You Ask, I Answer: Adopting Data-Driven Marketing Strategy?

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You Ask, I Answer: Adopting Data-Driven Marketing Strategy?

Kait asks, “How do you suggest to go about to creating a data-driven strategy standard and breaking the “because we’ve always done it this way” mentality?”

Strategy is always a sale. Every sale has to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” for the buyer. Not what’s best for the company, for the organization, for the big picture – what does that person get out of it? There’s a reason we call such efforts obtaining buy-in – people need to be convinced to buy.

The greatest challenge is when people don’t understand the value of data or the decisions you plan to make from it. That comes from past efforts where you collected data but didn’t do anything with it, and thus had no results to show for it. Becoming data-driven means making decisions with data, and as with everything, if you can show early, easy wins, you’ll build momentum for your strategy.

You Ask, I Answer: Adopting Data-Driven Marketing Strategy?

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In today’s episode, Kate asks, How do you suggest to go about creating a data driven strategy standard and breaking the, because we’ve always done it this way mentality? So the the mentality of we’ve always done it this way, is one of comfort and security of predictability.

We’ve always done it this way.

means that, yes, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

But if things have been good, there, it’s difficult to sell that change.

The greatest challenge to data driven strategy is that people do not understand the data, or the value of the data, and thus, don’t see a reason to change the decision making process.

And it’s understandable why people feel that way.

But a lot of the time when you have people who are not skilled at analytics, working with data, you get a lot of what Avinash Kaushik tolle calls data puking, where you just pour a pile of data on somebody’s desk and say, here, here’s the data.

And they’re like, What am I supposed to do with this is not helpful.

Part of the reason why it takes so long to change people’s minds is they don’t see that the decisions that you make from data are any better than the decisions that you made without the data, right? If, especially in cases where the data is confirmatory, where it says, Yeah, you know what, you made the right choice all along.

And people go, why do we spend, you know, x months and X dollars? doing this exercise, you’re gonna tell me what I already knew.

That’s where you have to take a step back and say, okay, is being data driven, a good fit for the organization, and there are organizations where it is not, for good or ill, there are situations where it’s an uphill battle, and you won’t realize any benefit.

Particularly if you have people who are not just hesitant, but outright hostile, that is a boulder as a hill, you don’t want to push a boulder up.

So being data driven, means making decisions with data.

And as with everything, the easiest way to get people to change how they do things is to show some wins, show some early easy wins, that can help you build momentum for strategy, especially if it’s something that requires very little effort on your part, and can show somebody Oh, this is really cool.

Like, I didn’t know that real simple example of you fire up Google Trends, right? And you can show just some basic search volume changes in something that a person cares about, and go, Oh, ha, I didn’t know that people searched more for my product or service in June, I thought they were searching more for in in August, when we typically see them in our CRM, and you can say, No, that’s true.

People are searching for our product or service or whatever, two months before they contact us.

So we can market to them early and think, Oh, that’s a decision, I understand.

I’m going to market to them when they’re looking for it.

And they’ll be more likely to buy it.

So it’s looking for the early easy wins as best as you possibly can to build momentum for data driven strategy.

strategy in general, but data driven strategy in particular is a sale.

There’s a reason why when we talk about getting agreement on something, it’s called buy in, right, somebody is buying our strategy.

And what is being exchanged is their time, their resources, possibly the people, certainly their patients are all currencies, of buy in to a new strategy.

And yet, we do not approach strategy as a sale.

Right? We’ll talk about all this this is the the trend that the industry is going in, or this is best for the organization.

Right? How does that work? When someone’s trying to convince you to buy something? It doesn’t I there’s there’s no compelling value there to you.

So when we have to approach data driven marketing, and data driven strategy, we’ve got to approach it from the perspective of a sale, not what’s best for the company, not what’s best for the analytics department or the IT department of the marketing department.

But what is best for the person that has to buy in? What’s in it for them? Right, every sale has to answer the question, what’s in it for me for the buyer? Are we going to give the buyer of our data driven marketing strategy, better results? Are they gonna make more revenue? Are they gonna hit their numbers more easily? Are they gonna look better in front of the boss? What is for sale? What? What is it that they said, You know what? I want that? That looks good, I want that.

And a lot of the things that we put in front of somebody for a data driven strategy aren’t all that appealing.

Right? Oh, it’s, it’s the way the technology is moving.


That’s not a compelling reason to buy something.

Right? Just because a company comes out with a new smartphone.

And it’s like, minuscule differences from the model you have? Is that a reason to buy it? No.

Right? You have to have some compelling emotional reason for the person to buy in to data driven strategy.

So because we’ve always done it this way is a position of security is a position of comfort.

The buy in, therefore is discomfort that someone is buying in with their discomfort, what do you have to sell, that makes the discomfort worth it? So early wins, easy wins, look at things that don’t require their data, look at search data, look at social media data, look at media data in general, look at data from your existing systems, and what can you say like, Hey, this is a decision that we would make better if we had this information, or Hey, I looked at the data.

And have you tried doing it this way.

And instead of being a hard pressure sales person, right, which nobody loves those, be a consultative salesperson, right? Think about it as How can I counsel and advise this person to make the right choice for them, to show them that the value of what they’re buying is worth it is worth more than the investment they’re making.

And present your data driven strategy that way as a trusted advisor, rather than using role power in an organization use relationship power.

That’s how you get buy in, that’s how you get someone to adopt a data driven strategy is to say that I clearly see what’s in it for me, I want to buy that I’m comfortable enough to being uncomfortable, because I see the benefits of what’s in it for me.

And that requires a lot of hand holding, right? Because anytime we’re going to make a major system change, for example, switching from Google Analytics, three to Google Analytics for because it, it offers you more flexibility.

flexibility in this case is kind of intangible.

And there’s a lot of pain associated with that change.

So what is the thing that you can show that says, oh, wow, that’s really valuable.

We got to make that change, because I want more of that.

Right? So that’s the way that I would approach getting someone to make a change, for adopting a data driven strategy.

Standard is to say, when you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten, and if you’re happy with what you’ve gotten, okay, but what if you could get this instead? What if you could get, you know, 20% better results? Would you want to be able to show your boss 20% growth or whatever the number is will based on your own research that you’ve done? That’s how you get by it.

Then we go.

Yeah, I kind of want that.

So, if you got follow up questions, leave in the comments box below.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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