Trust Your Gut, But Lean on Data

Audacity Marketing
Audacity Marketing
Trust Your Gut, But Lean on Data

In our world of marketing, data is queen. It’s everywhere, telling us what to do, how to act, and what works. It’s like that know-it-all friend who actually does know it all. But here’s the thing: have you ever had a moment when something just felt right? That’s your gut talking, and in the marketing game, it’s nearly as valuable as any spreadsheet.

This episode is all about data and intuition and how to make them live in harmony in your brain. We’re not saying throw all your data out the window. Far from it. Data helps you avoid costly mistakes and spot trends you might miss. But if we’re only listening to what the numbers say, we’re missing half the conversation. Ever notice how some of the biggest wins in marketing came from someone saying, “I just have a feeling about this”? That’s intuition, and it’s powerful.

Data tells you what has happened, intuition points to what could happen

So, here we are, standing at the crossroads of data and intuition. On one side, we’ve got every metric and analysis tool at our fingertips. On the other, that gut feeling, honed by years of experience and those inexplicable moments of clarity. The real trick is knowing when to lean on each. It’s about balance, about marrying the analytical with the instinctual.

Let’s dive deeper into this. When we talk about data, we’re talking about the backbone of modern marketing strategies. It’s the safety net that catches us when we’re about to make a leap of faith. But data only looks backwards; it tells us what has happened, not what’s going to happen. That’s where intuition comes in. It’s the leap of faith itself.

In the world of marketing, it’s not just about what the data says; it’s about what it doesn’t say. That gut feeling you get when you’re onto something big? That’s your intuition talking, and it’s just as crucial as the numbers in front of you. In our latest podcast episode, we dive into the heart of this debate, sharing stories where intuition didn’t just whisper, it roared.

We talk about times when following our gut led to breakthroughs that data alone couldn’t have predicted. It’s those moments when you step into the unknown, armed with nothing but a hunch, and end up striking gold. This isn’t about dismissing data; it’s about recognizing its limits and knowing when to leap beyond them.

The episode isn’t just a collection of anecdotes; it’s a testament to the power of marrying data with instinct. It’s a reminder that the most compelling marketing strategies come from understanding not just the trends, but the human stories behind them.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself pondering whether to follow the numbers or your intuition, this episode is for you. It’s an exploration of how the most successful marketers navigate the space between data’s clarity and intuition’s mystery.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:07] Speaker A: Welcome to audacity marketing with Hazel Quimpo and Michelle Frechette. On this podcast, we’ll challenge you to think differently and break free of the same old strategies. We’ll push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to think outside the box. So take notes, make bold decisions, and be audacious.

[00:00:32] Speaker B: Hey, Hazel.

[00:00:34] Speaker C: Hi, Michelle. Excited to be back for another episode.

[00:00:38] Speaker B: I know. It feels audacious. I’m sitting here freezing because it’s snowing here, and you’re actually in a jacket, so. And you’re in California. So I feel like maybe the whole world is a little bit chillier today. I don’t know.

[00:00:50] Speaker C: It is. I’ll tell you about a phenomenon in California is in, like, the insulation isn’t as good in our houses here for winter. So in California, actually, outside, it’s lovely. No jacket. Inside, you’re bundled up. I believe it’s cold from overnight. That’s funny. Well, a couple of weeks ago, recently, we talked about data and why that should drive some of your marketing endeavors.

But counterpoint, you have a good one. Michelle, what are your thoughts?

[00:01:21] Speaker B: Yeah, so I appreciate data, but I hate, and I mean, like, abhor loathe having to congregate. Like, pull the data, massage the data, interpret the data. I am a gut girl. I go by my gut. And I will say probably as often as people are correct with data, I’m correct with my gut instinct on things.

And I’m not saying, like, I’m omniscient.

[00:01:52] Speaker C: Do you have data to back that up?

[00:01:54] Speaker B: I do not. But I have my gut instinct that I’m correct.

I’ll say I’m not data driven in that I’m not looking at numbers, but I look at trends. I see what’s happening. Right? I understand there was that whole last year, I’m passing the phone to the person who on TikTok and that kind of thing.

