Is Marketing’s Obsession With Numbers Killing Humanity?
We live in an age of worshipping at the altar of big data. We want the numbers to tell us the story, and the biggest numbers rule our decisions.
It’s lazy, and it’s dangerous.
Look at what happened in the recent presidential election–– the numbers had Hillary as a shoe-in to the oval office, the only question was by how much she would dominate Donald.
But surprise! The numbers lied. More accurately, people lied, or at least didn’t disclose their true intentions.
The media narrative became that the flyover states rebelled against the liberal elites on the coasts–– that it was rural people versus city slickers.
People’s passion for candidates was missed or not measured, or, voters didn’t want to tell pollsters their true intention to vote for Trump because they thought they would be labeled in judgmental ways.
Whatever happened, it was a big fail for big data. The pollsters historically blew it.
Well, guess what? The same thing is happening in marketing where there is an overreliance on analytics, metrics, numbers.
Many marketers are terrified to trust their instincts and get caught making a gut decision. Nope, that can be trouble and most CMOs don’t want to make an artistic, emotional choice based on empathy, creativity, passion, and understanding of humanity.
Instead, they want numbers to tell them what to do. Test, test, test, test, and may the highest number win.
“GIVE ME MY METRICS, ANALYTICS, GRAPHS AND AN EXTRA HEAPING HELPING OF PIE CHARTS!”
Do that–– and the numbers will cover your ass.
Relying on numbers alone is a fool’s game.
Yes, use numbers to learn, but don’t use them as a crutch for making decisions. All great ideas are leaps of understanding and imagination; they are not made great in continual 1% increments of improving a decent idea over and over, and over again.
You are human. You have experiences, emotions, intellect, and creativity. Those are the tools you need to help communicate with other human beings in meaningful ways.
What is going to pique someone’s interest, spark curiosity or ignite his/her passion about trying your brand?
I believe the reason so little marketing work today connects emotionally and shines is that it has been incrementally improved to score a number. The life and humanity have been sanitized out of it.
The work is soulless.
You’re a person, not a computer. You are trying to communicate with other people.
Act more human. And do so 100% of the time.