The Edit Blog

Who’s in charge here? Stop blaming the data and take control of your marketing

ARTICLE BY Jonny Harbottle
    READ TIME: 2 mins
    9th January 2019

    I’ve read a few articles recently giving data a hard time…“ Data is making marketing boring.”

    “Data is squashing our creativity.”

    “Data leads to analysis paralysis.”

    But hang on. This needs reframing…

    If you’re afraid to step outside your comfort zone, you’re stuck in your ways, and you’ve lost your marketing mojo, I’d like to unapologetically say that this is not the data’s fault. Instead, consider the other stakeholder involved. (That’s you).

    In the spirit of the New Year, I’d like to challenge you to a new resolution. It’s time to bring your creative mindset to the forefront and use your data to power your ideas, rather than dictate them. Here’s how to do it.

    Leave your comfort zone

    You’re in love with metrics. After all, it’s now the norm to invest in highly measurable, predictable marketing. However, your reliance on this is also your downfall – leading to unremarkable results.

    Not all effective marketing fits this mould. Step outside this cycle. Step outside your comfort zone.

    Data is the easiest route to peace of mind as a marketer. You can easily use data as the scapegoat (after all you can’t fire the database). But don’t forget, data is limited and often based on what has gone before. You need to take it one step further, be brave, and think about what’s going to be successful tomorrow.

    Locate your creative mojo

    Do you call yourself a data‐driven marketer? Be an insight-driven marketer instead.

    Trust your instincts and see where they take you. Be outspoken, vocalise your ideas, and challenge your colleagues to have an opinion

    Whether it comes from a one‐zillion row single‐customer‐view or something your mate said down the pub, if it’s a good idea, it’s a good idea.

    You can still use data to validate your thinking. And if you’re going to fail, fail fast. Celebrate failure and then fail again. Make it a habit, because every now and then that idea will take hold and lead to thoseremarkable results

    Data is powerful when combined with context

    As marketers we talk about context being important. The right message, the right time. The importance of context is also true of insight, in application to inform marketing strategy. Let’s take an example:

    “I want to retain more existing customers”.

    So, what insight is relevant?

    The above is just an example but I’m sure you grasp the concept. Structuring your approach to gather insights will give clarity to inform your strategy the right way.

    Data is an important part of this – but be careful. Data-led insights might be able to answer your ‘why’, but it’s important to challenge the contexthere.

    If you’re shoehorning data-led insight out of context, it will dilute your strategy and ultimately “make marketing boring” when you apply this insight to your ‘how’ and ‘what’. This isn’t the data’s fault. It’s on you to decide what to do with it!

    We’re experts on teaching you how to access data that will give you true insight (and telling you what to do with it). Contact us for more tips and advice.

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