Wrong insights lead to wrong stories

Written by Patrick Southwell

data-driven-insight-blog-ps2I’ll be honest. Data. Insight. Numbers. Talk to me about data-driven communications and my mind starts to wander. Insight is a word that gets used a lot. If you Google it there are 517,000,000 mentions. That’s a lot of insight.  Yet when it comes to marketing, without insight – the hard stuff – how do you know you aren’t teetering on the edge of a disastrous story?

Let’s look at what makes a bad story. It can be as simple as delivering a short line to a world expecting something completely different. Like When BP’s CEO said “I want my life back” instead of “sorry”.

This is often known as ‘doing a Ratner’.  Following chief executive Gerald Ratner, when he described his own products as “total crap”. After his speech, the jewellery firm nearly collapsed when the value plummeted by around £500 million.

The point is, a bad story is at best dull and at worst an absolute, out-and-out disaster. A catastrophe that can still get written about in blogs 25 years after the event (ahem).

It’s therefore worth having a think about how best to craft a story before you go out and tell it. If you don’t, you’re pretty much sticking your fingers in your ears and hoping what you say is going to make a positive difference.

This is why data and insight is important. Yes, there are 517,000,000 mentions on Google. Yes, it sounds difficult and a bit nebulous, but it’s actually vital. It’s why we have a set of tools and processes that help us understand all sort of vital things. What’s being said and by whom, where we can make a difference, what’s cutting through, what’s worked for others, what people really think – and, most importantly, what might change that.

No one said data, insight and numbers were exciting. Which is why it makes sense to get someone else to look at them for you.

Do you need help with the hard stuff? Get in touch today.