As marketers, we’ve become obsessed with dataAs marketers, our obsession with data and the promise that this so-called “silver bullet” can deliver results is misplaced. In doing so, we’ve forgotten that data is just a tool to inform decisions. Consequently, data-driven decisions are only as good as the questions that we ask of it, and the tests that we run. In the last few months, I’ve found myself engaged in conversations with more and more organisations who claim to understand how to leverage data in their marketing operations, yet fail to articulate this when pressed on the matter. Don’t get me wrong, the quest to measure marketing performance should be championed. After all, it is proof that a marketer is responsible, accountable, and focused on impacting the growth of the business. At the same time, the ability to understand how to use data is what sets the good marketers apart from the great ones.
The value that marketers bring to the tableImpressions, clicks, followers, shares and conversion rates only tell us what consumers are doing with our marketing messages, rather than why they’re doing it.
What is it about the message that drives a response from a particular target audience?As marketers we must be able to provide insights into why consumers respond, but unfortunately the common response is to simply “do more of what works”. This is because many marketers are letting data tell them what to do rather than using data to make better decisions by coupling what the data says along with common sense, logic and intuition. If business data were the answer to everything, we wouldn’t need marketing professionals to drive the marketing operations of a company. We’d get data analysts that understood how to read data, and pass instructions to a team on what to do with it.