Decisions Not Data

Sitting in this morning’s opening day of the Insight Innovation (IIeX) Conference, I heard a statement that resonated with me so much that I nearly came out of my seat!

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

Tony Robbins

J. Walker smith was speaking about what he called “The Vanishing Point”.   In essence, the idea is that we shouldn’t look at what is on the uptick on the adoption curve, but on the downside. Instead of trying to latch on to the next big thing, we look closely at those things that are vanishing.   The concept essentially turns that traditional paradigm upside down by looking at the small things instead of the big things.

During the Q&A session after the talk, someone posed the question of what in our Marketing Research world was at its “vanishing point”. The answer?  Traditional survey research! For many in the room, that was an “ouch!”, but really, we are all already aware of that, aren’t we?   Data, it seems, is ubiquitous these days.   The days of relying solely on a survey tool to collect that data are behind us.

The comment that made me jump came when Smith went into some of the ramifications of this fact.   Then came these words: “It’s not about the data, it’s about the decision making.”   The statistician in me cringed, but only for a brief second.   I realized not only how true this is, but how it highlights our changing roles as researchers in today’s world.

For years I have been spouting off (to anyone who would listen) about the framework of beliefs, leading to decisions leading to outcomes.   If you want better outcomes, make better decisions and if you want better decisions, adjust (make better) your beliefs.   While traditionally marketing research has been informing the belief component, more and more we are helping with the decision aspect.

As researchers, we need to understand that our roles are morphing, if they haven’t completely done so already.   Clients look to us not just for information (data), but for what to do with that data.   We must embrace this and leverage the fact that our history and background of handling the data piece makes us uniquely qualified to help our clients navigate through the decision making aspect.   Fortunately, my colleagues at Marketing Workshop not only get this, but we live and breathe it every day.  It’s all part of our ResearchWISE® philosophy.


~ Marketing Workshop

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