I had a good meeting the other day with a very smart friend of mine (I have lots of friends who are way smarter than I am -- it's a secret to success). This buddy began his career as a graphic designer and is now a Brand Strategist for a well-known consumer product goods (CPG) company here in town. My intent was to pick his brain about his career -- what kind of training he needed to do his job, what did he look for in a job opportunity, what are the economics of his segment, how might one enter this segment, etc.
But our conversation, interestingly, swiftly turned its gaze towards analytics. I mentioned my interest in visual analytics and described what this field was. He was intrigued. We talked a lot about consumer marketing campaigns and how to measure their effectiveness, particularly when you start rolling social media into the mix. How do you know your marketing spend mix is optimized? How can you measure its impact when we're talking about hearts and minds?