Using MarTech to Make Bad Decisions?

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Let me start by telling you a short anecdote about my family. My mother and step-father live in Florida. My step-father is a foodie. He loves cooking, dining out, and eating the very best possible options available. Unfortunately, being a foodie in Southwest Florida can be quite difficult. You become almost completely dependent on Publix, the grocery chain that has taken over southern United States.

In his opinion, you NEED 12-grain bread to make the ultimate smoked turkey sandwich. But every time he goes shopping at his local Publix, they do not have this specific fresh-baked bread (baked in the store) in stock. So this is the scenario of my step-dad trying to rectify this situation with the Bakery Manager at Publix:

Step-Dad: Could you please make more 12-grain bread?

Bakery Manager: Sorry sir, unfortunately we can only bake what our computer tells us to bake.

Step-Dad: I understand that, but I really like this bread and I will guarantee that I will be buying it every week. I can even buy it ahead of time if that helps.

Bakery Manager: Sorry sir, it doesn’t work that way. I can’t make more than what the computer tells me to bake each day.

Step-Dad: Ok, I understand that there is a process in place, but then do you mind telling me how many loafs of 12-grain bread get baked at this location per day?

Bakery Manager: (an efficient whir of typing) 3 loafs sir.

Step-Dad: You are telling me that you only make 3 loafs of this kind of bread a day? And to get this bread, I have to come buy it exactly when you make it? And even though I’m a human being telling you that I want more bread, you can’t make more?

Bakery Manager: No, it doesn’t work that way sir. The computer tells us what to bake because of how many sales there are.


As you can probably imagine, my step-father was a bit frustrated with this situation. This is a prime example of data dependency in action. And a really good way to enable your employees to make some bad decisions.

Now keep in mind that I’m not picking on Publix in particular. In my opinion, Publix is an amazing operation. They are the 7th largest privately held (associate-owned) business in the U.S. According to a quick Google search, their annual revenue is over $30+ Billion. They are well-known for harnessing technology and frankly, they do a whole lot of things very well.

But all the technology in the world, all the employee engagement in the world, and all the good intentions in the world, can’t make up for the ineffective use of marketing technology and data evidenced in this scenario. 

It’s no surprise that more and more businesses are investing heavily in CRM and Marketing Automation to be able to make better data-driven decisions. However, it becomes very important to have a clear strategy to act on. Because automation based on bad business processes just means you blow up your problem and make it both bigger and more noticeable.

In fact, that is why marketing agencies are becoming the go-to people to solve problems like this. They have a diverse range of staff that can solve problems very quickly.

If you are interested in discussing how you can harness technology and data to help grow your business, consider reaching out to me at or any of the awesome folks at Couch & Associates, Data Insight Group, and 3 Avenues. We all focus on making data-driven decisions, but we also all focus on ensuring that we are customer and employee centric too!

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