Marketers must be able to combine their creative instincts with an ability to interpret data, an expert has argued.

According to Julia Porter, Board Director at Origin Housing, not all marketing professionals are “thrilled by data”, but they nevertheless “have to be comfortable using it.”

This, she said, is important because marketers are increasingly being expected to demonstrate how well individual campaigns are performing.

“Marketers really need to understand how data works,” she observed.

Speaking this week at Marketing Week Live, Ms Porter suggested that in this digital age, marketers need to have a grasp on four main areas.

These, she said, are leadership, functional skills such as customer relationship management, data literacy and channel skills.

“Marketers need to be unicorns – they need right and left brains, to be creative and competent with numbers,” Ms Porter commented.

She added that by combining these four disciplines, marketers can create a varied portfolio of activity and become a well-rounded person.

Luis Navarrete Gomez, Head of Global Search Marketing at Lego Group, also singled out data literacy as an increasingly important attribute.

He pointed out that while there will always be a skills gap, many people in the industry do not actually come from marketing backgrounds.

“It’s important to utilise this,” he said.

Mr Gomez added that the ideal marketer should be someone who feels “comfortable with data but at the same time is creative enough to not lose focus.”

Lego: Marketing is about more than creativity Marketing Week