Should Marketers Trust Their Gut or Data?
Is marketing art or science?
Former Apple CEO and Pepsi president John Sculley famously said, "No great marketing decisions have ever been made on quantitative data."
On the other hand, there is a growing chorus in marketing circles these days which asserts that the explosion of personal information on consumers makes data driven decisions the only way to go.
So, what are marketers actually doing? According to a recent study published by IBM, Marketing Science: From Descriptive to Predictive, 80 percent of marketers are making decisions based on their gut instincts. This, according to John Kennedy, vice president, marketing at IBM, is a mistake.
In a column on Forbes.com, Mr. Kennedy asserts that the rise of mobile technology, social networks and other digital channels has resulted in consumers "interacting and communicating" in new ways, which has lead to the expectation that brands will respond in more personal and meaningful ways.
To connect with consumers, Mr. Kennedy says marketers:
- Must use data to appeal to consumers on an individual basis
- Need to develop a scientific approach to their work
- Must make use of cognitive computing.
Taking the scientific approach, Mr. Kennedy asserts, means analyzing and acting on data from different sources, such as purchasing history and call center records. Marketing needs to share this data with other parts of the business to create a better overall experience for each shopper.
Consumers are willingly sharing data with companies, but frustration builds when marketers fail to do anything meaningful with that information. While it might be comforting to fall back on gut instinct as a response, it isn’t an adequate substitute for properly analyzing the data shared and acting.
- John Scully Quotes – ThinkExist
- Why Marketers Should Rely Less On Their Gut Instincts – Forbes
- Marketing Science: From Descriptive to Predictive – IBM
Where do you come down on the gut instinct versus data debate when it comes to marketing?