Fifteen dash eleven ninety-nine dot ten.
I had to look twice. Music rose to a dramatic crescendo that quickly segued into “I have a Golden Ticket” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
It was true.
Marketing is now a STEM Career.
The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System rarely brings joy. They’re a way to codify employees based on their job duties. The US Department of Labor releases revised standards biennially, but even HR professionally rarely use them unless writing grants or for specialized reporting.
But now, six digits provided joy and a reason to call my mother.
“15–1199.10 — Search Marketing Strategists. Employ search marketing tactics to increase visibility and engagement with content, products, or services in Internet-enabled devices or interfaces.”
The “15-” Occupational Classification is a space inhabited by technical roles: information security analysts, telecommunication engineering specialists, geospatial information scientists, biostatisticians, and thirty-one flavors of computer technologists…..
And… a marketing role.
For marketing practitioners, this isn’t news; it is validation.
Data analysis, the scientific method, and behavioral sciences are inherent to the modern marketing skill set.
- Conversion rate optimization is testing using data and the scientific method to create marginal improvements compounded across a system.
- Marketing automation is applied behavioral science where we preempt conversations and transactions by considering nuances of demographic and psychographic sets.
- Content Marketing is an exercise in psychology, sociology, and epistemology. How do groups or individuals react to specific stimuli on specific platforms?
There will (probably) always be a place for the hard drinking, fast talking, agency marketer mad men that sell jingles and mascots. But they are being replaced by the more diverse digital-first marketers that guzzle cold brew instead of gin. These folks sit in front of a monitor and stress the nuances of a canary yellow “Click Here” button over a goldenrod “Try Now” link.
For now, most of the other marketing titles remain in the “11-”s and “13-”s. They languish next to operational staff, sales roles, and communications professionals. But someday, they too might be pulled over and recognized for the role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play in the daily life of a marketer.
Until then, I have some biologist and data scientist to act smug towards. STEM Careers have a new office-mate.
Come with me, and you’ll see, that marketing is part of STEM Education…