In the Headlights: December 11, 2019 Issue

In The Headlights

“If you’re not going to change what you eat or how often you exercise, don’t get on the scale.” – Seth Godin

Seth said this in reference to analytics a few years ago. Don’t bother measuring what you aren’t going to change – and nowhere is this more true than in marketing analytics. I had a conversation a while ago with someone who had made up their mind about a strategic marketing initiative they were undertaking, even though their data was very obviously broken. They had their heart set on a particular thing, and no fact, data point, or analysis would sway their deeply-held belief that they were right. It was their baby, and you can’t tell anyone their baby is ugly.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have that thing you desperately want to do, but the data doesn’t support it, you have two fundamental choices: do the thing and hope that it turns out, or consider the possibility that the data is telling you something’s wrong and pivot on what you plan. I’ve been there – I’ve written over two dozen books and the majority did very poorly because I ignored the data. It’s not easy. But when the market and the data tell you to go a specific direction, unless you have better data to prove otherwise, consider listening to the data.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re working for someone who has that thing they desperately want to do, chances are they will come to you seeking validation. Tell the truth, but do so with the knowledge that anything you say which countermands their belief will be ignored. Cover your assets with data in case their stakeholders and superiors question why this person is wasting so much time/effort/money on a thing that’s obviously not working, but do your best to put as few resources as possible towards something that the data indicates will not be a success. To the maximum extent possible, focus on what’s likely to succeed instead.

It’s never easy hearing that your idea is bad, that your plan is flawed, that success will be unlikely. As best as you can, believe the data and encourage others to believe the data. In the long run, it’s much less costly.

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This week’s Rear View Mirror and Bright Idea is on the blog. Celebrate the data you’ve been enjoying all year with our 12 Days of Data series, as we look at year-to-date numbers. Catch the series as follows:

  1. Facebook Brands Stats for 2019
  2. Facebook Influencers Stats for 2019
  3. Instagram Brands Stats for 2019
  4. Instagram Influencers Stats for 2019
  5. YouTube Top Viewed Content for 2019
  6. YouTube Influencers Stats for 2019
  7. Most Overused PR Words for 2019
  8. Press Releases Stats for 2019
  9. News Stories Stats for 2019
  10. Content Republishing in 2019
  11. SEO Link Decay in 2019
  12. Email marketing forecast 2020
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Shiny Objects is a roundup of the best content you and others have written and shared in the last week.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Business and Leadership

Join the Club

Are you a member of our free, private Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 500 like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today.

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • Agorapulse Social Summit, December 2020, Online – closes December 13!
  • MarketingProfs Virtual Summit, December 2020, Online
  • Social Media Marketing World, March 2020, San Diego, CA
  • HELLO Conference, April 2020, New Jersey
  • Women in Analytics, June 2020, Columbus, OH
  • MAICON 2020, July 2020, Cleveland, OH

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

FTC Disclosure: Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

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