I recently had the pleasure of presenting as part of DemandGen Report’s Campaign Optimization Webinar Series. My topic was How Current & Complete Data Drives Higher Campaign Conversions and Actionable Demand and my partner in delivery was Selling Simplified. As I was preparing for the webinar, I had two main goals. First, how to make data more fun to talk about and second, to understand where our listening audience was in terms of data. To achieve the first, I introduced a newly stylized set of 4 distinct “Datanista” personas and to achieve the second, I created a poll. The poll question was “What kind of Datanista are You?”

In this blog, I will describe the four types of Datanistas and present the poll results and some broad generalizations on how I see the B2B marketing world.

Data is central to all aspects of marketing and your understanding of, use of and relationship to data will predict your future success, the success of your marketing team and how your company views the value of marketing. So, what is your relationship with data? What kind of Datanista are you? In my work with hundreds of companies over the last 10 years, I have found 4 types of Datanistas:

  • The Blissfully Ignorant
  • The Data Bug
  • The Triple D
  • The Psychic
April 24, 2018 Webinar Poll Results
Type of Datanista Percentage of Webinar Attendees
The Blissfully Ignorant 10.5%
The Data Bug 52.6%
The Triple-D (Data-Driven Decision Maker) 26.3%
The Psychic 0.00%
Not Sure 10.5%

The Blissfully Ignorant Datanista would rather stand in a cold shower tearing up $100 dollar bills than even think about data. I think very few marketers are Blissfully Ignorant and the number is dropping every day. While 10.5% of the audience identified with this persona, I do believe they had some awareness and are just choosing to ignore it (ostrich with head in sand) or don’t quite know what to do or how to begin. As a result, you can only imagine the state of their data, their campaign effectiveness and their level of customer understanding and engagement.

The Data Bug Datanista can be heard saying “OMG, who knew data could help me do my job better!” There is an element of discovery, excitement and surprise around this Datanista as she begins to create a real relationship with data. Over half (52.6%) of webinar participants identified with the Data Bug. This is the Datanista just beginning to understand the value of data. I believe the B2B marketing world is largely comprised of Data Bugs when you average out advanced and laggard industries.

The Triple-D Datanista can be heard saying – “Who knew with data came so much power?” This Datanista lives, breathes, eats and sleeps data and is often referred to as a data scientist. In my opinion, this is a game-changing role for the CMO to add to the team. I’ve heard many marketing executives extol the value of a Triple-D with highly descriptive scenarios of the before and after states. I must say that I was surprised and pleased to see 26.3% of webinar attendees identify as Triple-D. Marketing has come a long way from traditional right-brained thinking and approaches to become a data-driven, customer-focused powerhouse. Data is indeed power. As far as generalizing this number to the broader marketing population, I think this number is high.

We have finally arrived at the ultimate Datanista persona – The Psychic! This Datanista can be heard saying “I now have a seat and a voice at the table.” None of the webinar participants identified as the Psychic Datanista and this was not really surprising given what needs to be in place. The Psychic Datanista is more commonly found in smaller, more agile companies and still represent a very rare breed. Rather like that marketing Unicorn.

Your Datanista type is a predictor of your future success as a marketer. Regardless of what role you have in marketing, your relationship with an understanding of how to work with data is and will be pivotal. So, embrace your inner Datanista!