In Junior High, I did a science project on how different imagery
could affect your overall health. I showed participants a series of pictures and measured their blood pressure before and after. There were three groups: those who saw happy, pleasant images; those who saw violent images; and those who were shown a series of artworks by Salvador Dali.
The result: The blood pressure change of those who saw the Dali images mirrored that of those who saw the violent imagery. I was surprised. How could images from one of my favorite artists have the same effect as images of war and destruction?
The answer was surprisingly simple (or so said my science teacher while grading my report): Most participants were seeing these images, these paintings, for the first time. They were trying to make sense of them, to find meaning in the abstract imagery. And it was causing them stress.
It’s the same type of stress and anxiety we face as we try to make sense of the mountain of data we collect today. Which metrics are really important? What are they trying to tell us? Which ones truly demonstrate the health of our campaigns, products and businesses?
That’s the concept behind this issue of Pragmatic Marketer: how to turn all of these numbers, formulas and abbreviations into meaningful information that we can use to lead our businesses. Helping us do that is an all-star lineup of authors. These individuals have successfully found the meaning behind the metrics at their own companies and have practical advice to help you do the same at yours.
Rebecca Kalogeris, Editorial Director