• Christine Noh

    Please do not use “data” and “incorrect usage of data” interchangeably. people should rely on data as much as possible, as it is the only rational solution to our questions. Obviously, intelligent people will approach any set of data or study with a sense of skepticism, while others will ignore biases, create wrong assumptions/conclusions, and exaggerate findings. But calling for people to disregard science and statistical facts because of a tendency to misunderstand it is doing nothing to help the issue. and I believe it is a serious one. instead of having a love hate relationship with data, we need to educate ourselves in logical fallacies, marketing quackery, as well as how to develop an awareness for intentionally misleading data. I believe data .. the CORRECT application of data.. can absolutely drive strategy and a vision for any company. and many great companies such as google for instance in their POPS lab are already doing it

  • http://marketinggs.com/ Dan Freeman

    You mention that a healthy skepticism should be used by
    marketers with respect to their use of data and I completely agree. I also want
    to point out that the same healthy dose of skepticism should be used by
    consumers when confronted by marketers’ “data driven” claims.

    How many times have you seen software vendors make a claim along
    the lines of…“companies that use (fill-in-the-blank) experience xx% higher revenues”?

    OK, so I guess the assumption is that (fill-in-the-blank) caused the higher revenues.
    However, it’s equally plausible the higher revenues caused the company to use fill-in-the-blank. More likely is this: Although correlation exists, causation is the result of a
    multitude of unknown factors.

  • Scott Brinker

    Thank you — glad to hear this resonated with you!

  • Scott Brinker

    I feel like we’re violently in agreement?

  • Scott Brinker

    Absolutely. An excellent point.

    Don’t get me started on a rant about the poor methodology being used in so many vendor-run “studies” that “prove” their sales pitch.

    My favorite version of that is sending out a survey to content marketers and then reporting, based on their participation, that “90% of marketers are using content marketing.” It would be more accurate to say that 90% of content marketers are using content marketing. Which begs the question, why are the other 10% not?

    Oops, I’m ranting.

  • http://grantgrigorian.com Grant

    A common mistake that I see marketers commit is assuming that more data gives you better view of or accuracy about the real world results. And as marketers, we have A TON of data, and it’s so tempting to be able to support your results by saying things like “after aggregating 2 million (or billion) data points, here is our result” – if the your approach has any of the biases you mentioned, have more data doesn’t take the bias away – in some cases it makes them even worse.