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The Rock Paper Scissors of Analytics
Tiffany Zimmermann, Marketing Manager
In the game Rock Paper Scissors, two opponents randomly toss out hand gestures, and each one wins, loses or draws with equal probability. It's supposed to be a game of pure luck, not skill — and indeed, if humans were able to be perfectly random, no one could gain an upper hand over anyone else. But that’s just it; human decision-making is NEVER random.
Unlike a coin toss, the outcome of each game depends on decisions made by the participants. Essentially, by using analytics and insight you can predict what your opponent will choose. Just like any good player, or in our case marketer, you must develop a solid strategy. There are two overarching strategies:
1. Expert players have observed that inexperienced ones tend to lead with Rock. I speculate that this may be because they view the move as strong and forceful. Either way, remember the mantra "Rock is for rookies," and simply throw Paper at the outset of a game to earn an easy first victory.
2. "Rock is for rookies" should be kept in mind against more experienced players, too. They won't lead with Rock — it's too obvious — so use Scissors against them. This throw will either beat Paper or tie with itself.
Essentially, it's all about staying one step ahead throughout the processes. Much like Rock Paper Scissors, measuring on-line behavior is not a game of chance. It’s a skill and strategy in which success comes from the ability to analyze your customer’s moves and adapting your strategy according to their behaviors. It’s an exciting time to be the leader in Multi-Channel Analytics Consulting because we are able to help CMO’s face one of the most easiest decision making climates in generations.
Monitoring an organizations analytics provides a measurement and understanding of how people make decisions. Ultimately it enables a marketer to draw insights and provides the numbers to back up their efforts. Like in Rock Paper Scissors, if marketers know the likely decisions and actions of their opponents or customers, they’ll know how to position themselves for a higher probability of success. And ultimately, win!
So who wants to play?