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Marketing – Roulette or Blackjack?

Recently I finished Jeffrey Ma’s book, ‘The House Advantage‘.  Fascinated by all things data-driven, I was interested to learn the history of the famous MIT blackjack team who used data, math and process to beat the casinos at blackjack. 

The book is awesome. Not only does it provide this history, it also is a great business book for folks who may not yet be data-embracers.

So how does this relate to marketing success?  Well, the reason that blackjack can be ‘beaten’ is because there is a set number of cards used.  Once the card is used, it is gone.  It is what I call a controlled environment. 

luck, lucky number, 17

Roulette, on the other hand, is completely random.  There is no math nor process that could be used to ‘beat’ it.

With blackjack, you have the data, so with a solid process and discipline to follow the process, you have success.  Roulette is data irrelevant because the outcome is completely random.  It is a chaotic environment.

Marketing is by no means a controlled environment, but it does not have to be chaos.  Successful marketers have data, discipline and process.  My advice – be smart, think like a card counter, use data, process and discipline to stack the odds in your favor.

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