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A question of balance

A question of balance

Marie-Josée Bourque
Marie-Josée Bourque

I’m one of those people who advocate for balance in every aspect of life. This philosophy has helped me manage my professional and private life successfully over the years, if I do say so myself. It’s an approach that has worked pretty well so far!

A recent Infopresse article about the vice president of Havas, Jacques Séguéla, highlights a significant challenge to professional balance that many marketers, clients and agencies face on a daily basis. How do we reconcile data with ideas?

According to the article, while more and more businesses are thinking in terms of data, Jacques Séguéla prefers to believe in the power of big ideas. “Our job is to take vulgar products and turn them into an irrepressible desire to act. If your idea won’t snowball, if it won’t produce in someone the urge to share it, forget it.”

Being more pro-idea than pro-data, I particularly like this quote. I certainly recognize the value of data. What I question, though, is the quantity and relevance of the data that we have access to as marketers. Do we need all this data? Do we use all of it? Do we know how to analyze it and, above all, translate it into learning that will lead to improved performance (in production, finances, service . . .) and customer experience? Ideally, the answer to that last question is “yes”, in which case the investments in time and technology required to collect and analyse data will be profitable. At that point, just allow room for the big ideas inspired by this data, and balance will be regained.