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Data Doesn't Always Equal Intelligence

by Gary Lee  |  
May 12, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • How keyword-based lists and influence scoring can help you efficiently gather and use data
  • Why using the traditional media list service and manual monitoring are ineffective

Look inside any marketing or PR agency, and you'll see an abundance of data. From social media monitoring to sentiment monitoring, traditional media list services, and Google alerts—new tools are popping up each day to help marketers collect data. As a result, agencies are swimming in data, but that data doesn't always translate to insight, let alone intelligence.

In all areas of market research, there are growing disconnects between data gathering, data analysis, and action. There's little doubt that media lists, large datasets, and cool charts are important to understanding the media landscape. But, frankly, in the era of Google and social search, data has become a commodity.

Truly successful marketing firms can't just dump data on their client's doorstep. They need to tell clients something they don't already know by putting the information into a meaningful context, and then creating a strategic action plan based on that data.

In short, data is only as good as the strategic mind that does something with it. Understanding that is one thing. Being able to do something about it in day-to-day business is another.

Here's why...

The average PR or marketing job has gotten harder over the years. With the explosion of a 24-hour news cycle, blogs, Twitter, and countless niche networks and sites, there are more voices out there than ever before. The noise can be downright deafening. And marketers simply haven't had the right set of tools to cope with today's media landscape.

These circumstances force you into one of two suboptimal workflows.

Dilemma One: The Traditional Media List Service

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Gary Lee is the CEO of mBLAST, which provides cloud-based solutions to help PR and marketing professionals better identify and engage with their key influencers.

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  • by Lisa Thu May 12, 2011 via web

    While I was disappointed that I am already doing the things you mentioned, I was elated to find mBlast and am eager to check out your tools for marketers.

  • by JenBongar Thu May 12, 2011 via web

    So true. These days it's so easy to gather data. But, drawing actionable insights from them is altogether a different story.

    Thanks for sharing your idea. Much appreciated. I'll have a look at mBLAST, shortly.

  • by Vickie Siculiano, PMP Mon May 16, 2011 via web

    It doesn't matter how rich the data is unless you really know how to interpret it and tell the story. It's then that the market research will really speak to you - even sing! Then building an actionable strategy is the next step...

  • by Darryl McDonald Mon May 23, 2011 via web

    Gary – thanks for this interesting post. We’re swimming in more data today than ever before -- Big Data -- and as you point out, we must be able to analyze and gain insight into the data for it to truly be valuable.

    While this has big implications for marketing and PR firms, it can hold even more meaning for large companies. Corporations already have mounds of data about their customers from call center records, emails, past transactions, etc. Now with the advent of social media, RFIDs, sensors, geospatial technology and more, there’s even more data available. To learn the most about customers and be able to effectively target them, marketers need to integrate both traditional and non-traditional data. This provides the most complete picture of customers and allows marketers to work most effectively.

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