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Marketing Decisions: Data vs. Instinct

Marketing data is critical. However, it’s often misused when decisions are made only on the basis of the numbers or to validate gut feelings.

In terms of marketing decisions, I cannot overstate the importance of data and the many advantages it provides to marketers. It’s possible to obtain fairly accurate information about how campaigns are performing. Additionally, it shows patterns in audience preferences, and how users engage with a website. These are but a few examples.

Furthermore, even before a campaign is launched, we have the ability to make a near-perfect prediction of the return on investment (ROI) of marketing expenditures. In addition, we are able to see the outcome of an endeavor based on the data available. This is one of the primary reasons that a marketing budget is so important.

However, incorporating data into your marketing strategy is another matter altogether. Where this is concerned, there are three (3) blunders to avoid making.

Learn to include your intuition or gut feeling in marketing decisions.

Some marketing professionals have a preference for analytical decision-making. This means that they make their decisions based on facts and numbers. They do this entirely without gut feeling or intuition. However, many soon discover that numbers are never sufficient.

Unfortunately, gut sentiments are often regarded as unprofessional. Some feel that they are unbecoming of a leader in most organizations.

However, do not dismiss them outright. In important strategic decisions, there are many factors at play. Seasoned CEOs with more than 25 years of experience, according to studies, rely on intuition and past experience when making decisions.

These business leaders have access to an endless stream of data. Nevertheless, these business executives continue to rely on their own tried and trusted instincts. They do this in addition to looking clearly at the data. Then they make their decisions.

Therefore, suppose the evidence indicates one thing and their gut instinct indicates another. The wise business leader takes a second look at both before making a final choice.

Purely data-driven marketing decisions detract from the distinctiveness of your brand.

Are there any brands that you’ve come across that did something so similar to their competitors? Were you able to reasonably conclude that there was a copycat somewhere in the organization?

Well, in many cases, the problem is not a copycat. Rather, the problem is that the data on the target audience is the same everywhere. In addition, nothing but data has been used to influence campaigns and anticipate audience preferences in the past.

Marketing professionals and teams must not forget that there is a real and equally important value in adding brand personality. They must add a unique brand tone, look and feel. Capturing the essence of the brand visually makes all the difference when trying to attract and retain audiences. Without this, the result is a stale and uninteresting message.

It’s true that information derived from data should play an essential role in your organization’s marketing decisions. However, you should avoid neglecting your brands’ personality. This has a lot to do with human-driven aspects. It has to do with things that appeal to the emotions of customers. In addition, it is about things that make them feel connected to your brand.

This characteristic distinguishes any brand from its competitors. You achieve this quality only through intuition and emotional targeting.

Never forget that data is about people who are driven by their emotions.

Before any of your consumers are reduced to a series of numbers in your marketing data, remember, they are individuals. They make decisions based on their emotions. In addition, they attempt to defend those actions with logical, rational explanations.

However, well-presented numbers in your analytics program are just the beginning of the story.  They are never able to communicate the complete story about your consumer.

With this in mind, it’s vital to remember that data is just one of the many tools at your disposal. When it comes to promoting your business, it is wise to look at your marketing from many angles, including the emotional, or intuitive side.

Perhaps you might implement other activities such as customer surveys or incentives. Additionally, you might try referral programs or customer experience strategies. Use some of these marketing ideas implemented in conjunction with data in order to achieve the greatest overall outcome.


All marketers must recognize that analytics and data are important tools. However, they also know that they are only one component of a much bigger marketing arsenal.

Avoid traps when using data in your marketing efforts. To do so, it is important to understand why you are doing what you are doing before making major brand decisions. In addition, never underestimate the importance of intuition when making marketing decisions.

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