Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dialog Intelligence

Sometimes I feel like someone who fought over the last years for a stronger recognition of data driven insights, but who suddenly realizes that he is wining that battle but without experiencing any sign of satisfaction. Why? The more data driven Marketing Insights are able to penetrate our work, the more the abundance of data enables analysts to decipher consumer behavior, the more everything seem to be statistically explainable, the more we are in danger of misusing our data driven and analytical marketing philosophy and work.

Fundamentally our work is not about providing the right answers but about enabling a smarter conversation. Why? The Data Intelligence generated Insights are just one although a very important ingredient of designing the right marketing solution, it should never provide the only and ultimate answer. How can it drive a smarter conversation? Three elements come into mind:
  • It ensures that we are discussing marketing solutions centered around the consumer, since the data driven insights are always either directly or indirectly correlated to consumer behavior, attitudes, thoughts, needs, etc.
  • It inspires new thoughts and new contributions within a dialog. These Insights are not functioning as absolute guidance but as texture and ingredients for inspiration and new thoughts
  • It anchors the dialog around several factual based insights and doesn’t allow for purely anecdotal driven conversations

Done right, this concept of enriching the dialogue instead of telling the “truth”, will enable the unthreatened participation of more and different dialog partners. The data driven conversations will not remain discussions within a narrow silo of the self selected few. Our work should be always about a Dialog Intelligence, never about an absolute answer.


Anonymous Kevin Hillstrom said...

It isn't very satisfying when you do great work that is only appreciated by analytical folks.

Business leaders and other co-workers seem like it when information either confirms that a strategy works, or helps provide an out when a strategy isn't working.

Do your analyses with the objective of making your co-workers look good, and your work will be valued.

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