min read

Who's Really Driving The Data?

January 23, 2024
June 12, 2024
Listen on Apple Podcasts

The Guest

Megan Thompson is founder and data strategist at Lore-data, a consultancy built on a passion to make data driven marketing more effective by making it brand-centered, collaborative, and human.. She’s worked in data roles at AMV BBDO, Proximity London, and Ogilvy, and today she brings her skills to the podcast to talk about who’s driving the data.

Decoding Data: The Strategist’s Perspective

The conversation with Megan begins with a definition of the word, 'data,' and she expertly explains why there are several definitions to a singular term.

“Depending on your role, your definition of data might be different,” explains Megan. “If you come from a media background, when you hear the word data, you’re thinking about budget optimization and targeting. Above the line personnel are thinking creative-led insights when they hear data. And if you're in a creative role, data is perceived as the death knell of ideas. Data should be used to justify creativity, not hamper it.”

We then explore the multifaceted role of data strategists in deciphering large datasets, how data interpretation varies across industries, and the risk of it becoming overly technical. Megan highlighted the strategist’s crucial role in not only solving problems but also in understanding what problems not to solve, thereby tailoring strategies to each client’s unique needs.

Our conversation then pivots to describing the challenges faced by data strategists, particularly the transformation of raw data into actionable insights. Megan champions the human element as vital in making data accessible.

“Data is perceived as existing in a vacuum, and the way most organizations are setup, it kind of is,” says Megan. “The most important thing to do is check data and interpretations with other people. Once you do that, and you can explicitly define the problems you’re looking to solve, you can unlock the intelligence and inspiration required to find insights.”

AI in Marketing: A Double-Edged Sword

Delving into AI’s application in marketing, we manage to present a balanced view of its potential and pitfalls, emphasizing the importance of quality data input and maintaining creativity alongside technological advancement. This part of the discussion underscores the need for caution, critical questioning, and the ability to handle unexpected outcomes when working with AI.

Fusing Data with Creative Strategy

We then talk about how data fuels creativity, addressing common fears around data-driven strategies. Megan stresses the importance of a strategic partnership between strategists and data experts, ensuring robust processes for data validation and quality assurance.

“Data doesn’t appear out of nowhere,” says Megan. “Data originates from human behavior, this is why I advocate for its use as a tool especially for creativity.”

Humanizing Data Interpretation

The importance of understanding 'soft data', or the human experiences behind the numbers, was a key topic. Megan shares experiences as a former head of data, emphasizing the need for data strategy training and their journey in starting a company focused on humanizing data. In order to have transformative insights from data, it’s a necessity for marketers to deeply understand their customers.

Learning from Data and Challenging Assumptions

Megan shares a client story, illustrating the value of embracing failure and learning in data strategy. An error in labeling customer permissions turned into an opportunity for improved targeting and data collection, showcasing the importance of questioning assumptions in data work.

The Human Core of Data Collection and AI Tools

Finally, we discuss the critical role of human interaction in data collection and the judicious use of AI tools. A story from Megan, about a client's struggle with a social listening tool, highlights the need for precise questioning and clear objectives. While AI can augment data analysis, it requires a solid foundation in data strategy – a point Megan emphasizes while encouraging direct engagement for deeper understanding.

In conclusion, this episode not only unravels the complexities of data in marketing but also reaffirms the vital interplay between technology, strategy, and the human touch in navigating the data-driven landscape of modern marketing.

The Links

[email protected]
Megan on LinkedIn

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