To underscore the point, Trinity Health’s Matt Casselton recalled the experience of using social listening tools to better understand public health issues that impacted his business. It’s not enough to search for the specific word describing a disease or addiction, he said. Rather, it’s important to search for other similar words from pop culture that people use to describe an issue. These may provide a more complete context of the issue.
The take-away was that marketing leaders need to hire talented analysts who can gather context to think critically about problems and laterally about solutions. Ian Dallimore from Lamar Advertising reminded the audience that first-party data, even with its imperfections, is still the highest-quality data source compared to third-party data.
Know your audience
Panelists discussed the need to clearly know who consumes the measurement output and tailor the report to that audience. One panelist, describing a CEO who was also a doctor, shared that when the CEO made patient rounds earlier in his career, he found it useful to see reports with more than the absolute metrics of heartbeat and blood pressure. He also viewed the trend line of where the numbers came from and where they were expected to go. In other words, it’s the pattern that matters in measurement, not just the data point.
A word on measurement
Mr. McIntyre closed the session by asking panelists to offer one word they would use to describe good data. The single-word answers and brief explanations showed at the same time the challenge and the opportunity available to marketers who embrace the data-driven measurement mandate.
What does good data mean to you?
- Universal — “Make it meaningful and real.”
- Unstructured — “You have to love unstructured data.”
- Current — “Data is best when it is relevant and applicable.”
- First-party — “You know yourself better than anyone.”