How Giraffes Can Kill Your Business

How Giraffes Can Kill Your Business

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Effective marketing is based on conducting research, analysing data and tracking performance metrics. But getting mislead by the ‘giraffe effect’ in data can lead to missed opportunities and even wrong decisions.  

Animals in your data

Giraffes can be described as portions of data that stick out from and dominate the rest of the data, hiding important insights. They also skew the size of other insights which, by themselves, would normally be given more attention.

A customer analytics giraffe

If you’re looking to improve customer acquisition efforts by focusing on the most lucrative customer segments, you might look to customer gender as a first stop. Top-level aggregation of data reveals your male customers have a higher customer lifetime value (LTV) than your female customers.

The assumption would be to focus more resource on upping male customers than female, right? No, because zoom out and you’ll discover that in your sector female customers have a higher LTV in every country and this isolated data of yours is an anomaly.

Average LTV

The assumption would be to focus more resource on upping male customers than female, right? No, because zoom out and you’ll discover that in your sector female customers have a higher LTV in every country and this isolated data of yours is an anomaly.

The bigger picture

Analytical safari hacks

Next time you’re analysing data for marketing, be sure to take the following into consideration:

 

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  • Ensure your SEO data eliminates all traffic due to searches including your brand’s name
  • Ensure one time purchases don’t conceal important insight of repeat customers
  • Dig past the obvious data conclusions to identify and work around dominant and potentially misleading data of high-level, aggregated views.

 

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.