Earlier this month, our founder Jim spoke on a panel at the University of Pennsylvania during its MUSE E-Marketing Engagement Week (MEME Week).
Jim talked about the importance of analytics in the workplace and in decision making to a room full of Wharton and UPenn undergraduate students interested who are interested in marketing careers. Some topics that the students wanted to cover included a) how Jim got into digital marketing and startups after starting his career in investment banking, b) how to approach complex problems in a structured way, and c) the importance of being able to bridge the gap between data and business decision making.
Joining Jim on the panel was Dennis Gleeson, Chief Evangelist at 1010data. Two of our favorite concepts from Dennis were, "Questions and insights are more valuable than answers," and "Lowering the cost of curiosity."
- "Questions and insights are more valuable than answers." We've been repeating this one to clients and prospective clients since we heard it. For startups, this is a particularly relevant concept. At the early stage, founders are running experiment after experiment, hoping that something will stick. That's the nature of the business; nobody has answers- not founders, not employees, not investors, not agencies. If an agency tells you exactly how to acquire customers and spend your limited money, be wary. Chances are they haven't worked with startups much, and might just plan to apply a cookie-cutter approach to your inherently chaotic business.
- Data can "lower the cost of curiosity." Dennis blogged about this concept here. What resonated with us is the idea that everyone at a startup has opinions. Those opinions are extremely valuable- not only are your employees smart and thoughtful, but they know your product, customer and pain points better than anyone. Every single member of the team probably always thinks, "hey, what if we did it this way..." With the right framework for testing these hypotheses, startups can better harness the creative and intellectual horsepower of their employees and advisors. Again, similar to the point above, nobody has answers, so a robust testing framework can encourage more questions. It's simple logic: more hypotheses => more tests => increased likelihood that something might hit.
Stay tuned for more updates from events across the startup, technology and marketing ecosystems.