ABC’s of Communication Strategy: D is for Data

by Kirk Westwood

We live in an interesting time.  Information of near infinite amounts is available about more-or-less anything and everything you could possibly want to know.  In years past gross revenue was nigh-unto the only real metric we had for how a company was doing.  We could compare quarter to quarter, year to year, day to day, but sales remained largely the single metric we had to chart growth.

Margins and profit remain reigning metrics in data science but long past are the days where they are the only metrics we have.  Even still many companies cling to their bank balance as the holy grail of growth and often ignore the amazing wealth of information we have access to that show incredible potential and opportunities.

Data is your friend.  You have access to it.  Are you accessing it?

Your website, each of your social media platforms, and most likely your POS system are all charting a swath of analytics.  These include but are far from limited to where people are that are coming to your site, how old they are, what time of day they were there, how long they spent on the site, how long they spent on each individual page, which page they initially “landed” on, and ultimately which was the page they left your site from.

With data you can paint a picture.  With what is now terrifyingly referred to as “data science” you can draw conclusions from the fairly obvious through the master-level-sudoku-esque logic leaps to put yourself in front of your customer before they knew they were looking for you.  Data is your friend.

A mentor of years past said it to me best as he explained:

“Your client is going to come to you and say, ‘we have x problem, and we need to fix it now.’  This will of course be an emotional reaction to anything from an anecdotal observation all the way to the house is actually on fire and no one noticed until now.  Your job as the PR/ Marketing / Branding professional is to NOT react to the problem, until you prove one remarkably important thing, is it really a problem”
“Data is where we answer that question. Emotion is good.  We are all guided by ‘our gut,’ but once your enterprise is past you in your spare bedroom with ambitions of grandeur you have to make DATA DRIVEN DECISIONS”
The data is there. You actually already have it. Are you using it?  Are we making DATA DRIVEN DECISIONS, or still leading our organizations ‘from our gut?’
Kirk Westwood

Kirk Westwood

Creative Director

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