Good Morning Data: Data vs Intuition in Marketing
Is data replacing intuition and creativity in marketing?
Marketing data is accessible, timely and (usually) easy to work with. In digital marketing, it’s both the input and the reward. We’re rapidly amassing data points on our customers, and if we know how to use it, we can adapt our marketing efforts quickly based on real-time customer feedback. As big data analysis tools become more sophisticated, cultivating a high level of customer understanding becomes increasingly possible.
This huge amount of customer data available is a gift for marketers – we want this in all of our audience’s responses to our brand, product, service and messaging everywhere we can get it.
These clear advantages have shifted marketing – and so many other disciplines – towards the realm of data science. Marketing has always relied on data scientists, of course. David Ogilvy, the famed advertising tycoon, was a huge fan of coupons to measure audience response.
But the truth is, even while businesses of all persuasions seek out increasing numbers of data scientists and analysts to help them gain competitive advantage, there is always going to be room for intuition. What we often think of as intuition relies on the “unknown knowns” – the unconscious reasoning that gives the appearance of the spontaneous arrival of an idea.
Even while businesses of all persuasions seek out increasing numbers of data scientists and analysts to help them gain competitive advantage, there is always going to be room for intuition.
These gut feelings have an important role to play in shaping the parameters of our data analysis. They help us decide how much of our data-driven results we choose to accept and mould into our marketing campaigns.
In parallel, data offers us a chance to examine the logic behind our unconscious reasoning. It sheds light onto the unconscious thought processes that lie behind our “intuition”. And it gives us the statistics to examine our ideas in more detail and back our hunches up.
For this reason, multidisciplinary teams that bring together business leads and data experts who can think creatively in partnership are always going to succeed better than a team made up of just one or the other.
By marrying the two – data-driven marketing and our own intuition – we are able to achieve more and consciously decide whether going with our hunch is the right call to make.