Summary of Your Data-Driven Marketing Is Harmful. I Should Know: I Ran Marketing at Google and Instagram

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Eric Solomon was heading global business marketing at Instagram – after senior-level stints at YouTube, Spotify and Google – when a sudden insight spurred him to quit the job and leave his 20-year career behind. In an engaging, at times moving article for Entrepreneur, Solomon describes that turning point, the events that led to it and the conviction that is driving his current work as a consultant, speaker and mentor. Open-minded business leaders at all levels and in any function, not only marketing, will be interested in Solomon’s renegade argument for bringing humanity – and a dose of humility – to today’s increasingly transactional workplace.

About the Author

Eric Solomon is the chief marketing officer in residence for Novio, a premium creative consultancy that helps give businesses meaning and purpose by telling authentically human brand narratives. He has held senior marketing positions at YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, and other leading technology companies.

 

Summary

A quantitative mind-set has led marketers to forget about building relationships with customers as people.

Since around 2011, marketers – along with the rest of corporate America – have developed a data-driven mind-set. Intuition and gut decision making have given way to quantitative approaches to marketing, and personalization has replaced personal relationships. Granted, marketers may never have truly embraced the notion of human connections as the heart of the profession. But even that ideal has fallen away as the quantitative mind-set has taken over.

Businesses are also neglecting their foundational, story-based elements, in favor of measurable operational and transactional functions.

Business activities occur on a spectrum...


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