True Confessions of a Digital Marketer #4: “I’m Drowning in Data”

As a former CMO, I’ve seen and heard a lot of unique (and some downright crazy) marketing techniques along the way, and “True Confessions” is my way of sharing it with all of you. Like all good legends–marketing or otherwise– there’s always a mix of truth, exaggeration, outright fiction, and just plain wishful thinking. We’ll let you decide which is which below.

Consider: at this moment in 2019, there are more than 7,040 martech solutions available to digital marketers to slice, dice, chop, and puree data like the old Veg-o-matic commercial on late night TV.

Over 7,000 companies and tools to help us wrap our heads around web journeys. Click paths and path to purchase. CTRs, LTV COAs and CTAs. Personalization. SEO/paid search/paid social and their earned and native variants. A/B and multivariate testing 

The mind reels. I’m not sure this is a future any of us want.

Especially when you consider that so many of these tools only help with rear-view mirror analytics: analyzing what happened and predicting what will happen but never telling you why it happened and what you can do to change it. “Why spend thousands of dollars on multiple analytics tools that tell you the “what?” when most marketers are in need of a tool that gives you the most fundamental bit of information: the “why?”

As much as we like to assign data points to place behaviors and results in a logical matrix—to bring order and chaos to our world—many of us tend to forget humans are not always logical, rational, or predictable.

When campaigns or landing pages underperform, we’re ready with a whole litany of excuses:

  •     We didn’t put the CTA far up enough
  •     We didn’t talk enough about “you” in the copy
  •     We launched the campaign on the second Tuesday of the week

But here’s the real reason: we never talked to the customer first. We’re too damn busy adding yet another row of macros to our Excel spreadsheets and divining the results like tea leaves. It’s like using a map after we get to our destination: 

  •     Did we understand why they would be interested in us at that moment in time?
  •     Did we find out what would make it more (or less) likely to purchase, sign up, or take action?
  •     Did we test to see if our current creative answers their questions, meets their needs, and gets them excited?

No? Then this is the next tool you need to put in your digital marketer arsenal: a predictive one. If you don’t know their mindset, the rest of the data won’t make true, demonstrable, actionable sense. Without the emotional, the rational won’t help us.

You know that old saying about missing the forest for the trees? Everyone is looking at the trees (data), but if you’re too busy peering through your binoculars at all that green leafy mass, you’re missing the living, breathing source of your future success: the forest (the person) who will buy what you’re selling.

So you know what to do. Put your binoculars down. Head over to the forest, go take a walk, and commune with nature.

To learn more about WEVO and Pre-Live testing, contact us.

About Janet

Janet was the first CMO of Constant Contact, and part of the team that created much of what is known as inbound marketing today. She has also held leadership marketing roles at what is now 3M MicroTouch and HP. After creating HSG, a product and marketing consulting firm, alongside fellow entrepreneur Nitzan Shaer, they soon realized that market research is long, expensive, non-actionable, and does not work at the pace of digital marketers. As a result, they created WEVO – the first company to optimize website experiences before going live. WEVO uses target audience testing to diagnose web pages without the need for live traffic. With actionable, validated insights, WEVO enables you to pinpoint reasons why customers aren’t converting, empowering marketers with a low-risk way to uncover why people take action.

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