White water is invigorating. You only have to gaze at the crashing surf and feel its refreshing spray, to taste the experience. And for those who go rafting, the effect is overwhelming – so they say!
However, look upstream. Often you’ll find a pool of water, completely undisturbed by the drama on the rocks below. The impact of the rushing waters starts with stillness. Resources like Marketscan’s business database, Megabase offer that kind of effect. They’re packed with features that need careful handling, before you go over the edge and make a splash!
You need to use data with creativity and consideration. Why launch a huge marketing campaign that makes much noise – if people can’t make sense of it? They need space and stillness to digest your message.
The Megabase is a single file containing more than 3.2 million companies, 5.5 million decision makers and 500,000 e-mail addresses. It offers unparalleled targeting power. Such a mighty source of information needs to be treated with respect.
How do we deal with data in a thoughtful way?
According to publishing consultant Dan Brown, the cascading sights and sounds of the river of information that flows around us have given neuroscience something new to study.
‘So far,’ he said, ‘the research findings point to a fast-spreading pandemic of distractedness.’ In his book Six Thinking Hats (Penguin), Edward de Bono warned, ‘The main difficulty of thinking is confusion. We try to do too much at once’.
Here are some principles to help you plan your marketing, as you make use of a data-packed resource like the Megabase:
- Take time to reflect – find that ‘still pool’ before the drama starts.
- Keep a daily journal of ideas.
- Listen to the prevailing culture – what are people thinking about?
- Decide on your guiding principles for design and copywriting.
- Be ‘crafty’ – creating meaning where it didn’t exist before.
- Focus on content, clarity and style – and be concise.
- Take intuitive leaps into the great unknown.
- Use poetry in your slogans and mission statements.
- Grant yourself freedom to make mistakes.
- Always read copy back to yourself – how does your message sound?
- Create moments of stillness during your campaign.
In her book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity (Jeremy P. Tarcher), Julia Cameron said, ‘Art is an act of the soul, not the intellect’. We use our minds to select the right data for the right audience, but we use our hearts to share something of value. People need to experience your message.
Business journalist Tom Ehrenfeld said that ‘entrepreneurs, like poets, invent new ways to connect people, ideas, and organisations’. The aim is to use data – effectively and poetically – to move people’s hearts and minds.
The Marketscan website offers more practical guidance on these issues, along with advice on running a marketing campaign. Here are some other helpful links: