Almost Timely News, November 20, 2022: The Data-Driven Marketer

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

Almost Timely News: The Data-Driven Marketer (2022-11-20) :: View in Browser

Almost Timely News

πŸ‘‰ Get my new 2023 marketing planning guide, free for a limited time Β»

Watch This Newsletter On YouTube πŸ“Ί

Almost Timely News: The Data-Driven Marketer (2022-11-20)

Click here for the video πŸ“Ί version of this newsletter on YouTube Β»

Click here for an MP3 audio 🎧 only version »

What’s On My Mind: The Data-Driven Marketer

Let’s unpack what I think is the biggest misperception about the data-driven marketer:

You don’t have to be good at data to be a data-driven marketer.

This is 100% true. Why? Because it’s what you do with the data that matters.

You don’t have to be good at artificial intelligence or spatial mathematics to use Google Maps, do you? No. You fire up the app, get behind the wheel, and you drive the car to your destination using the guidance of the app. You are literally data-driven, but you didn’t do any of the data part.

Why would your marketing be any different?

What you have to be good at is using data to make decisions. What you have to be good at is putting experience and emotion and intuition and all those other factors that go into decision-making to the side for a bit so you can focus on making decisions using the data you have.

Someone else – a team member, an agency, a partner – can provide you with the data. As long as it’s good, as long as it’s correct, you can and should use it to make decisions – if you know what the data is telling you, what it means.

For example, take this data set from the Federal Reserve Bank.

FRED T10Y3M chart

This is the 10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Minus 3-Month Treasury Constant Maturity. What this shows is the average yield of 10-year Treasury securities versus the average yield of 3-month Treasury securities. (A Treasury security is something like a savings bond)

What do you have to know about this data to make decisions from it? What it means, to be sure. Where the data comes from, whether it’s correct and quality, definitely. But do you need to be able to perform mathematics on it? No.

What it says is straightforward: people buy Treasury securities from the US Treasury department at varying yields and durations. It’s a way to save money and earn a little interest on it. When the economy is good, people will buy long-term Treasury securities – like 10-year bonds – because they feel confident they won’t need access to that money before the security matures in a decade. When the economy is bad, people will buy short-term Treasury securities – like 3-month bonds – because they feel they might need that money again sooner rather than later.

When people buy up Treasury securities, the government pays them back when the security matures. In effect, when we buy Treasuries, we are lending the government money at an interest rate – what’s called the yield. Treasuries like these are sold at auctions by the government; the government sells a 1,000 security for, say,950. Companies bid on securities at that price until the government says, okay, we’re all done with the 950 lot, next up for auction is the960 lot, and so on and so forth. The yield is the difference between what you bought it at ($960) versus what you can redeem it for in 3 months or 10 years.

The maturity spread, then, shows the difference between the short-term and long-term auctions. When the economy is good, the long-term rates will outpace the short-term rates because people want bigger returns on their investment and they can afford to have their money locked up for longer periods of time. The government will sell out of those auctions faster, but they tend to have larger starting yields to compensate people for locking up their money for longer.

This means the difference between short and long term will be positive.

When the economy isn’t good, investors will buy the short-term Treasuries much more than the long-term ones – and this means that the difference between short and long term will be negative.

That’s what the data says. We know where it comes from – the US government. And this data is quite reliable and open, so we don’t have concerns there. And now we come to the final part of being data-driven: understanding what the data means. This is the part where most data-driven efforts fall apart – not because we don’t have the data, but because we don’t know what to do with it. We don’t know what decisions to make from it.

The 10-year/3-month maturity spread is a leading economic indicator. Over the last 50 years, it has been one of the best predictors of a recession among publicly available data. When the spread is positive, confidence in the economy is high, things are good. When the spread is negative, confidence in the economy is lower, and a recession is on the way.

What the data tells us right now, at the tail end of 2022, is that a recession is underway. The rate is in the red, negative, and that means we need to make some decisions. What sorts of decisions? Decisions around budgets – like how much to spend on marketing. Decisions around strategies and tactics, especially if we have reduced staffing to contend with and no prospects for hiring more folks in the near term due to things like hiring freezes. Decisions around market research, to see how our customers are being impacted, and what we might need to do to retain existing ones and win new ones. After all, people buy for different reasons, and the reasons change in changing economic circumstances.

