Data is not the Holy Grail. Data does not trump solid strategic thinking and planning. Data is not the magic cure for all your marketing woes. Data is, however, a tool that, when used properly, can help provide insights to drive marketing performance, reduce guesswork and assumptions, and provide an advantage over your competitors.
So when does data fail you?
When it’s ignored
When you’ve collected the wrong data
When you coerce it into telling the story you want to hear, rather than the story it wants to tell
When you seek the path of least resistance
When you’re content with the status quo
When you make too many assumptions
When you stop seeking answers to difficult questions
When you’re afraid of the answers
When you don’t challenge yourself
When you think data can solve all of your problems
None of the above are data problems. These are cultural and process issues. Data fails you when you fail yourself. As the debate regarding the math-and-sciencification of marketing rages on, remember: Marketing is both an art and a science.
Innovation around data management and marketing automation are certainly exciting. But there’s nothing that beats the ingenuity, passion, creativity, and strategic thinking that have been, and continue to be, the driving forces behind the evolving digital marketing industry today.
Has data failed you? Add a comment or hit me on Twitter @jasonheller.