Every day, every hour, every minute until we go to sleep—and sometimes, even then—we are inundated with information. We can see what our friend who lives in New Zealand—or Hong Kong, even—is doing right at this very instant through a little thing called Facebook. That same friend might have checked into where they ate lunch today, too, on a clever application called FourSquare. And if they’ve connected FourSquare to their Facebook, you'll know where they had lunch—whether you want to or not—in no time. With so many rings, dings, and vibrations coming from our computers and cell phones at all hours, we're never far from anything and everything the web has to offer.
Subsequently, today’s consumer is no longer restricted to making decisions based on the most convenient, or even annoying, marketing approach. Many marketers’ attempts to catch consumer’s attention are falling by the wayside completely. And what’s worse: they continue to try to understand their bad results based purely on data. The problem, and the reason they're falling behind, lies in the insights they're failing to make. As aforementioned, there's just so much we're constantly being presented with—if you're not finding a way to turn that data into intelligence, you're going to falter and ultimately, fail.
The way you do business, and the way you read your data, should mimic one of the pillars of inbound marketing—that is: personalization is key. Customer-centric content marketing strategies have never been more important than they are right now. Again… as consumers, we have hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of choices for everything we could possibly want or need. Let's look at this from the standpoint of a social media platform. More specifically, arguably the most useful, and frequently used social media platform in existence for marketers: Twitter. Say your inbound marketing agency decides to tweet three times as often this week as they did last week. Well, if that’s the case, then sure, Twitter is taking three times as much data from this one source as it had over the last 7 days. But here's the common misconception that lies in that fact: just because Twitter is getting more data from you, does not mean that it is also getting an equal amount of information. Why? Because there is no possible way that Twitter is receiving 100% original content from you, 100% of the time. After all, you are a business centered on something specific. Therefore, your tweets are bound to have some level of redundancy. And there you have it: even in the royal domain, King Twitter’s data does not necessarily equal information.
As is true even of a platform as major as Twitter, any piece of data can be extracted from… however, it will be significantly smaller than the data itself. And that’s all right. In fact, it’s probably a good thing, because more often than not, we need lots of data in order to come up with truly innovative insights.
It goes without saying that without data, we couldn’t make any insights. Then we’d just be left scratching our heads and staring at our computer screens. While that’s an unfortunate mental picture, we have to remember, in any circumstance: your data is only as good as the insight you glean from it. Turn your data into actionable insights and see what happens.
Can-Do Ideas is a Digital Marketing agency specializing in Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales. We are located in New York City and Connecticut.