Storytelling Through Numbers: Check out how this “Marvel” revolutionizes data analysis in a digital world! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Happy Monday, everyone!
We hope you enjoyed your weekend.
Let’s start the work week fresh and allow ourselves to be inspired by today’s “Marketing Marvel.” Every Monday, we feature these outstanding professionals and highlight their insights, contributions to the industry, and experiences.
Today, let’s talk about a digital marketing evangelist who helps leaders of the world’s largest brands understand and embrace the power of a new digital world. He is known for creating frameworks that simplify complex marketing strategies.
Continue reading to know more about this person and one of the most popular frameworks he created!
Avinash Kaushik is the Digital Marketing Evangelist of the world’s top-performing tech company that focuses on artificial intelligence, online ads, search engine optimization, cloud computing, and more.
He is a bestselling author, a popular blogger, and the Co-Founder of the education center Market Motive Inc. He is also one of the authoritative voices on how executive teams and businesses can leverage digital platforms and data in today’s technological era.
One of the frameworks he encourages businesses to use?
Storytelling (yes, Kaushik uses storytelling as a framework for Google to effectively explain the data it presents to clients)!
Photo from Berkeley Advanced Media Institute
Accessing data is different from processing and understanding it. That’s why whenever Google provides MASSIVE amounts of data to its clients, the company ensures these will help clients make transformative changes in their own businesses.
However, simply dumping data is useless, especially if clients can’t make sense of it. That is why Kaushik created his storytelling framework…
Kaushik believes storytelling plays a significant role in research and data because it is a powerful tool to get clients to think differently. He says in one of his blog posts:
“The difference between a Reporting Squirrel and Analysis Ninja? Insights.
As in, the former is in the business of providing data, the latter in the business of understanding the performance implied by the data. That understanding leads to insights about why the performance occurred, which leads to what we should do.”
Many of Kaushik’s methods simplify the frenzied world of digital marketing. In other words, he tells a story to his clients through an easily understandable narrative using Google’s gathered data.
How exactly does the tech company create an easily understandable narrative from complex data?
Through the Care-Do-Impact strategy!
According to Kaushik, data collection and analytical tools are no longer a strategic advantage to Google because every other business has them already.
With a unique strategy, the company can revolutionize the practice of analyzing, utilizing, and presenting data to its clients.
The Care-Do-Impact strategy solves the problem of what Google should do to have a positive impact on its entire business. This storytelling framework guides various teams and departments through specific steps.
Step 1: Care
Here, Kaushik states sales and marketing professionals should spend the first 20% of their presentation explaining why the client needs to care about data.
… and how do they make clients care about it?
By providing an “out-of-sight!”
Kaushik observes that whenever Google’s sales and marketing teams deliver insights in the past, they deliver things that are too obvious because it’s “in-sight.”
“The blue line is 30% above the red line.”
“Fewer people are buying products from Company X than Company Y.”
“The red line shows a 10% increase in sales every year.”
Okay… so what about these things?
These details are obvious, even if sales and marketing professionals don’t present these in front of clients. Clients can just look at the print-outs of the report and they’ll see these details.
According to Kaushik, this is not the way to go forward. If Google wants to impress clients, it has to go beyond simply stating the obvious. A key component of this step is to reveal information that is “out-of-sight”—something big, transformative, and radical.
“The blue line is 30% above the red line because our biggest competitor launched a new product and priced it 10% below our best product.”
“This year, fewer people are buying products from Company X because it only increased its marketing budget by 5%, while Company Y increased by 15%.”
“The red line shows a 10% increase in sales every year because the prices remain 5% cheaper than our competitors.”
Do you notice the differences between the previous examples and the recent examples?
By explaining the reasons why the data is the way it is, the recent examples enlighten clients and help them think differently. Through this, they will also think of actions they need to take to effectively address and solve issues in the presented data.
Step 2: Do
In this step, Kaushik recommends that 50% of a presentation must focus on helping clients understand what they should do with the information.
However, there is a critical part to this.
Presenters need to pay close attention to and understand the clients’ business deeply. Here’s what Kaushik says whenever he talks with Google’s clients:
“We’re creating a competitive advantage for Google because we will know more about your business than anyone else who comes to see you. Our approach is to show you, ‘This is how Google fits into your business strategy.’ But for that to happen, we need to know every nuance of your business.”
For Kaushik, storytelling with data has to reach clients’ minds so they not only make sense of what is presented to them but also enable them to think of actions they must do to create positive changes in their businesses.
… and for that to be successful, he says Google has to make sure it fits its narratives to the perspectives of clients so they can relate to the data more easily.
Step 3: Impact
Kaushik states the other 20% of the presentation must focus on explaining the outcome or impact of the “out-of-sight” on clients’ future success.
He believes it’s always important to think about the long-term and short-term effects of solutions on a particular business. This will allow clients to see a glimpse of the possibilities in the future once they pursue the ideas presented to them.
Wait a minute. The computation seems to be missing something. Let’s see…
Care is 20%, Do is 50%, and Impact is 20%. 20 + 50 + 20 = 90.
Where did the remaining 10% go?
Kaushik leaves that portion for questions, doubts, and additional ideas from clients to expand the discussion and generate plans of action for their businesses. For him, discussions and presentations are more effective when clients express their thoughts as well.
Oh, and one last thing to keep in mind!
Kaushik says after meeting with clients, it’s possible to tell from their responses whether or not you succeeded in your presentation.
If clients respond with,
“Wow! That’s really interesting data.”
… or something like that, it means you could have done a better job as a presenter.
On the other hand, if clients respond with something like,
“Here are the actions we would take, let’s discuss these actions.”
… that means you succeeded in your presentation. Congratulations!
Kaushik states many presenters at Google struggle to come to terms with this because they believe impressing people with data is their goal. But, at the end of the day, he says:
“The job isn’t to impress people with data. The job is to present the data as simply as possible so there can be an argument about what actually can happen.”
Kaushik’s storytelling framework shows it’s not just the tools in analyzing data that are important nowadays. The staff and storytellers who create a narrative and simplify complex information also matter.
As he explains:
“The web is inherently complex, every bit of it… and it changes every day. In such an environment, insights come not from the multi-million dollar tools that you can implement, and yes you can buy multi-million dollar tools, but the human power you can unleash to make sense of all the irrationality and ensure that valuable nuggets of insights can be found. The tool is not the answer, it’s the people. Buy the tool you want, but remember the 10/90 rule [invest USD 10,000 in software and USD 90,000 in great staff] and invest accordingly if you want to win.”
We hope you gained lots of useful insights from the notable Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google!
Keep in mind that to be a successful professional in the digital world, you have to put focus on creating genuine value for customers and clients. Only then will you effectively connect with them and compel them to think differently.
Have a great week ahead!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!
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