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    Data Vs. Intuition: When to Use Data and When to Go with Your Gut

    Written by Carla Niknejad on February 28, 2017

    B2B Digital Marketing AnalyticsDigital information has taken over the marketing landscape. 

    Marketers used to be valued largely for their creativity and intuition. After good market research, experience and speed drove a successful campaign. However, through the years, marketing has gone through some changes and the way we develop and implement strategy has evolved.

    Today, we have masses of data on our side. We can easily track analytics through more effective tools. Every action can be quantified and recorded. Because of this, we’re being held to even higher standards to show a tangible ROI and justify our budgets.

    Trusting your gut simply doesn’t cut it like it used to. Why? Trusting your gut isn’t quantifiable.

    How important is data?

    The shift into marketing analytics and big data isn't a fad; it's a science. As marketers, we have data to answer a lot of questions we couldn’t answer (and didn’t even ask) before, and can now track and change our plans in real time. 

    How exactly can you improve your digital marketing through data?

    With an influx of data at your disposal, your marketing efforts can be improved in many ways. You can better optimize your digital marketing strategy to fit your needs by:

    • Creating better buyer personas – clearly defining your ideal target customer by collecting more details about them
    • Improving your website – tools such as Hubspot and Google Analytics can show you where your audience is looking on your website – and whether they can even find your website
    • Creating better content – easily identify what content is more engaging and more effective at leading prospective customers through the buyer’s journey
    • Targeting your message more effectively – you can A/B test different landing pages, emails, and social media posts and track what does best so you’ll know how to adjust your efforts in the future

    Data can fill in the gaps and show the value of all those website visits, email opens, and clicks. You can determine what is working, what isn’t, and make changes accordingly.

    Should you ignore your gut completely?

    We’re not saying to totally ignore your instincts. With all that data, it’s easy to lose track of what your initial gut feeling told you. Ultimately, there should be a balance of your intuition and the data you’ve gathered to make a well-thought-out decision. 


    Marketers are being pressured to become more analytical in their decisions. But sometimes marketers can get immersed with getting results and tracking data and forget the message, the content, and the audience they’re trying to reach. On the other hand, marketers that refuse analytical data fail to keep up with their counterparts. They can waste time and energy trying new campaigns or projects that won’t drive the results they’re expecting. 

    Accurately acquired data can help focus and evaluate digital marketing efforts, while creativity brings new ideas to life. Research and data don't mean anything unless they’re put into action through the creative efforts of a marketing team.

    So the next time you’re starting a new marketing campaign or project, bring your analytics and intuition together and align them to make a well-rounded decision for the best results. 

    Now that you’re familiar with the importance of data in your marketing strategy, you can implement it with these guidelines in choosing new marketing tech for this year.


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    Topics: Marketing Strategy and Planning, Marketing Technology and Analytics

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