I pivoted that I used that for podcasters. And I’m, like, passing the podcasting mic, too. I had, like, 13 different podcasters in WordPress, and I stitched all those videos together and I put that out on international podcasting Day, that kind of thing. To be able to ride the wave, work with your gut, know when it’s too late to jump on something. Like, I wouldn’t start an ice bucket trend challenge today because that’s been and gone. What is the next one? We don’t know yet. But those kinds of things I say kind of go with my gut. I don’t need to lead the trend, but to know how to jump into it quickly and know how to use it appropriately within the context of the community or the ecosystem.

Like I said, I’m not saying everything I do is 100%. I’m not saying everything I do.

[00:03:04] Speaker C: Everything you do is 150%.

[00:03:07] Speaker B: Well, I put in that much, but I’m saying it’s not necessarily going to be like, we raised our revenue by.

[00:03:11] Speaker C: 50%, and if someone did data, they’re not going to get that either. So I love this conversation.

Do you mind if I start with one of the examples you threw in the intro? There was about an effort that you did for a viral social media, right. The TikTok, past the phone.

These type of things are really interesting because you’re right. Those social media, when you’re wearing a social media hat, you’re very much working on a lot of gut. Where I would love to tie data into that. That I think is super important is if I had someone on my team working on a video like that, heck yeah, do it. I trust your gut all day, but what number is going to measure success on it?

Okay. Because you can’t tell me if it went well.

You can. You can tell me if it went well based on your gut, but I am less inclined to believe you based than data. Now, that’s where it becomes challenging. Right. The decision versus the outcome.

[00:04:10] Speaker B: Right? For sure.

[00:04:11] Speaker C: What are your thoughts on that, though?

Having one can find measurable for a gut decision?

[00:04:18] Speaker B: I think for people like me, it’s important that you have somebody like you who’s working on the team, because when you have a team, even if it’s just two people, where one person is more the numbers data person and the other is more the. This is my gut and this is what I think. And it’s not that we both can’t have crossover. Right. We’re not two separate circles. We’re a Venn diagram. There’s things that overlap for sure, but having somebody who’s your counterpart, to be able to balance that and understand what metrics you’re looking for. Right. For you to say, I like the idea, but do you think we can target to get x number of views or x number of this number of people in the funnel or those kinds of things, as opposed to, I like it, let’s do it. Even though it’s just branding and it’s not going to bring us any absolute sales, it’s just going to start to feed the funnel however you look at it. And some of that is how much time is it going to take to do it. Is it something I can do quickly? Right. So we had an episode earlier this year where we talked about social media and how I just go off and do things sometimes and they work or they don’t. But the point is we’re out there doing things as opposed to, I want to spend $2,000 on a video and I need to do this money, and we need to do that. And now we’re talking about more than, like, an hour of my time. We’re talking about actual expenditure, not just time, but actual money. Now, we need to look at a little bit of a different of an ROI on that, because if we’re going to spend money on it, as opposed to, yeah, Michelle, take an hour of your time and do it, then we have to look at what the expectations should be.

[00:05:52] Speaker C: Yeah, that makes sense. And I can see that there’s an interesting balance there of sort of like the things you have room to try every day versus maybe what I would call big bets. Like, for instance, sometimes you would go on your gut on even launching a new product, for instance, or like a product launch or a know, like, hey, I really feel like I hear a lot about people talking about this trend, and I can’t prove it, but it seems like there’s something about this. Years ago, Michelle and I dated ourselves often on this, but this is years ago, bacon was coming into the zeitgeist. I don’t know if everybody remembers the early 2000s. It was like bacon. There was like bacon vodka. It was kind of like one of the first big meme things over the Internet. And I threw a bacon themed party and it would be on that kind of gut of like, hey, there’s something going on here. And, oh, my God, it hit like national news. It was like a big deal for the brand that we threw the party for. So I think being tuned in and marketing is really interesting. On your gut.

I’m going to tell you a little bit about a different type of data, though, that I think you’re going to agree with a little bit more. And that’s like a customer avatar. Right? A lot of your decisions that are gut are because you have a natural ability to read a customer really well.

If someone doesn’t have that, do you suspect they could train it by having solid data to back it up on, like, a customer avatar or customer journey, et cetera?

