?
Of course, not every organization markets STEM itself. Sometimes, STEM’s role is relegated to the backend of marketing, where it is a vital element for successfully reaching target audiences. But, that’s not to say that there’s still a boundary separating STEM from marketing. Marketing is often viewed as part of the whole.
According to the US Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system, “Search Marketing Strategist” is a technical role, joining the ranks of computer technologists, biostatisticians, and information security analysts. While this role is just one of many under the marketing umbrella, it is a sign that marketing’s use of STEM concepts makes it so much more than a typical sales or communications role.
Amongst the duties of search market strategists are collection and analysis of Web metrics, optimization of analytics and sites, and conducting of digital marketing initiatives. As you can probably guess, such tasks are dependent upon the T and M of STEM, with technology such as computers, the cloud, and various software applied to relevant data and statistics.
It makes sense for marketing to be considered a STEM career. Despite the creativity and flexibility that the industry offers, there is also a level of critical analysis and a rigid technological structure that define daily tasks and overarching goals.