Hard Data Will Kill Off Marketers’ Intuition

Hard Data Will Kill Off Marketers’ Intuition
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The role of marketers is changing so quickly that most businesses can no longer afford decision-making based simply on old-fashioned gut-feeling and intuition.

According to Kellogg’s Australian and New Zealand marketing director, John Broome, the role of the marketer has become much more objective, there’s far more data available, and businesses can no longer afford the cost of failed campaigns simply based on intuition.

Broome was a panellist at last night’s announcement of the Annual Media Futures Survey in Sydney.

“We’re all now dealing with this thing called ‘data’ and for sure I’ve got a tonne of people in my office who can wax lyrical about it, but it’s all about keeping up to speed with what’s going on, being able to make effective decisions quickly; attributes around agility and resilience as well,” Broome said.

“I think resilience comes into play when you’re dealing with your peer set because there’s a tendency to still use intuition-based decision making and these days it has to be much more objective, the risks are much higher in a lower growth environment and it’s very hard these days to hide mistakes.”

Broome believed data would give marketers “credibility” around their decision making. “It’s all about making the right bets to put your limited resources on,” he said. “Having credibility in those conversations particularly with the CFO is absolutely crucial. Any GM wants to see that strong essence and trust between those two guys when they make any decision,” he said.

However, another of the evening’s panellists; Optus’ head of advertising, channel marketing, social media and sponsorship, Karen Phipson; disagreed the margin for error in marketing decisions was over.

“The creative always remains important, the audience is always going to matter; but you have to pull that back to what are you delivering? What impact are you having on the business? I disagree slightly with the idea that you can’t afford to fail with creative. Because we’re so agile, we have the ability to try and quickly change it. When we see what’s working and what’s not we can quickly build on that or build for change,” Phipson said.

Starcom MediaVest Group Australia chairman, John Sintras – another of the evening’s panellists – believed media agencies weren’t being given the credit for quickly adapting to a client’s needs.

“I think when you look at the sector that has transformed the most over the entire marketing and media industry I don’t think the media agency sector gets the credit it deserves in terms of transformation. I will say that sector has really looked at their client’s need. They’ve looked at how disruption is happening. They’ve become far more nimble and agile to partner with their clients from simplicity to complexity,” he said.

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