Evidence-Based Marketing Experiencing A Wave of Growth?

While news stories abound about the gradual and imperceptible movement of the U.S. economy toward recovery, it is apparent to me that there is one niche which is taking off ahead of the general recovery: services related to evidence-based marketing.

What is evidence-based marketing? It is an approach to marketing that attempts to make marketing decisions and manage marketing activities – as much as possible – based on evidence: measurements, information, facts, data. This is being fueled, I think, by two factors:
1. The data-rich experience that advertisers have had as they have immersed themselves in the world of digital marketing
2. The tremendous pressure that a down economy has placed on marketers to provide evidence that the money they spend is well-spent

As an evidence-based marketer myself, I would not have arrived at this conclusion without… well, evidence. As someone who does independent consulting between “real jobs”, I try to stay close to the job market for marketing analysts and digital marketers, in what I would call a perpetual passive job search. The number of hiring inquiries I have gotten from recruiters in the past three weeks has been amazing and is significantly greater than I observed earlier in the year – 3 to 5 contacts per week (versus 3 to 5 per month in January).

Let’s hope this leading indicator is followed by some serious actual growth!

Some other interesting facts:

– I took a look at the Google Trends data for the keyphrase “marketing analytics” and it showed a strong uptick between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. This came substantially ahead of my anecdotal increased job inquiries, but maybe it is a leading indicator. It would seem that prospective clients might research vendors and taxonomy within the field prior to actually meeting with agencies about it, and I would imagine that, as people began planning their hiring for the year and contacting recruiters, there were more searches for this phrase because recruiters want to understand the fields they are hiring for so they can market them effectively.

– Prior to this year, I have only once ever been contacted about a job at an ad agency. This was in 2005, and the agency was one known for direct marketing. Otherwise, almost all the jobs people have reached out to me about prior to this year were with either companies doing a lot of online marketing, marketing services firms, consultancies, or firms selling marketing data and market research. In the last two months, however, I have been contacted about more than eight positions with ad agencies. Most have been digital agencies, but I have had two interviews with full-service agencies known for their creative. Neither resulted in a job, but I went more out of curiosity than out of a realistic sense that they would know how to integrate someone like me into their organizations. In any case, it seemed like it would be fun to try to bring ideas from the world of analytics and measurement into a strongly creative-centric group. Who knows, maybe I’ll get another chance.

Anyway, I would love to know if any other marketing analytics practitioners out there have been experiencing anything similar. Leave a comment. Let’s discuss.