Data Science and Marketing: The New Wave of Scientific Marketing Blogs: Data science has transformed the meaning of marketing at Yammer. Through data scientific measuring and testing, Yammer’s team of data analysts and marketers work together to grow a product that is based on actual user value and engagement. By creating and enhancing features that are specific to the user experience, Yammer has the ability of creating a virtual workspace that is intuitive.

To understand the importance of data driven marketing and the fundamentals of how it is used at Yammer, Director of Analytics, Peter Fishman and Data Analyst, Vincent Yates spoke candidly in regards to the importance of this methodology:

Q: What is data science and what skills are needed in order to become a data scientist?

(F) Data science is the intersection of data analysis: procuring, cleaning, and formatting data.

To be a data statistician, you’ll need the statistical skills of Nate Silver, the programming skills of Mark Zuckerberg, and the product vision of Steve Jobs. It’s a rare skill set to have. Collectively, we use analytics and advancing models to evolve the product and drive the way we market it to real people.

Q: Which scientific approaches do the marketing and analytics teams use to help Yammer become ubiquitous across the world?

(V) Yammer’s primary way of spreading is through virality, meaning our user base is our marketing department.  We depend on the fact that our users invite their peers because they are getting real value out of the software on a regular basis. The more peers who use Yammer together, the more value each user gets.

The marketing and analytics teams work together to identity and utilize any marketing channel that will attract the right type of users- people that will voluntarily adopt and benefit from the software and who will invite their friends and colleagues.

Q: How does analytics measure the effectiveness of Yammer’s marketing campaigns?

(V) We not only monitor how well the marketing campaign performs in the short term (I.e. click-through rates), but we also gauge how it impacts a user’s behavior within the product- an indication of the value they are getting out of Yammer. We do this by measuring “engagement,” a series of metrics that assess how a user uses the product differently after seeing the marketing campaign. For example, we observe how often they return to the product and what features they interact with. This way, we can evaluate the campaign from a more scientific and user-focused perspective.

Q: Do you believe there is a correlation between current user engagement and predicting future usage trends of Yammer?

(F) Yes, we believe there is a correlation and it is proven in the data. It’s interesting that as we track and measure engagement, we see more features that are aimed at improving those numbers. We sort the things we do as a function of the things that we track. At every step, we ask ourselves “will this actually encourage the users to use the product?”  The key is to change the mindsets in some sense.

Q: Where do you see data driven marketing in the future?

(V) A lot of companies are doing more clever things with data. Some are targeting behaviors and delivering ads that are modeled towards consumer behavior. Through segmentation and clever prediction, companies are able to generate more specific ads. The missing piece to this methodology is measuring the actual change in behavior and adjusting accordingly, frequently, and quickly.

At Yammer, we focus on engagement- something we are good at. We are actually able to quantify the precise impact of anything and everything we do at Yammer- every feature, every design, every marketing campaign. Through experimental design, we have the ability to improve and enhance the product iteratively based on real user experience and behavior.

So what makes this all unique? Simply, the vitality of data science and marketing together has allowed us to build and market Yammer around the actual value a user gets out of it. As Fishman would say: “To achieve and build up towards value, there must be a transparent system… in which we are able to market, measure, and be as effective as possible.”

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