If you’re a marketer with geek tendencies and can spend hours upon hours mining and researching marketing campaign and consumer audience data, you’ve undoubtedly said that to yourself umpteen times on any given project. When we start out, as with any research project, we have a hypothesis, although in marketing it’s less academic and referred to as a bias rather than the more neutral, “respectable” term. Even the strictest, most focused analyst has found him or herself going down an unexpected rabbit hole, intrigued by where it may lead, for the sake of the purity of understanding.
Staff marketers are not researchers. We do not enjoy foundation endowments that afford us the opportunity to research narrow trends, details, segments of behaviors, guided only by the findings, largely free of deadlines or ROIs on source tools. No, we have goals, deadlines, budgets, and are accountable for delivering.
All data is interesting, but is it useful?
It is on us to note those points of interest for later review, but largely to remain focused on what is actionable. That is not to say that we must remain steadfast to our hypothesis. That, in fact, is historically detrimental when done by business folks or marketers, and perhaps why the term frequently used is bias rather than hypothesis, since we’re too often less disciplined in removing ourselves and our “gut” from the equation. What we need to do is remain focused on the objective, the original question, and using that as our guide in and out of the appropriate rabbit holes.
As for the rest … put a pin in it, and add it to the list.
“Data Without Action Is Just Trivia”
~Steve Schnur, MGM Resorts