Relying On Research Or Data For The Sake Of Content?

by Jason Falls |

There is often a major difference in data you see on blogs and websites presented as research, science or fact and actual research, science or fact. The problem is that content marketing has overcome the sensibilities of many content providers and the inbound link or catchy headline is held in higher esteem that presenting fair and accurate information that is truly helpful to the audience.

It’s the difference in producing data for content purposes and data for insight purposes.

While snazzy infographics and snapshot looks at a software company’s user data is interesting and often produces some nice thought starters, too often, the individuals or companies producing such data present them as fact — thought enders — as if they’ve tested all of the possible variables and this statistic produced by the 20-minute spreadsheet studying of a 20-something copywriter is suddenly chapter and verse on how to do something in digital marketing.

Real researchers know that you don’t analyze data looking to confirm your suspicions. You let the data lead you down many paths of questions, resulting in more tests, hypotheses and even more tests before you can begin to conclude or declare a certain behavior to be better than another.

Not to mention, the aggregated user data of one software company may not have a single shred of commonality with your business, your market, your competitors, etc. So following its recommended best time to do something or best words to use in saying something or even best platform to use versus another is basing your decisions on unintelligent conclusions.

Tom Webster of Edison Research (and an SME contributor) will be talking a lot deeper, not to mention with a lot more credibility on the subject, at Explore Dallas-Fort Worth on February 17. I caught up with him last week to talk about marketing, social media and data. (And stick around for the last question, which had me ask him what he does to stay so awesome. His answer almost made me pee.)

You won’t want to miss the business insights Tom has to give at Explore Dallas-Fort Worth. He’ll be speaking there, along with an all-star lineup that includes Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, Zena Weist of Edelman Digital, Aaron Strout from WCG, Nichole Kelly of Full Frontal ROI, DJ Waldow from Waldow Social and more. The event will also feature a number of excellent software providers and companies to help you navigate the waters of digital marketing. They’ll bring their knowledge to share as well as their products. This is a must-attend event, so register now!

The first 100 registrants get the full day’s content, breakfast, lunch (by Wolfgang Puck Catering) and a cocktail reception for just $250! The full price of the event is $400, so save $150 now and reserve your spot.

Explore is a five-city conference event series from Social Media Explorer and presented by Expion and Raven Internet Marketing Tools. Learn more and sign up for email updates for the city nearest you at

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).