Ah, the consumer + data love child.

A lot of marketers think about data like a great way to figure out what gets clicks, or engagement, or reads, or minutes of attention on site, or social actions… whatever metric is touted as the top quantifier of the moment. But I think there is an even better focus for all of that lovely data. Making your customers happy.

Personally, I think we’ve swayed a bit too far into the “campaign launch” mentality. We push out a big batch of content and count metrics like they’re gold, but we rarely pay attention to what those metrics indicate… that our consumers want to engage and have a conversation.

dinner_convoI’m sure you’ve noticed that conversations are rarely laser focused or accomplished with one blob of information. At least, not when you want to build a relationship with someone. We move from one story to another, give and take topic ownership, listen to each other, and sometimes even change an opinion or gain interest in something new.

In short, we iterate based on conversation flow. Just like a good marketing plan does.

In person, we usually read social cues and body language that indicate when someone is bored or engaged and change focus accordingly. In the absence of body language cues, data tells us when we’re on track, when we need to continue the conversation. So, are you using your data to be a better conversationalist?

bench-convoOptimization is a great process for making sure you are dialed in with your audience. With multitudes of data tracking options — and even predictive analysis (super sexy stuff that) — we have more data than we know what to do with at our fingertips.

So, how do you pick the right metrics to track? You think like a relationship builder. What will build trust with your audience? What will provide value? What will delight or inform you customers?

In my opinion, optimization is the cap stone to successful iterative planning and I’ve helped a lot of brands find the right social cues through data. Please touch base with me if you’d like more details on getting optimized.