Question of the day: Should I listen to the data or my gut when it’s time to make marketing decisions?

Here are some thoughts that I want to share with you about gut vs data:
For anything Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and search related, I tend to follow the data. I make an effort to understand the keyword lists and how my audience searches and use the data to guide content creation. However, I don’t let keyword and search dictate my writing or creative approach. For that, I follow my gut, then I use AB testing to validate my gut decision.

To buy Facebook ads or not buy Facebook ads, that is the question.

At a conference I attended, an agency was promoting their Facebook campaign app. They noted that, with over 2B people on Facebook, the people you want to reach are there and it’s just a matter of finding them and reaching out to them with relevant content, creative copywriting and strong calls-to-action. They even had data to back it up. I think they are right to some extent. But you need to consider whether FB is a relevant medium for you to spend $$ on. If you have a limited budget, do you get more bang for your buck on FB vs other marketing channels?

Gut vs Data

My gut told me that my target audience, Enterprise B2B marketers, are on Facebook for personal reasons such as talking to their family and friends. When they are on FB, they are not looking at Facebook ads to find content marketing experts. My gut told me that I shouldn’t do Facebook ads. But this agency did such a great job talking about Facebook that I decided to give it a try. I spent ad money for over 8 weeks, Well, my gut was right. With that money, I actually got better results using e-mail or paid search. I knew that I should have trusted my gut. Well, you may argue that the results may have changed if my image, copywriting or CTA were stronger. True! I but I also validated my gut with my customers. I asked them, if they didn’t know me and saw my ads on Facebook, would they click on them? Unanimously, they said ‘NO’.

There is no right or wrong answer of following data or following gut to make your decisions. Or you can do both.
The key thing is not to blindly follow the data. Gut check is as important as data. Marketing is both an art and a science.

Please, send me your marketing questions and thoughts here or via Twitter @pamdidner.

What can Pam Didner do for you?

Being in the corporate world for 20+ years and having held various positions from accounting and supply chain management, and marketing to sales enablement, she knows how corporations work. She can make you and your team a rock star by identifying areas to shine and do better. She does that through private coaching, keynote speaking, workshop training, and hands-on consulting. Contact her or find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. A quick note: Check out her new 90-Day Revenue Reboot, if you are struggling with marketing.