Marketing data overload? Answer 2 questions that will instantly help

Success means having the answer to why the data matters and next steps are needed to turn it into action.

Marketers are continuously dealing with a never-ending tsunami of data from multiple sources and wondering what to do with it all. It’s easy to come down with a bad case of “analysis paralysis” if you aren’t careful.

Whenever feeling overwhelmed by too much data, I’m reminded of Andy Pearson, CEO at PepsiCo and named by Fortune in 1980 as “one of the ten toughest bosses in America.” That distinction was well deserved because God help anyone in a meeting with Andy who wasn’t well prepared. If you just shared a bunch of facts and figures with him, he would scream out in the boardroom, “What? So what? Now what?!” Many PepsiCo careers were made or destroyed based on what the presenter did next.

I have a vivid image of Andy in my mind any time I’m in a meeting where too much data is being shared. I get the urge to (politely) ask Andy’s questions to the presenter: “What? So what? Now what?!” Marketers deal with unprecedented amounts of data today, so it’s critical to keep this admonition top-of-mind when analyzing and sharing key data with your team and management.

The “what” is in ample abundance – audience demographics, attitudes, behaviors, digital preferences, competitive data and includes all the operational and financial data at your disposal. The key to success needs to be on the “so what” and “now what” if all that wonderful data is going to be turned into consumer insights and meaningful action to build your business.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Kip Knight is an operating partner at Thomvest, where he helps market Thomvest to our target audience as well as advise portfolio companies on marketing best practices. In addition, Kip focuses on investments in MarTech for Thomvest and is a Board member at Netbase Quid. Kip started his career at P&G in brand management. He served as CMO at Taco Bell and VP of marketing at eBay. He has held a number of senior executive roles, including general manager positions at PepsiCo and eBay. He was president of H&R Block US as well as president of H&R Block International. Kip is the founder of the U.S. Marketing Communication College, where he teaches communication strategy to diplomats and executives in the U.S. government. He is the co-author of “Crafting Persuasion: A Leader’s Handbook to Change Minds and Influence Behavior.” He earned his B.S. degree from LSU in marketing and his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

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