Melissa Mines of Bulldog Solutions introduces a simple framework of 3 steps to data-driven content, using scientific and investigative principles.

From the session “Drowning in Data, but Thirsty for Insight?” given by Elizabeth Crinejo and Melissa Mines at ConnectToConvert, August 21, 2017.



So, when we think about how to approach putting data in motion and having it work for us, we need to think a bit like investigators. We need to be curious, and as Elizabeth really explained so well, a lot of it is building a culture. It’s communicating.

The basics still apply even though we’re dealing with math. It’s great to have a pocket of data sitting over in one part of the company, but if we’re not asking, if we’re not reaching across, if we’re not fostering an ability to look and to listen, it’s good money after bad or it’s good money that often will go wasted.

The second part is to really then analyze and learn. So, again, as Elizabeth mentioned, we should celebrate when things aren’t looking right. We need to applaud the person that’s brave enough to walk in the room and say, “This campaign that we just launched, this program, it isn’t looking so hot. Some of the early indicators are showing us that some of the metrics are a little off.”

That’s where we can dig in. That’s where we can ask the questions. That should be celebrated. This is an iterative process that only will get better the more we ask the questions and we throw hypotheses at what we’re trying to accomplish.

And so then the next is to act and iterate. It’s really—if some of you have started to incorporate Agile into the way that your teams are working, I’m such a big believer in it because it really becomes this constant process of quick looks. It really helps foster communication, and you begin to change the mindset in terms of we’re not reaching a goal because of a quarterly ask or what have you.

This is a continuous cycle where we’ll always be moving. Because the minute we start to understand the behaviors of our customers, you know what? Their behaviors change. You know what? We have a whole new pocket of customers that we’re going after, and/or we have a whole new psyche or a change of the way that things are behaving, and so there is no end game and destination.

It’s something that we’re really just improving, and as we go over time and as we get smarter, our dollars work hard for us. We’re spending less on search terms that don’t mean as much. We’re actually becoming less impressed with the volume of impressions that we have or the volume of clicks that we have, and we’re really looking more towards the quality that we have.