7 February, 2017
Marketers: Big Data Is Making You Lazy
Today’s marketing has a dirty secret: it’s gotten lazy. During the past decade the number of marketing technology tools has exploded to well over 3,000. Overwhelmingly, those tools have focused on collecting, organizing, and finding insights from data. In response, marketers have defined growth as a mathematical exercise of collecting bigger and bigger datasets. Get all the data you can, goes the conventional wisdom, and software will find the magic bullet buried within the numbers.
True, software can create leverage for your marketing efforts. Data can help inform. But as an industry and as a practice, marketing departments are replacing the sound business fundamentals it once practiced with the procedural tasks of buying and leasing data using tools devoted to collecting as much customer data as possible.
In this rush to accumulate and sell data for its own sake, we’re jumping past using data to validate a strong product market fit, creating solid positioning, and developing customer trust.
After two decades in marketing, my thinking has come full circle. For growth-minded companies, collecting customer data for the sake of collecting data is more risk than the rewards can usually justify. Instead, we should be looking for ways to collect less data and go lean. Why? Because our collection tools create expensive overhead and risks that are impacting the trust of our customers in a negative way.