This morning I was in a cross functional team meeting, with representatives from product engineering, operations, and marketing (among others). Before the meeting I introduced myself to someone, who upon hearing that I was with marketing quipped:
Oh, I’m with operations … I deal with the real world. You know, numbers and stuff!
Now, I should start by saying that this person was most definitely kidding. To her joke I gave a wry smile and a nod … and then proceeded to walk the entire room through a somewhat complicated excel model that analyzes resource allocation against strategic goals across a large part of our business.
Later this afternoon I met with someone interested in some other analyses I had recently done. As we walked through the data, we discussed some of the nuances that can be used to separate these data from those, making adjustments to the excel file right there in the room. It was a great discussion with some great ideas exchanged, none of which would have surfaced if the data hadn’t been right there in front of us.
So what’s my point?
My point here is that the best marketing is data driven. We can each argue in favor of our personal beliefs, but its only when we have the data (the right data) that we can move beyond what we think and into what we can prove.
It might seem obvious and trivial, but having the data gives you almost instant credibility. But the data – or the associated credibility – isn’t the end game either.
The end game is to use the proof to construct tangible actions that lead to measurable outcomes (read: revenue).