What is the fascination around numbers for marketers ? Numbers can tell you where consumers are going and which media they are consuming but without an understanding of why the numbers alone are pretty useless.
For a perfect example of the fascination around numbers look no further than yesterday’s stock market. For DOW closed above 15,000 because of the latest report on unemployment that showed jobless claims dropping to pre-recession numbers. But look deeper and you’ll see that there are a lot of people who have stopped looking for work as well as a lot of older workers who are earning a lot less because they are underemployed.
When it comes to marketing tactics like developing a mobile app a lot of marketers and brands are doing so because everywhere they turn they see data about the number of people using mobile devices. I would suggest, however, that instead of looking at the raw numbers they should ask more questions about “why?” and “what?”. Nobody should ever decide to allocate dollars to any marketing channel without first understanding how consumers are using the channel and why they are using it.
As marketers we consistently need a better understanding of how consumers go through buying decisions and how we can help them make better decisions without intruding on their online time. That’s why, to me, impressions don’t mean a hell of a lot and even click through rates don’t mean much when they are coupled with a high bounce rate.
There are a lot of market research companies with “so-called” analysts who try and provide insights even though they are only looking at raw data. I would counter that they can only provide you with part of the picture. Each market-brand-product category has unique characteristics and brands need to get out there and do more listening and watching coupled with organizational changes to implement insight findings into real-time marketing. That is a competitive advantage beyond numbers and marketers who know the right question to ask and can leverage findings into actionable and measurable successes are the ones who are going to make marketing relevant again.
Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on June 1, 2015.