No matter what you wish to do, whether it be online marketing or setting up a PPC advert campaign or anything else, you will have access to vast volumes of hard-core data at your finger tips. Producers of such data will tell you that the hard-core data they produce is pure gold and that whatever actions you contemplate, should only be taken after analyzing their data.

You are spoilt rotten for choice. You have data from CRM software, data from Google Analytics, data from various search engine related apps, hell, the online marketer has manna hitting him from all directions and all claiming to be absolutely accurate.

I use such data myself – I would be a fool not to. However, when the time comes to making a decision regarding an online marketing campaign e.g. what words to use, how to phrase the words etc., I trust my considerable experience and judgement.

Does this mean I discard the machine produced keyword list? Not at all; I take it seriously and incorporate most of it in my keyword list. However I do exercise my judgement on keywords I shall include and keywords I shall not include. After all, we are dealing with humans here – humans are going to read the advertisement created for your online marketing campaign, not machines. Accepting machine fed data as-is would be a serious mistake. Lack of time or lack of experience is no excuse. The former is akin to saying you don’t care about the money you spend on your online marketing campaign. The latter is stupidity because today you have access to numerous competent online marketing experts. Trial and error is a terrible waste of time and money.

When it comes to data, an expert always reads between the lines. Readymade data might tell you how many products you sold. It might even tell you the age group of the people buying your products but it won’t tell you the reasons why they are buying your product. Do they like the packaging, your advertisement, product quality or is it some other perception or angle that never entered your online marketing equation?

While statistics is good, it is equally necessary to actually go out and talk to your customers. Ask them what they liked about the product and why they were buying it. Have they seen products by your rivals, why did they choose your product over that of your rival?

Answers to these kinds of questions will ultimately lead to your gold mine. You will be able to strengthen the reason why your product is popular (or figure out why it is not popular) and corrective actions can be taken where required.

Remember, data from automated sources will never provide you with the key matrices for a simple reason that it cannot talk to your customers. And that folks is where the ultimate manna lies.