When BI People Run Your Marketing You Know You Got It All Wrong

It’s time for magic-driven marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I think data is great. Working with many startups I can see how much weight everyone is putting on data in marketing. It became the most important thing for all of us. We all became part of the data-driven economy. We measure and analyse and optimise. We inhale data-points and exhale dashboards. We expect data to be the answer to everything. And while data-driven marketing can do many things - from optimising our funnel to maximizing our conversions - there are things it can’t do for our brand and our business. It’s not going to tell a story, it’s not going to produce an emotional response every time someone sees our logo, and it’s not going to take our vision and wrap it in the same contagious magic we see around brands like Apple, Tesla and Coca-Cola.

Don’t sell products, services, or jobs, sell dreams and a vision” ~Steve Jobs

In all the years I’ve been involved in building companies, brands and products, I’ve realised one very simple thing: the magic is making people happy, and products with a WOW factor and a vision that people can relate to are providing that very basic feeling.

Most entrepreneurs know that the vision, the why, is the most important part of their business. Almost none of them do anything about it. Most of them write it in their investor deck and then move on to build their ppc campaign and their PR strategy in the most tactical way.

Don’t get me wrong, in online marketing you must be able to measure everything, so BI tools and analytical skills are a must. It became so dramatic that you can see job descriptions for marketing positions where analytical skills are wanted more than creativity and emotional intelligence. But, it’s the people with the extremely high emotional intelligence that will come up with the emotional connection between the brand and its users, and it’s not going to come from analysing the registration funnel or going through google analytics.

Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.” ~ Don Draper

We have gotten to a place where people are building companies for the wrong reason, and think their costumers are going to buy their products for the wrong reason. People don’t buy products, they buy the feeling they give them. You need to remember, most people need to feel good more than they need another product. This is exactly why over-analytical startups are failing to create a real brand. That doesn’t mean these type of companies are not going to make money. It means they won’t enjoy any loyalty, and it’s going to be super easy for any company to take their place over time.

So how did we get here? I think most of the change happened once google introduced SEO and PPC. That was the point where all of us changed the way we think about marketing. It moved marketing from storytelling to PPC. From crafting magic to analytics. From thinking about value to thinking about keywords. From thinking about the human emotional experience to A/B testing and funnel optimization. And something got lost in the process.

“That’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.” ~Walt Disney