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“Hey For Sale”

I’m a native Hoosier who grew up in small town in Indiana. A few years ago, I was driving home for a family visit. I was a few miles from home on a typical curvy country road when I saw a sign.

The sign read: “Hey For Sale”.

I laughed pretty hard and almost drove off of the road. I knew what they intended to write. The sign meant ‘Hay For Sale’. However, misspelling the operative word had changed the potential meaning completely…and in a humorous way!

I think of that sign whenever I think of ‘hay’, so when someone mentioned the troves of data available today being kin to a huge haystack, again, I laughed. Big data may have been what that sign owner was trying to convey when writing his advertisement, “Hey For Sale”.

Today, Data has introduced more needles into the ole haystack…or should I say, “Heystack”? However, more needles has also increased the tonnage of hay in the bin as well.

For years, business owners have had one question in regards to their marketing: What works and what doesn’t?

It’s a necessary question.

Of course, if your business is advertising exclusively through Facebook ads, the question is easily answered. However, at BrandVision Marketing, we typically work with clients that are engaged in multiple channels to drive business. In other words, they are utilizing any number of marketing strategies, such as CTV/OTT with SEO, Radio and Direct Mail (to name just a few) to achieve sales goals. We tie all of those different aspects together and speak with one unified voice for maximum effectiveness.

Still, with messages out there through numerous outlets, answering that question can be tough.

Enter data.

That age old question was supposed to be easier to answer because of the waves of data available. Actually, it’s more like a tsunami of information, but as most business owners know…at least those not completely submerged in nerd-dom…adding more needles to the haystack has also added more hay. Much more hay.

“Perception may map neatly on to behavior, but reality does not map neatly onto perception.”–Rory Sutherland

As Sutherland points out, focusing on a few of the wrong variables can lead to very false conclusions. In his book, Alchemy, he points to the correlation of ice cream sales with a spike in crime. He asks, do ice cream sales drive crime? Analyzing those data points exclusively, may make you think exactly that. Since crime typically occurs more frequently during warmer weather…along with the seasonal allure of ice cream.

However, focusing on too much data puts us back in that crowded hay bin. Yes, many more needles to find, but a ton of hay to sift through as well.

When it comes to data, the focus should be on the numbers that matter. Forget about the data overload and swimming in a sea of figures that lack relevance to metrics that center on or around growth. Find the data that is important to the growth of your business and make that your focal point.

With that in mind, data will help you.

Fail to learn that and data will consume you. Then, you’re just another guy out there yelling, “Hey For Sale!”

By Scott Trueblood, of BrandVision Marketing. BrandVision Marketing is a full-service marketing agency based in Knoxville, TN.

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