Data is devouring your drama

It is amazing what we can track and measure today. It's given us on-demand access to insights about the behavior of those we hope to serve. It's a new day. And I find myself awed by the possibilities.

Yet among all the optimism and proclamations of an enlightened new way of doing things, I can't help but feel that something is amiss. There is something that is getting lost.


Revenge of the left-brainers.

The internet was in its infancy when I started my company. But it didn't take long for everyone to see that it would shake things up. It was exciting back in those days to imagine what would be possible.

In a rush to harness those possibilities, something interesting happened. The left-brainers came crawling out of the woodwork. We had self-proclaimed technology experts telling us how things needed to be done now.

It was all so new and mysterious that we didn't know who to believe. As a result, we were quick to abandon all the old ways. Oh, some deserved to be retired. But there were others that were timelessly valuable  – especially the stuff that helped us connect with people on an emotional level. Unfortunately, it all became collateral damage.

The science is crucial, but the magic is unparalleled.

The technology is important so we know where to connect, when to do it,  and even what to say. But it’s no more important than knowing how to say it - in other words, how to connect with those we hope to serve in a relevant and compelling way. Technology can’t do that yet. In fact, it may never be able to. Because humans are unpredictable and irrational. Those are things that technology doesn’t handle well. Crazy humans.

The great thing about these crazy humans is that they come with a valuable opportunity for us. They can be entertained. They can be moved. They can be inspired.

That is powerful. Because if you can do any of these things, you have the potential to turn prospects into evangelists. That’s something that the technology and the data simply can’t conjure.

Don’t let the data dominate.

We can get the science right and not get the results. I’ve seen it happen. We scratch our heads, go back through the spreadsheets, and check our pixels and algorithms. But it all can be unremarkable if we don’t add drama into the equation. It’s the human stuff. The storytelling - the irresistible and inspiring words and pictures that we can’t ignore.