So the second of our ‘Data, Metaphorically Speaking’ videos has gone live this week. I hope you enjoy it!
I thought it’d be a good time to address a couple of potentially career-limiting questions…
Is the character in the films really me?
I’d say ‘no’ – it’s all the invention of a couple of twisted individuals with too much time on their hands: Tom Upfold and Paul Everett.
But if you ask Tom, he’ll tell you it’s only so easy to write the scripts because he can imagine me saying/doing everything in them. And Paul puts it more poetically:
“…like an infinity pool overlooking the sea, it’s impossible to tell where the real Matt Hanks stops and the Chief Data Smoother begins…”
Why did I agree to do it?
I think data’s going to be the most important discipline in B2B marketing over the next few years. If we don’t start treating it more strategically, then effective marketing will basically grind to a halt.
‘Content is King’ is the marketing catchphrase right now – but if you don’t know who’s accessing your content, can’t keep track of what they do next, and don’t treat them properly when they do get in touch with you, then I don’t see the point in producing it.
Even more basically, if you don’t know who your customers are, who your best prospects are, how they’ve been responding to your marketing, and which marketing activities are working best – and if you can’t tie this in to your sales CRM systems for follow-up – then you may as well call it a day.
And it’s surprising how many people talk about the potential of ‘big data’ who are several years away from properly managing their ‘little data.’
Anyway, I’ve written lots about this in various data and direct mail best practice guides. (There’s a shameless plug straight from the Chief Data Smoother’s playbook!) And when Paul and Tom suggested these couple of videos I did worry that I wanted people to take data more seriously not less. But the point is that I suspect (hope) that these videos will reach more people than any whitepaper will – and anything that gets people thinking about data is a good thing.
It may be a bit tongue-in-cheek (ok, a lot) but I also like the way it doesn’t play on the whole data ‘geek’ idea. I’ve got a team of brilliant people and – with only a couple of exceptions – you wouldn’t describe any of them as ‘geeks’. If data’s going to step out of the back office and contribute more to marketing strategy, it’s like we say in the first film: “we can’t make data sexy, but we can make it smoother”
It’s early days still but based on the comments we’ve had so far I think it’s working. But I am getting a bit concerned about what situation they’ll dream up to put me in next. I’m hoping something based on a set of spa treatments but expect it’ll be boxing or something like that.
Any questions or ideas for future films, I’d love to hear from you!