Meet a Mutineer: Will Marks, Director of Marketing Science

When it was first announced that Will Marks was joining Mutinex, my first thought was “I wonder what a Marketing Science Director does?”

Meet a Mutineer: Will Marks, Director of Marketing Science

By Mitch King, Head of Talent

When it was first announced that Will Marks was joining Mutinex, my first thought was “I wonder what a Marketing Science Director does?” then I saw he was from Meta and thought “I know them, the Facebooks and stuff” so wanted to get a better understanding of what Will does and who he is for my own curiosity and so I could understand and be able to explain that to people I’m speaking to about Mutinex.

We have Data Science and Marketing at Mutinex but where did this role sit? In the marketing team, the Data Science team or neither?

What is marketing science anyway?

Being the investigative journalist that I am (sarcasm, I am not) I messaged Will and asked if he could spare some time to explain marketing science and how he got here.

I asked Will to start by explaining what he like I was 8 years old;

“A scientist will take observations of the world, have an idea on what caused that observation, then run tests to prove that they’re right… or wrong.

We can apply that approach to Marketing. We’re providing our users with the observations and most probable drivers of advertising performance. Our customers can then take those away and test, hopefully resulting in a better return on their marketing dollar!

Mutinex Director of Marketing Science, Will Marks
Mutinex Director of Marketing Science, Will Marks

What will the team do?

I thought our customers would have that same skill set in their marketing teams already?

“To be honest the majority of the time our platform doesn’t need the likes of me or internal analytics teams – marketers should be able to make decisions straight from the information provided. My team’s value probably comes in three places. Upfront before they’ve been brought onto the platform we help to get customers into a ‘decision making’ mindset, rather than a reporting mindset and make sure we’re capturing the right data points to drive the right recommendations. 

Secondly, we can help advertisers behave like scientists. When they’re new to the platform, we get them into the routine of running experiments to prove hypothoses and make new discoveries.

Lastly, by being close to customers we can keep our fingers on the pulse of the types of decisions marketers make. We’re feeding that back to the product team and continually evolving our offering to meet demand.

People will love to draw correlation between data based on what’s top of mind. For example, you can create a strong correlation between ice cream sales and shark attacks because they both happen in Summer but obviously they aren’t directly related”

The Ice creams and Shark attacks analogy really helped me start to understand what Will does. But then I was still trying to create a visual of where he would sit in our org chart.

“Me and my team sit between a few teams typically. A key part of our role is to protect the data science team from having to go to client meetings so they can spend more time working on our models. We help clients understand and work the through the recommendations and suggestions our models create as they are not yet used to working with a product like this. They’re used to working with consultancies”

I’m getting there, slowly. Definitely feeling more confident I can explain his role here better than I could 20 minutes ago.

Meta to Mutinex

So then my next question, why Meta to Mutinex? Just a fan of tech companies that start with ‘M’ or something else?

“ I could break it down to 4 reasons:

1. I love to build sh*t (note: not build sh*t things but sh*t in a generalised use). The opportunity here is hugely exciting. I loved my time at Meta but making impact is much harder to do in a company of their size.

2. Mutinex brings me to AI and I wanted increase my skills and gain more exposure to products utilsing AI well.

3. At this size and stage I have more exposure to key decisions. And being part of making those decisions

4. The potential growth of the equity at Mutinex. Coming in at Seed stage but with strong momentum makes me very optimistic about that value in the future”

When I heard Will talk about AI, I had to ask him if he was worried about ChatGPT taking his job:

“There is no doubt there’s a lot that chatGPT can do that’s part of my role. But I’m not sure ChatGPT is close to being able to match the ideas I come up with, WHILE doing those tasks. I’m continually looking for ways to semi reinventing our Products and Company. I’m not worried about tools like ChatGPT being able to do that yet.

I might use that next time someone asks me the same question about ChatGPT