Making Decisions with Gut, Data, Gut

By David Sauter, CEO

Published: October 18, 2018

‘Gut, Data, Gut’. Three words that look so simple, but combined seem to create conflict. While many are arguing about if decisions are made with the heart or the head, at Envano, we focus on two similar but different components: gut instincts and raw data. Neither is more important than the other, but rather two different decision-making elements working together to increase speed, efficiency and accuracy.

What is Gut, Data, Gut?

The concept of ‘Gut, Data, Gut’ is essentially a process defined by intuition combined with experience. Gut refers to intuition: a feeling, hunch or overall energy about what is right based on experiences. Data refers to the numbers: facts, figures and results that prove something to be true or false. Combined, this concept hinges on the idea that decisions can be made by first using your gut and then validating (or invalidating) with data.

Why is Gut, Data, Gut beneficial?

When it comes to digital marketing, the industry is moving incredibly fast. The old way to make decisions was to conduct market research in the form of surveys or focus groups. Not that these types of research don’t yield valuable information, but they simply take too long. At the speed of this industry, spending six to 12 months to research just isn’t an option. Taking this long to make a decision might cause you to miss the boat.

The Envano way is to rapidly validate ideas so we can stay on top of the latest trends and keep our partners on the cutting edge of digital. We use our intuition to decide what tactics will fit the personas we are trying to reach and then use more time-efficient data sources, like social media research and message testing, to validate these decisions. While going with your initial feeling might speed up the process, using data helps to move the rationale from just a feeling to a science.

When should Gut, Data, Gut be used?

‘Gut, Data, Gut’ is used in most decision-making situations. However, it can take some getting used to. Depending on your personality, it is often difficult to make decisions without knowing all the answers upfront, it is all about balance. Keep in mind, you can’t listen to your gut all of the time either. Sometimes your gut instinct is just plain wrong. But — if you’re using this process correctly — that’s ok. That’s what the second ‘Gut’ is for. If the statistics invalidate your initial feeling, don’t be afraid to recalibrate. Form a new intuition, move on from there and check it with data again. It is more of an ongoing process than a one-time solution.

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