NMPi’s Big Debate: How to Swim when you’re Drowning in Data

If you were to look back at some of the popular trends predicted in blog posts since 2016, much as Kate Jervis did to prepare for her talk, you start to see similar trends appearing. Brands will always be on the cusp of delivering personalised communications. Marketers will always be planning to adopt advanced marketing attribution for optimisation. Developing the cross-channel view of customers and their behaviour is just around the corner. Why do they stay as predictions, never coming to fruition?

We are drowning. Not just in terms of data, though that is certainly a factor. We’re also drowning in the amount of choice we have in terms of solutions. Citing the Paradox of Choice, a phenomenon put forward by psychotherapist Barry Schwartz, Jervis highlights that the sheer amount of choice we have as an industry is slowing down our progress.

She then introduces “The Three P’s” as an explanation as to why we are drowning:

Perfectionism: We think we need the perfect attribution model. We think we need the perfect measurement solution. We think we need everything to be 100% perfect, and the more we obsess over it, the more it comes out in what we do.

Procrastination: We become so compelled to pick the perfect option, even though we know it doesn’t exist, that we become afraid of making the wrong choice. We feel like we don’t have all of the information, and we’re scared of moving in the wrong direction.

Paralysis: Since we think we need to know more, to have all the information, that’s how we end up in analysis paralysis. We’re stuck in this place where we constantly need more information to make any decisions, but we’ll never move forward because we’ll never have the information that we need. However, while it might be bad to go in the wrong direction, is it not worse if we don’t move at all.

How do we move forward?

  • Define what your perfect is.
  • Taking action is important, but knowing how to use it is even more valuable.
  • Build into your one source of truth.
  • Stop saying “it doesn’t have to be perfect”, because with attribution we are more right than we ever have been.