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What makes a truly great marketer?

What makes a marketer stand out among her or his peers?

Is it technical skill?
Results?
Political acumen?

No. While all these are valuable traits, they are not what separates the best from the rest.

The best marketers I’ve worked with all have the same personality trait: curiosity.

They constantly ask questions.
They constantly seek knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
They constantly refuse to accept things at face value.

They are detectives.
They are explorers.
They are scientists.

Today, the curious marketer can indulge their curiosity with more affordable, accessible tools of investigation than ever before. IBM’s newest addition to the Watson family, Watson Social Analytics, lets the curious marketer explore 2 years’ worth of data around Twitter, forum posts, and reviews to see what people are saying about you (among other analyses):

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Unlike its namesake, Watson does the heavy lifting, allowing you to be the investigator, the detective. All this power is useless, however, if you are not curious. If you do not ask questions of your marketing data, if you don’t wonder why something looks the way it looks, then the tools will not help you.

For example, Watson Social Analytics comes with 9 prepackaged analyses. The average marketer will simply scroll through them, pluck out one or two insights, and move along with their day.

The curious marketer will look at the dataset and load it into the Explore module so that they can ask even more questions of it – and in Watson Analytics, you literally ask questions by typing them in. “What is the trend of share counts by month?” or “What is the relationship between Share Count and Followers?” are examples:

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Get in the habit of asking questions and you’ll find insights no one else is willing to look for. You have the tools. You have the talent. Do you have the curiosity?

Disclosure: I am a member of the IBM Futurist program, but am not compensated.


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