[00:07:23] Speaker B: Absolutely. And I think some of it also depends on your audience. Right. So somebody who’s coming into your community or your ecosystem, brand new now, maybe they know marketing, but they’re brand new to your ecosystem. They need to, number one, trust some of the people that are informing them, but also do a little bit of research into the community. Right. It doesn’t have to be hard numbers, but you have to at least look at what are the kinds of events, what are the kinds of social things that are happening and kind of engulf yourself a little bit in what that culture looks like, to be able to lean into that a little bit. So I think it can be learned for sure, but I think it takes a little bit of trust of other people, and I think it takes a little bit of self education as well as perhaps some actual immersion into some different events and things like that.

[00:08:10] Speaker C: Now, here’s a question for you that you’re very good at going with your gut. Do you suspect it is very confined to a WordPress space or a social media space or something that because you’re an expert, or if you got a job tomorrow at the mortuary, would it be the same thing? Go with your guts.

[00:08:33] Speaker B: Mortuary. Guts. I got it. I think some of it depends on if it’s absolutely, completely foreign to you. Mortuary. We’ve all been to funerals. We know what it looks like to pick out a casket, whether you’ve ever done that or not. We’ve seen it in tv, we’ve seen it in movies.

What would be really foreign to me and not necessarily gut driven is, let’s say somebody says, we need you to come help us, and we’re doing package design, just the size and the shapes of the boxes. I would need to do a little more research on what the size and the shape of a box should look like or what the packing material should be like. If I’m trying to make decisions about that, in order to use that and say, hey, look at. We even package these eggs so well that you can ship them from here to China is a different. I would need a little more research before I could say, I can put that on a social media. And then everybody in China gets all these broken eggs and they’re like, that didn’t. So, like, I don’t know if that’s the right. But. But there are things that you can have more of an understanding of just by living life and by observing as opposed to. Who knew that new coke wasn’t going to be awesome? I know I talk about coke all the time, right? Like, new coke. The idea behind new coke was like, we have this thing. Look at how we take this thing that we’ve had forever. We can make it even better. And everybody was like, no, they’re like, ok, we’re not going to anymore. Right. And there are other things that we can point to over time that do that same thing. And so I think it really has to do with understanding the audience. And then one of the things I want to talk about in a future episode, which is on our list of things, is pivoting, right? So let’s say you trust your gut and gosh, it just didn’t work because of whatever reason. Then you have to figure out how you’re going to recover from that. And that happened a lot. For example, when the pandemic hit, right? There was all of these things that people were marketing on that people were talking about, and that all of a sudden people launched brand new restaurants in 2019 that closed in 2020 because they didn’t have the name and the sustainability yet to be able to offer that curbside pickup and weather the storm of COVID And so there’s so many outstanding factors that even when you trust your gut, even when you have the numbers, can still say the universe says, no, not right now.

[00:10:46] Speaker C: Oh, for sure. That’s marketing and business everywhere. It’s like all the things, if we all did it, we’d all be billionaires.

[00:10:53] Speaker B: I wish.

[00:10:55] Speaker C: But I do think with the gut, I think the part that came to light as you were talking, and I think that would be really good for the audience to know, is it’s really about kind of understanding the human condition. Not to sound like overly lofty about it, but honestly, it’s true. Studying humans, as you were talking about. Yeah. You’re not a graphic designer, so you don’t have a gut feel for how big a box should be. And to be clear, not what we’re talking about. I’m an event planner. I can tell you with a gut feel generally, how many people can fit in a room. Also not what we’re talking about.

[00:11:23] Speaker B: Right.

[00:11:24] Speaker C: Talking about the things that you can apply to a mortuary or a WordPress business. And that is kind of the way humans react to things.

I’ll share one of my best tips that I love learning about human psychology. And it is a very easy tip. And it is, well, two, I have two tips. One is a tv show called Brain Games on Disney. Plus, it is like from the mid two thousand s, and it is the best show on marketing I’ve ever seen. It’s not on marketing, but it is so good. I’ve learned so many tricks on there from marketing, and often they have. Jonah Berger, who is a marketing author on there doing things. But brain games will teach you so much about understanding. And they have a whole episode actually on gut.

[00:12:10] Speaker B: I will have to look that up.

[00:12:12] Speaker C: Number two is I am a creep on airplanes and I always kind of look over and see what people are doing on their phones constantly. I always want to see what other people are doing on their phone. I am obsessed with knowing what a stranger is doing on their phones and how they use it.

