Math: My Marketing Frienemy

Last week, I had the privilege of attending Social Media Marketing World with 2,499 of my closest social friends. There were over 130 speakers at the conference with many All-Stars in attendance.

On Friday morning, Chris Penn continued to show why he is one of these stars.

Following a dominating performance during the morning’s keynote, Penn went on to pack back-to-back presentations, showcasing his wizardry of predictive analytics, spreadsheets, and mathematics. I attended the second presentation and stood in the back as every seat was occupied by marketers driven to become better, more data-driven thinkers.

After explaining every action he took to achieve specific analysis during his presentation, Penn paused and asked the sold-out crowd if there were any questions.

There were 2.

In a room full of inquiring minds eager to become better marketing mathematicians there had to have been more than a pair of questions. Because, let’s be honest: there would not have been 200+ people in that room if we weren’t struggling with this.

I went to Chris Penn’s presentation on Friday so that I could continue feeding the part of my mind that needs the most attention — the left side.

By the traditional definition, I am a right brained thinker. After graduating high school (where I only took 3 years of math), went on to art school and struggled even with the simplest of equations and theories. Since then, I have purchased many books on how to better evaluate data and have asked countless others on what steps need to be taken so I could lessen this deficiency of mine.

Math is scary. At least, it is to me as I’m sure it is to you sometimes. The application and execution is where I typically turtle up. I have been trying my damndest to change that reality, hence why I found myself in Chris’ demonstration.

In business and marketing, math has never been more important. The C-Suite knows there are massive piles of data in every industry but the magic is in the interpretation and proper reading. There are throngs of tools, systems, and books showing us how to use data effectively but how often does it go over our heads?

This experience has left me wondering: have marketers failed math or has math failed marketing?

My hunch is to lean toward the former, but I could be swayed to other side as well.

Either way, where do we go from here?

Much like everything else in our world, there is a ton of information but a general lack of deeper understanding.

I’m seeking guidance beyond the books already in my kindle. Any help is most welcome @jwsteiert.

Content Manager @netline_corp | #Hockey player | 'You are the product. You; feeling something is what sells. Not sex.' - Don Draper

Content Manager @netline_corp | #Hockey player | 'You are the product. You; feeling something is what sells. Not sex.' - Don Draper