May 08, 2019
Corrin Magditch

The Numbers Don’t Lie, But They May Not Tell The Whole Story Either

It feels like the future of marketing is here and now. We are well into the era of digital driving marketing trends. Content is being optimized for voice assistants, and our typical strategy includes Pay Per Click and Paid Display Advertising in addition to web and social media. “Adapt or die” seems to be the motto of the digital marketer.

In some regard, modern marketing is miraculous because we can track what’s working. The term analytics is now comfortably part of everyone’s marketing vernacular, and rightly so. Why would we not want to know if our marketing efforts are working and worth our marketing dollars?

But what we often notice is that we get so wrapped up in the numbers, we don’t step back and ask, “what does this all mean?”.

Data is good, but you also need to know how to tell the story behind the data. That ties back to why we are so successful at 3Seed. Because content may be king and engagement may be queen, but if there’s no one there to make sense of the story we aren’t getting the full picture. We really care about the whole story.

Reporting is a huge part of our work. If clients are going to pay us to create and manage campaigns for them, they want to know if the campaigns work. Reporting can also be a fickle beast. In our weekly content meetings, we have an open dialog about the reports we are generating, and if they work for us and the client. And what we have found is that we can provide the numbers and percentage of change month-over-month or year-over-year until the cows come home, but if we don’t also share the story the numbers tell, it really doesn’t matter.

If you had a social post that went viral two months ago, your numbers are probably going to go down this month because viral posts aren’t typical. That’s not to say that the 70% drop in social engagement this month means what we are doing isn’t working. It means that two months ago we had such an unusual success, that what was once good is not going to look so great, but may still be wonderful. That’s a story that needs to be told.

In her TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown shirked away from being called a storyteller over a researcher because she didn’t feel like that term was grounded enough to encompass her work but then she said this: “Stories are data with a soul.” As a marketing agency that leans heavily on our ability to tell a story, this just adds to our need to provide context behind the numbers.

If you are looking to make sense of your marketing, send us a message or give us a call. We are always happy to help you strategize, create, manage, or help make sense of it all.

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