Marketers Love Data – But How Do Your Customers Really Feel?

Marketers Love Data – But How Do Your Customers Really Feel?

“We’re a data-driven organization.”

“I’m a very data-driven person.”

We’ve all heard – and even said – these quotes before. Data has become a powerful way for businesses and marketers to make strategic decisions. With more data available than we know what to do with, it’s easy to pour over reports, demographic information and survey results to build content. However, as a marketer you need to do more than just rely on analytics, surveys, and metrics to understand your audience and tailor your content accordingly.

Especially with the end of third-party cookies looming at the start of 2024, creating impactful content needs to be delicately balanced in a way that incorporates human insights, sales collaboration, and direct customer engagement.

The End of Third-Party Cookies

The demise of third-party cookies was first announced by Google in January of 2020, so this is hardly news. Understandably so, people want more privacy on the internet. They want to know – and have control over – how, where, and when their data is being used.

This has some of us marketers undoubtedly scrambling – particularly those with an over-reliance on data. First-party data is an option. That is, setting up ways for people to voluntarily give you their information. But why not blend data with direct insights from the people you want to reach? If you want to know what your customer wants – just ask. 

The Limitations of Data Alone

Whether it’s first- or third-party data, it’s undeniably powerful and provides valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. But it’s incredibly limiting to only rely on numbers. While data analysists may be able to craft a powerful narrative around data, PowerPoint charts and graphs in a board room presentation don’t capture the emotional nuances or unique challenges faced by individual customers. To really connect and capture customer needs, you need to supplement your data with a more human touch. 

Connect With Your Sales Team

What better place to start with getting the voice of the customer than with the sales teams? They’re on the frontlines, engaging directly with the people you’re trying to get feedback from. By building better collaboration between marketing and sales, you have a wealth of customer insights available to them. Selling teams have an intimate understanding of pain points, objections, and success stories. By incorporating this wisdom into your content, you’ll develop a more nuanced and empathetic approach.

If You Have a Question, Ask

Surveys are a great way to get structured data. Email out a series of questions and hope to get some insightful answers, assuming anyone completes it. However, surveys may not uncover the unexpected or the unspoken. By actively engaging with your customers through interviews, focus groups, or social media, you can get a deeper understanding of their needs and experiences.

To get truly pure information, set up unscripted conversations with customers over the phone or in-person. Make it something low-stakes; just two people having a conversation. You’ll get a better idea of their challenges and the specific language they use to describe their needs. 

Crafting Stories, Not Just Content

By blending data with real, direct insights from sales interactions and customer conversations, you can create narratives that get to the heart of the issues at hand. Stories and content will become more authentic, genuine, relatable, and memorable. You’ll trade “content creation” with deep and insightful narratives.

Let’s Wrap it Up


In the era of – and maybe the end to? – data-driven marketing, it’s critical to remember that behind every data point is a real human being with unique experiences, challenges, and aspirations. When you blend the precision of data analysis with the human touch of sales collaboration and direct customer engagement, you’ll be better equipped to create content that attracts attention and deeply resonates with your audience. You’ll better navigate the balance between science and art.

Remember: data will illuminate the path, but the direct connection with customers will breathe life into your content and transform it from mere information into a compelling and relatable story.

We’re always ready for a good conversation about this, and we’d love to connect! AMA | Rochester is a place for local marketers and communications professionals to collaborate, learn, and grow together. Reach out to us today. 

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