What’s not in the data
There is a rumour that Albert Einstein used to have a sign on his wall in the office that read something like;
“Not everything that counts can be counted, not everything that can be counted counts.”
Now there is more to that than first meets the eye.
For example if you have ever read how to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff you will see how you slice the data really matters. For an actual example in a real life spat between Facebook and Princeton, you have on the one hand you have a Princeton study detailing how Facebook will lose 80% of it’s user by 2018, and in return shots were fired back by Facebook detailing how Princeton could soon be out of business based on their own reasoning.
That’s why looking at the correct data sources is so important and prioritising the thing that counts.
Now what does count that can’t be counted. In marketing that comes from connection, value and shared understanding.
For example Snapchat recently launched a marketing campaign called spectacles in prominent locations around the world. The idea was to sell a limited amount of glasses that could be used in combination with their application.
Now you won’t be able to count the value or shared understanding that consumers will unconsciously reaffirm that snapchat has for them, or the branding exposure that the spectacles produced likewise. But you can be sure with the press ruckus that went off because of it across the globe, that it sure connected with people.
In an age of data, the data may show a lot but there is also a lot not being shown that you don’t want to miss out on.