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.
Soapbox is a special feature for marketers in our community to share their observations and opinions about our industry. You can submit your own here.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.