The explosion of data and analytics has created fantastic opportunities for marketers and PR pros to get better insights into the impact of their work.
While the benefits of measuring the results of an announcement or campaign are immediately obvious, the potential for data to inform future decision making has traditionally been more challenging.
The potential of data to provide insights and inform new approaches to communicating or engaging with people is pretty exciting. Where before we based decisions exclusively on experience and perhaps a gut feeling, now you can test an idea, measure the impact and refine it – or never do it again .
The potential to have quantifiable insight along with your experience and opinion is a powerful thing. The downside is that to garner that insight you must try something new and in some cases that could be a calculated risk. You may have to establish a baseline or measure impact, and that could potentially put you outside your comfort zone.
Of course personal and professional discomfort is one thing, the legions of online Monday morning quarterbacks just looking for the opportunity to dissect your work and question your professionalism and/or competence is another.
However, these pundits rarely let knowledge or insight – into your objectives or even the actual results – get in the way of their opinion. My advice is to ignore them.
The reality is that in today’s changing world we must trial and experiment new things. Data gives us the potential to measure their effectiveness and thereby help us to be more successful in the future.
It may take a little bravery to take that first step, but if you do it thoughtfully, it can deliver real, tangible long term benefits.
I think it’s probably worth the risk and Albert Einstein would probably agree.