And I think just obviously being that kind of creep and watching people a bit, honestly, not in a creep, but sure, it’s really a way to hone your gut of understanding. Why do people do things? I mean, a great example very currently, not to get into the politics of it all, but you keep hearing everybody, the government is saying that the economy is doing so well, but people are saying it doesn’t feel like it’s doing so well. And there’s this big difference of data and gut right there.

[00:12:55] Speaker B: Absolutely. I think too that you could do a gap analysis too to see where there’s a need for things like new products and things like that, right. That can actually fit a niche. And sometimes, you know, it’s going to be a fad, it’s going to fit a niche for a specific amount of time and then people are going to pick up on it and try to replicate it and it’s already too late, right? So I think of things like the pet rock of the 70s. We don’t have rocks with eyes sitting on our desks anymore because it was such a novelty, such a fad thing.

But there are other things like computer mice. Everybody has a mouse in their house, right? Like that kind of mouse. So that was not a fad that it picked up quickly and it sustained and it continues to more for what it looks like, how it works, all those things, whether it’s got batteries or rechargeable. So there’s all kinds of ways that you can look at gaps and things. Like. So for example, I think when you said something about the beginning, like when you launch a product or you launch something, immediately came to mind. Not to pat myself on the back, but maybe a little. I launched WP speakers this year, right? And we talked about that before I thought about it. I bought the domain about two weeks and then two weeks later I was like, I’m going to build this thing. I started building it on Monday, soft launched it on Wednesday, and by Friday I had over 100 people signed up for it. Or around 100 people sign up for it.

[00:14:10] Speaker C: Love it.

[00:14:11] Speaker B: It still growing because it actually fit a need that I could see. And then I executed it in a way that worked. But also I knew that my position in the community would help sell it, as opposed to somebody who is kind of sitting at home, who’s never put themselves, never spoken at a word camp, never been anywhere, and doesn’t have any kind of following, trying to launch a project that doesn’t have that kind of face included with it. And so there’s a lot of things that go into that gut. Like, somebody else could have thought that was a great idea, but didn’t have the people to help move it forward or didn’t have their own notoriety to help move it forward. It’s not going to move forward as quickly because the gut’s there, but the execution isn’t there, too. So there’s more to it than just.

[00:14:54] Speaker C: Really inciting a good idea.

Well, tell me this. I have a tough question for you as we this episode, which is, okay, imagine Michelle Frechette from 20 years ago showed up today at your job and was hired on, and you want to give her some tips on how to hone her gut. What do you tell her?

[00:15:13] Speaker B: I tell her to get out there, attend events, and learn what people are looking to do. Look for where there are gaps to be filled. Figure out what people are hungry for, even if they don’t know they’re hungry for it. Find those places.

Listen to people’s conversation about what’s needed and the things that things don’t do. The reason that there’s at least ten really popular form plugins is because none of them do all the exact same thing. Each one of them finds a way to fill a different gap that the other ones don’t. And in order to be successful, you need to look for those places to fill those gaps.

[00:15:53] Speaker C: I love that. And what I think that can be a really interesting takeaway from this for a team to be especially audacious is if there’s room for everybody on your team to have this, you have real power. If you have a very diverse team in this, because, for instance, the 22 year old hanging out on TikTok has a different view of life than the 60 year old who lives on next door. And both are valid in very different ways. And I think having a diverse team is super important when it comes to gut. And I mean, with anything. But, I mean, it’s a very tangible way that, hey, different viewpoints can make a real difference here, especially if you’re.

[00:16:30] Speaker B: Targeting a different part of the audience. So somebody my age with the experiences I have is not going to be able to sell to an 18 year old the same way that 22 year old you just talked about does. So that’s why I agree.

[00:16:43] Speaker C: Diversity is absolutely part of a mix. And I think your new coke is a great example of them going off data. Trying to sell without having.

[00:16:54] Speaker B: It always isn’t just make it better. Sometimes it’s make something in addition to not instead of.

[00:17:01] Speaker C: Absolutely. Well, you are the queen of going with your gut, and I always rely on data. I know. I feel like we should write like a probiotic book. There’s like an analogy in here somewhere.

[00:17:13] Speaker B: We’ll figure it out over the holidays and come back with something exciting.

[00:17:17] Speaker C: All right. Thanks, Michelle.

[00:17:19] Speaker B: Yeah. Take care.

[00:17:21] Speaker A: This has been Michelle Frechette and Hazel Quimpo with audacity marketing. Dare to be different and dominate your market with audacity.