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It seems to me that there are three big camps in digital strategy:
- Those that talk
- Those that know
- Those that dump data
The first group sounds really good – you know when they are talking. They throw around the latest buzzwords. They tell you it’s about engagement, calls to action, blah blah blah. They even say it’s about storytelling, but they aren’t talking about what we are talking about here. They just know it’s a buzzword and the rule is to use the latest buzzwords. As often as possible. With and without context.
They talk circles around you so quickly that their stuff sounds reasonable enough. And of course we want them to stop talking. #headaches
And then there’s the second big camp which is the people who know. Now, they sometimes are also good talkers, but unlike the first group they have data to back things up.
Website guru Andy Crestodina has warned to not bring “an opinion to a data fight.” One of my favorite quotes for sure. The knowers don’t bring opinions. They bring facts – based on actual data gathered from actual user behavior.
Then, they make decisions based on these facts. They don’t guess. They don’t make up stuff. They know what works and are honest enough to admit that a 5 percent click through rate in an email newsletter is not something to write home about – for example.
And here’s the thing: Even though they know, they also change their opinion and knowledge when user behavior changes and the data supports it.
As much as the talkers might be entertaining to listen to, I would recommend listening to the knowers. The hard part is to figure out which group somebody fits into.
Here’s a hint: Knowers have relevant data.
Keep in mind that there’s also a third group….
The data dumpers
Now, I’ve known rockstar data analysts who can tell you what data means and help you improve based on what we are seeing. That’s not whom we are talking about here. The data dumpers just dump data in front of you and claim it’s an analysis.
Sometimes they see a spike and claim they’ve discovered something. A spike! LOL. I can see it too, but unless we can explain it it’s not analysis.
Don’t mistake them for the knowers.
Look at the data, make decisions on content constantly and change on a moment’s notice to see if theories are right. Then keep producing authentic stories and keep testing.
The content production – testing loop never stops. The only stop is Irrelance and I don’t want to stop there.