by Tim Hamill F IDM | Director at Data Ketchup Ltd, Data Ketchup Ltd | July 15, 2016 “Since the Brexit polls and the subsequent result I have now given up on market research” - a common theme from several high profile politicians recently. And to be fair, they might as well, as it seems no one is able to get an accurate handle on public moods on the macro political decisions these days. We have always known that there is a difference between what people say they do and what they actually do, but this mistrust must have an impact on people’s use of, and action as a result of market research. So where next? Where can we get accurate information about our customers, who they are, what they do, what they like? How can we make decisions, both strategically and practically? Knowing how to manage and improve our customers experience (CX) for our customers as well as our profit margins? The answer, of course, is to look at our data. Even the most recent start-ups will quickly find that the one thing that they are awash within a very short space of time is data. It comes in rapidly from day one. Structured data from sales, stock control, customer services, and from our customers themselves, kindly providing information over and above the transactional bare minimum. And then there’s the unstructured data. Of course, we have twitter and other social media channels, where people are writing about us and talking about our brand constantly, be it positive or negative. But what to do with it above searching for comment’s that show us up in a poor light..? When it comes to data, the outlets are endless. However, it can all quickly become a little overwhelming. Certainly difficult. Helpful, useful and relevant information, unlike data, is harder to come by. And the people working in it have lots of experience, so they know our customers better than anyone. But why use data to make decisions? There have been many instances in which decisions are being made, both strategic and tactically, without the use of data. However, the problem is there is often a difference between perception and reality. You run the risk of mistargeting the right people and creating campaigns that do not prove ROI and have no relevance. Make sure you use your data otherwise you might end up like some people who voted out – you regrexit. Want to learn more? Discover the metrics to help you measure campaign performance and develop strategies for improved, insight-based, ROI-focused marketing with our Data Driven Marketing Course. *The content and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own.