The Correct Data Needs to Be Defined if We Are to Make Decisions Based On Accurate Data
But how do we be sure we are making Decisions Based On Accurate Data?
The old mantra says that if you can’t see, or define it, you can’t measure it.
So step one on making decisions is to understand and agree what data is required to measure and evaluate things.
In FE you can’t argue that marketing is doing really well based solely on website hits, Facebook likes or marketing spend. What really matters are how many bums get on seats.
Along the way we can measure website hits .. but no one has to go to the website to get their bum on a seat. We can measure Facebook likes … but no one needs a Facebook account to put their bum on a seat. And how much you spend is immaterial .. except I’d like to see you spend much less and get better results.
The one thing that is sure is that spending more on marketing doesn’t help balance to income/expenditure see-saw.
We also know that if you’ve kept very good records that the interim measurement s like website hits may roughly correlate to the number of bums on seats. But it is a crude metric at best.
But there’s more to it than this.
Are We Really Sure We Are Making Decisions Based On Accurate Data?
So often in marketing I’m shown marketing metrics, data and measurements that are incomplete or invalid. For example, I don’t care how many website hits you’ve had. It is s totally spurious number and includes how many times each graphic has downloaded. Therefore the more graphics on a page the greater number of hits you get per visitor. What I want to see are the number of realistic goals that you realise. Things like Taster course applications, Open Day registrations and course applications. These aren’t as good as bums on seats but they are indicative of that figure.
The above doesn’t just apply to marketing. It applies to every single decision you make about anything.
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