Friday, September 22, 2006

Sudoku-driven Marketing

Does analysis mean numbers?

There seems to be an assumption going around that analysis equates with numbers. Let's not forget that analysis means understanding, not necessarily quantifying. Data-driven marketing is important, if not critical; but it still requires augmenting the data with thinking.

Recently Lane Michel of Quaero and I both wrote pieces that used Sudoku as a reference to the marketing analysis question. Lane used the analogy that the marketing database was like a Sudoku puzzle -- it starts with a lot of gaps in it that need to be filled. I took the approach that strategic analysis is as much about critical thinking and logic as it is about numbers.

Numbers can provide an excellent, and often defensible, guide to the decision making process - but they do not replace it.

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