Your marketing is not a function of your ego.

I once opened a presentation to a client with “Your opinion on marketing doesn’t matter.”

The meeting actually ended up going really well.

See I actually meant what I said. I was working with a decent sized and well funded startup helping them figure out analytics and paid media. Along with their CMO we spent weeks running tests into different potential customer verticals guided by the qualitative parts of marketing. We did the interviews, we made the archetypes, we knew “who” needed our product.

We knew that the qualitative only gets you so far.

In the words of Justin Trudeau it’s “CURRENT YEAR” and there isn’t an excuse to not be a data informed marketer.

So we began testing.

Proper A/B testing.

Isolating variables like audience, creative, calls to action, landing pages. Factor by factor in succession until we landed at a functioning funnel. A funnel that was getting us leads at 80% less than the industry average. A funnel that companies we kill for.

We sat down with the CEO, and while he was delighted he also was wondering if we’d overlooked a different platform where he was “pretty sure” the customer spent their time.

That’s when I dropped the bomb.

“You’re opinion on marketing doesn’t matter.”

Followed up quickly by “My opinion on marketing doesn’t matter either.”

You see vision is important. It’s not everything though.

Why? Data trumps instinct, and we had it.

I went on to explain exactly what we had here, how we could scale it, and why this was so important. In that moment he understood.

See I was intentionally inflammatory. Sometimes though being that direct though is necessary to change ingrained patterns of thought. The world of marketing isn’t the same as it was before. The old problem was a lack of data. The new problem, a topic I’ll cover later, is that there’s an overload of data. However, the point is that there is data. Data attached to every single marketing activity. Imperfect data granted, but data enough to lead in the right direction.

If you’re sitting around thinking about your marketing, who your customer is, and you have some data, start there. When you’re able to take the qualitative, that which you intuitively know, and marry it with the quantitative, that which can be proven with data, you end up with a marketing program that can truly break through the noise and create a real impact for your business.

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