Data and juicy details
The sexiest data is not what we need to make business decisions
Data. We all love the juicy details. Headlines screaming ‘Decline in the tech industry by mass layoffs’. Or the marketeer who zooms in on the exceptional number of likes and engagement on a specific post or campaign. It's all fun and games; the sexiest data is the data that gets all the attention yet is not what we need to make reasonable and accountable decisions.
With the devil in the details, strategy lives in the bigger picture.
Speaking from experience, we focus too much on short-term metrics instead of long-term KPIs. In the hunt for engagement, attention, and or eyeballs, we tend to focus on the juicy details, not on the boring long-term attribution and accountability.
Why it matters
It’s nice to know how you perform in the short-term, the metrics. These are for the team who runs the daily show. However, running a business year after year, and making money that enables a marketing budget, is a long-term game.
To get the bigger picture, you need to open your eyes
- First, zoom out.
- Second, check which data is missing
1. Zoom out for the bigger picture
This is best explained by two examples.
Layoffs in tech
The first is about the current layoffs in the tech industry. We focus on all the mass layoffs at Amazon, Google, Meta, etcetera. The headlines already shout about the recession and the decline of tech as employers.
If you zoom out and take into account that these same big techs have been hiring like crazy in 2021 and 2022, it’s a different story.
Putting it in perspective. The current layoffs are more about ‘planning’ mistakes than about ‘failing industries.' See below. Source: Tom Goodwin on LinkedIn.
For content, zoom out to 3+ yrs
The second example is more specific for content.
We tend to zoom in on individual posts and campaigns. What are the likes, comments, and clicks? We evaluate the success of the post on vanity metrics and extract this to the overarching. ‘If this, then that’.
Please keep in mind that content always is a combination of assets. And human behavior is a combination of touchpoints. Therefore, it’s never a good idea to rely on individual details only.
Instead, focus on the overall sales or leads. By preference long-term, like three to five years. Plotted against your content efforts: team, production, and media budget to get the real picture of how content contributes to your business objectives.
2. The missing data is equally important
I can’t explain it any better than in the post below.
Dare to take a new and different perspective on the data you have. Flip it around to discover new insights. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Read and learn.
The sexiest data, the juicy data that gets all the attention, is usually not the data we need to make business decisions. Two major pitfalls: too much zoomed-in and focussed on short-term individual posts or campaigns.
The fix is easy.
First. Zoom out for the bigger picture. Content is the sum of individual posts. And what matters is the business in sales or leads, not the vanity metrics. Those metrics are for daily operation. You need overall high-level, long-term KPIs for managerial business decisions.
Second. And dare to take a different perspective on the data you have. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Yes, sexy details matter. However, not for the bigger picture. We focus too much on short-term metrics instead of long-term KPIs. In the hunt for engagement, attention, and or eyeballs, we tend to focus on the juicy details, not on the boring long-term attribution and accountability.