Metrics Matter: Know When to Trust the Numbers and When to Go With Your Gut

As mobile marketers know all too well, data is the driving force behind so many of today’s business decisions. And if your business isn’t looking at the data to inform your marketing decisions, it should be. But when do you know whether to follow the numbers or follow your gut?


Marketers collect data from a variety of sources, channels, marketing technology platforms, consumer reports, and more. But unlimited amounts of data and tools will not make your business decisions infallable—the human aspect of data analysis to analyze and interpret data and arrive at actionable insights that drive marketing ROI is vital.


LinkedIn and BusinessOnline recently conducted research about the importance of data in the B2B sphere, and how proper data analysis can prove and improve your marketing ROI. They spoke with me about when that data just doesn’t stack up to human experience. Here’s what I told them:


“There is an art and science to data. But you need a balance between experience and the data. If I made every decision throughout my career just based on data, I would have made way more mistakes than I think I have so far.”


Look at what your customers are saying. Research and understand the conversations being had by real human beings about your products. Use the data derived from your research to find out which issues are most pressing, what products are most loved, what strategies are most effective, and then build off that with human instinct and experience.


“You can lead with the data, but you also have to do a gut check. “Ask yourself ‘Does this make sense to me?’ before you make a decision because that’s what the data tells you to do.”


Ultimately, there are parts of the human experience that numbers can never replace or inform when it comes to making vital business decisions. We all slip up from time to time, but you can have confidence that years of experience and understanding of your business—which includes comprehending and analyzing the data—valuably contributes to your marketing strategies and improved ROI.