Skip to main content

Data and marketing.

I'm never going to say that data isn't useful.

It allows you to see what decisions people made in the past. Google's 2016 Food Trends report does this in an especially appealing way.

Data shows you what worked. What didn't. Demonstrate how investment was returned upon.

But: data is limited. And this goes back to the constraints which knowledge can impose.

Quite simply, relying on past data overly much removes scope for improvements. Never mind that there's so much data out there that analysing all of it seems pretty much Sisyphean. And how easy it is to interpret figures in a way to mostly support one's own hypotheses, delivering the desired results.

Most importantly, data can't engender change – it can't tell you how to give people things they didn't know they wanted.

And data can entrap. Because if something has always worked in the past, there's always the temptation to repeat it ad nauseum – the death of innovation.

Point is: don't cling to data. Understanding the the past in the vague hope that it will reveal the future only works to an extent. Both Churchill or Santayana talked about how we need to learn from the past to avoid repeating it. So learn from past data – and then move on to create something new.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Raj Patel’s “The Value of Nothing” in an advertising context.

The more I read about the theory of advertising (which is plenty, thanks to my upcoming IPA Eff Test), the more it seems just inextricably linked to other disciplines.
Psychology and sociology are pretty much a given – the better we understand how people’s minds and social structures work, the better we can sell to them. But there’s also a huge economic dimension to advertising.
Specifically, so much of advertising relates to the process of value creation. Though my Comparative Literature course included ample Marx, Engels, Veblen, and Benjamin, it’s a concept that I’m still working to fully understand.
That’s why I was very happy to come across Raj Patel’s The Value of Nothing. At its core, it’s a fundamental examination of why things cost what they do – though it also goes far beyond that as the subtitle, “How to reshape market society and redefine democracy,” suggests.
One of the best parts is where Patel explains why “a burger grown from beef raised on clear-cut forest should really c…

Digested Read: How (Not) To Plan, Section 1.

New year = new ventures – in my case, this includes a series of digested reads, with a focus on ad strategy books. I'm kicking it off with the APG's How (Not) To Plan.

Firstly: the book is already a digested read, so this will be the super-distilled version. I'll tackle it section by section.

Section 1 is all about Setting Objectives.
Introduction
"Effective communication starts with agreeing with your clients what it's supposed to do. [O]ften, this stage is rushed, fudged, based on flawed thinking or skipped altogether."
1.1 How (Not) To Make a Plan
The authors talk about how "marketing objectives [...] have lost their grip on reality." However, "there is evidence from the IPA Databank that better objective setting leads to more effective campaigns. Best practice is to identify exactly what business results you want. And exactly what you need people to think, feel, and do to deliver those results." Also? "A campaign can't deliver unles…

On The Rising Ubiquity of Brackets.

Building on Tom Roach's brilliant takedown of the "sea of sameness" in the marketing and advertising industry, I'm making more of an effort to document and comment on trends (especially digital ones) that suddenly seem to be everywhere. Today's subject: brackets.

If you're US-based, you're less likely to be surprised at why I'm talking about brackets at this particular point. After all, we're right in the midst of March Madness - bracket season as per Google trends, not just in the States...



But around the world.



Little as I care about the NCAA (or sports in general), I do care about the cultural zeitgeist - which at the moment is pretty bracket heavy.

Especially on social.

(Brief digression because my British colleagues' reactions to the term "brackets" - and the decidedly March-agnostic search interest around brackets here - made it amply clear that this hasn't really entered the British national consciousness.



As per Wikipedia's…