What gives our decisions power and credibility?
Is it primarily deliberation and analysis? If so, our ability to access reams of data is surely a boon. Yet, to me, it doesn’t look like anyone, anywhere (being a little political here…) is making much better judgments than they did years ago—before we had access to digital data. Maybe…..our conversion rates using all that data are not much higher than they were when we were strictly analog and using the printed data cards Lester often talks about.
For years we have counselled clients to avoid the “seduction of data,” i.e., the notion that “I now know everything about you.” You know that mantra. The truth is only some data are useful; only some data are “actionable.” If “knowing everything” is really the goal, then businesses like Amazon already would have put everyone else out of business instead of continuously struggling with its own success.
Not to mention, by the way, the privacy fears we have created, often needlessly…
However, on Thursday (September 7th), at a Microsoft marketing conference I was privileged to hear one of my favorite speakers/writers and he reminded me of how important the art of our business is; how critical the human element is; and how central to success is insight and understanding. He said:
“Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.”
I recommend his book Blink (he also wrote the Tipping Point) but Blink really speaks to what can be one of our sharpest competitive edges: actionable-insightful data; human motivation; understanding the customer/consumer/user/buyer.
Microsoft had him there for a reason……….I’d like to think we are ahead of that curve.