Today, everyone wants to know to the penny what’s driving results. Exactly how much incremental sales are we getting from this effort vs. that one?
But, you can’t prove any of this stuff. Neither can I. What we can do, if we want to waste a whole lot of time and money, is highlight the data that “proves” whatever each of us has already decided beforehand is the right answer.
It’s like doing an analysis to understand why Scarlett Johanssen is hot.
As you can see from the photo above, she is indeed hot. But, is her left eye contributing more to the overall impression than her right eye? Is it her feet, or her hands? Which toe or finger is driving the most movie sales? Let’s also look at what it does to concession sales, I want a breakdown by popcorn and by Twizzlers. Let’s break it down by neckline and jewelry – do her films gross more when she’s wearing a scoop neck and a pendant, or a v-neck with a diamond?
I’m not saying don’t measure anything. You need that data for direction. But I am saying that we can dig into this until there’s nothing left to dig, and at the end of all knowing… there will still be more questions.
Out in the real world beyond spreadsheets, everything influences everything. Scarlett is hot because she is.
Your TV influences your direct marketing results. You’ll never know exactly how much. The banners you ran will make some sales happen earlier than they would otherwise. You’ll never know exactly how much. The paid search you did last year will drive some percentage of your sales a year from now.
You’ll never know exactly how much. Or why. And it doesn’t matter. It’s a sucker bet.
The competitors who are beating the daylights out of you in the marketplace aren’t winning because their analytics are better than yours.
It’s because while you’re focusing on your spreadsheet, they’re focusing on your customers.