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Magic Numbers: The Need to be Strategic with Josh Bowman


Alloy's data lead on trust in data, the importance of accountability and preparing for the leveraging marketing data reality

Magic Numbers: The Need to be Strategic with Josh Bowman

Alloy's mission is to empower fearless digital growth through technologies driven by behavioural science. It's data lead, Josh Bowman is a believer in working hard and smart. 

LBB> In your view, what’s the biggest misconception people have around the use of data in marketing?

Josh> I think for people who work in the marketing industry there is the notion that “you can never have enough data”. In my opinion that is certainly not true. While tracking KPIs and other meaningful metrics is important, having data for the sake of data can have negative impacts. For example, if you have an excessive amount of tags on your website it will slow your site down and hinder the performance of your website and have negative consequences for SEO. I think data tracking should be strategic instead of a catch all. 


LBB> More brands are working to create their own first party data practice - how can a brand figure out whether that’s something that is relevant or important for their business?

Josh> If they use data to make marketing decisions or they sell their data. Also, doing some competitive research is always a good way to find out what you should be doing. 


LBB> What are your thoughts about trust in data - to what extent is uncertainty and a lack of trust in data (or data sources) an issue and what are your thoughts on that?

Josh> I think trust in data comes from widespread adoption. Most people trust the data that comes from Google Analytics…why? Because it’s one of the largest web analytics platforms. Fewer people than you would think understand data architecture and how data related software collects and validates their data. You could nit-pick and question even the most reputable data companies to death. At a certain point you have to trust your data, not blindly though. You should have accountability and measure your data against other sources if at all possible. 


LBB> "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" - how can brands and creative make sure that they’re really seeing what they think they’re seeing (or want to see) in the data, or that they’re not misusing data?

Josh> Accountability is key. Someone needs to be in charge of ensuring the integrity of the data and checking for discrepancies. It’s easy to miscommunicate desires for data, especially between technical and non-technical roles. So it helps to have a mediator who understands all sides of the problem. 


LBB> In terms of live issues in the field, what are the debates or developments that we should be paying attention to right now?

Josh> I don’t think this is a secret to anyone - the giant movement from large tech companies and governments around privacy protection. The future of data, in marketing, is going to be increasingly narrowed and anonymised. Everyone in the industry should be preparing for the reality that leveraging marketing data will increase in difficulty. 


LBB> We talk about data driving creativity, but what are your thoughts about approaching the use of data in a creative way?

Josh> Data at its core is information, that information should certainly drive decision making around creative. What ad is driving the most results, what web page layout is driving the most conversions, etc. I think we should always try to approach data and problems data can solve in creative ways.

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Intermark, Mon, 28 Mar 2022 08:11:30 GMT