But the critical part of this entire example is that you had to do no mathematics at all, did you? You didn’t have to do anything other than look at the data, as long as you know what it said and more important, what it meant. You are now in a place to make decisions with your data: how to run your marketing and your business in a very probable recessionary environment.

Conduct this exercise whenever you’re dealing with any metric or KPI, with any data that’s important to you. What does it say? What does it mean? What will you do about it? That’s what it means to be data-driven – and everyone can be data-driven, not just the math aficionados. As long as you’re making decisions based on data, you are data-driven.

Got a Question? Hit Reply

I do actually read the replies.

Share With a Friend or Colleague

If you enjoy this newsletter and want to share it with a friend/colleague, please do. Send this URL to your friend/colleague:

ICYMI: In Case You Missed it

Besides the new Google Analytics 4 course I’m relentlessly promoting (sorry not sorry), I would recommend the piece on the cookieless future.

Skill Up With Classes

These are just a few of the classes I have available over at the Trust Insights website that you can take.



Get Back to Work!

Folks who post jobs in the free Analytics for Marketers Slack community may have those jobs shared here, too. If you’re looking for work, check out these five most recent open positions, and check out the Slack group for the comprehensive list.

Advertisement: 2023 Marketing Planning Guide

I’ve just published a new edition of The Data-Driven Marketer’s Essential Planning Guide for 2023, free for a limited time. What is it?

It’s a quarter-by-quarter, week-by-week planning guide for you to build your 2023 marketing calendar around, based on when people are in the office or not. Each week of every quarter is rated whether that’s a good week for a big campaign, a neutral week, or a bad week.

Image of the chart

  • Use the Guide to move important campaigns out of weeks when people won’t be around
  • Use the Guide to add budget or resources to weeks when people will be around and paying attention

πŸ‘‰ Grab your copy here, free for a limited time Β»

What I’m Reading: Your Stuff

Let’s look at the most interesting content from around the web on topics you care about, some of which you might have even written.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Advertisement: Google Analytics 4 for Marketers

I heard you loud and clear. On Slack, in surveys, at events, you’ve said you want one thing more than anything else: Google Analytics 4 training. I heard you, and I’ve got you covered. The new Trust Insights Google Analytics 4 For Marketers Course is the comprehensive training solution that will get you up to speed thoroughly in Google Analytics 4.

What makes this different than other training courses?

  • You’ll learn how Google Tag Manager and Google Data Studio form the essential companion pieces to Google Analytics 4, and how to use them all together
  • You’ll learn how marketers specifically should use Google Analytics 4, including the new Explore Hub with real world applications and use cases
  • You’ll learn how to determine if a migration was done correctly, and especially what things are likely to go wrong
  • You’ll even learn how to hire (or be hired) for Google Analytics 4 talent specifically, not just general Google Analytics
  • And finally, you’ll learn how to rearrange Google Analytics 4’s menus to be a lot more sensible because that bothers everyone

With more than 5 hours of content across 17 lessons, plus templates, spreadsheets, transcripts, and certificates of completion, you’ll master Google Analytics 4 in ways no other course can teach you.

πŸ‘‰ Click/tap here to enroll today Β»

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

All Things IBM

Dealer’s Choice : Random Stuff

Advertisement: Ukraine πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ Humanitarian Fund

If you’d like to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has set up a special portal, United24, to help make contributing easy. The effort to free Ukraine from Russia’s illegal invasion needs our ongoing support.

πŸ‘‰ Donate today to the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Fund Β»

How to Stay in Touch

Let’s make sure we’re connected in the places it suits you best. Here’s where you can find different content:

Required Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

Advertisements in this newsletter have paid to be promoted, and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

My company, Trust Insights, maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Cisco Systems, Amazon, Talkwalker, MarketingProfs, MarketMuse, Agorapulse, Hubspot, Informa, Demandbase, The Marketing AI Institute, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which Trust Insights may receive indirect financial benefit, and thus I may receive indirect financial benefit from them as well.

Thank You!

Thanks for subscribing and reading this far. I appreciate it. As always, thank you for your support, your attention, and your kindness.

See you next week,

Christopher S. Penn

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This