In 2011, I had just finished up a large website project with a reputable company, or so I thought. After months of working together, the website was done and ready to go live. On the eve of the launch, the CEO happened to have a friend over for dinner.
Excited and proud, he showed his friend the new website, set to go live in the morning.
Well, we all got an email asking us to come into the office first thing the next morning. The Website launch was on hold.
The CEO’s friend had some “opinions” that the CEO believed we needed to address.
The basis of his friend’s “opinions,” you ask? Well, he had a background in food packaging design, and somehow thought that our website wouldn’t get anyone’s attention who was passing through the frozen food section at a supermarket.
I. KID. YOU. NOT!
Not only was it so far out of context and irrelevant, but it was solely based on what he felt something should look like, NOT based on any kind of data analysis, or understanding of the actual target audience, buyer personas, sales cycle of the business, or digital user experience.
Now, before you think I’m just being emotional, the facts are that this CEO decided to waste all his money and time that we had all spent working together on the new website, completely scrap it, and continue to pour 2-3 times as much money into continuing the web development product for another 1-2 years. A ridiculous business decision.
He wasted time. He wasted money. He wore people out.
Opinions waste time. Opinions waste money. Opinions kill productivity. Opinions hurt feelings.
Data provides proof. Data unites committees. Data breeds productivity. Data doesn’t lie.
From that day forward I vowed never to build another website or digital strategy NOT based on data.
And that is how we became Data Driven.