I remember it clearly.  I was on a plane (in domestic first class when it meant something) with a marketing mentor of mine, Dan Sherr.  He has a way of talking that was really teaching.  And the lesson he gave me on that flight that has stuck with me for decades.  The most interesting thing is, it is now more relevant than ever.

It’s a bit of logic that is elegant in its simplicity:


Our job as marketers is to turn data into information, information into insight and insight into action.

It’s a simple but profound thought.  We live in a world where we are overwhelmed with data.  As marketers our job is to process all that stuff and turn it into something useful to sell stuff to people.

What I like about this logic path is that it forces the discipline of making sure you’re consistent with definitions and aren’t confusing or conflating one step with another.

Data are just numbers.  They have little value until they are organized in a way that can convert them into information…charts, graphs, tables e.g.

The information that results becomes a useful tool when it is analyzed and that’s where marketers really add value turning information into insight.

And we really shine when it comes to turning that insight into marketing programs that motivate consumers to act.

So as experienced as I am, I find it very helpful to parse these steps out when working on a project.  It provides the clarity that I need to help make sure I’m on the right track.