Thinking Differently

At a recent conference one of the speakers presented the following syllogism:

  • What drives a company –> sales
  • What drives sales –> marketing
  • What drives marketing –> data

The implication is clear, ultimately data drives a company. Unfortunately, this thinking is all too prevalent in the business world (perhaps, just the world, leave business out of it).

It is also wrong. Actually, it is not just wrong, it is confusing cause with effect. Data is not the cause of company activity, it is the effect of it.

Instead, I would like to posit the following syllogism:

  • What drives a company –> profit
  • What drives profit –> creating value for customers
  • What drives value for customers –> innovation
  • What drives innovation –> knowledge
  • What drives knowledge –> relationships (conversations)

In my chain it is relationships that ultimately drive a company.


2 thoughts on “Thinking Differently

  1. Hi Ed,

    To a certain degree the guy is right. Data does drive a company…

    But that data merely amends knowledge, and that knowledge-amended data must be applied to clients’ businesses through relationships that are based on mutual trust and respect.

    Respected authorities can do this, but fungible vendors can’t because they have the mindset that low prices lead the way. So, all their buyers want to see is low price.


  2. Good to hear from you Tom and thanks for the comment.

    Yes, I think you are correct. I am demonstrating the is vs. the ought. Does data drive many companies? Heck yes! Should it? I don’t think so.

    In my experience the data is often faulty and is certainly always looking backward at what was.

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