Channel Marketplace Blog

Decision-Makers Need More Than Opinions

[fa icon="calendar"] May 28, 2020 2:09:43 PM / by Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh

One of my favorite business quotes comes from management guru W. Edwards Deming, who said, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”

At The 2112 Group, a specialist in channel research, intelligence, and strategy, we see this all the time. It usually comes in the form of someone starting a statement by saying, “In my experience…” – a telltale sign that they’re about to offer a position based on perception and not evidence.

Experience is a great teacher. Drawing upon the past and the experience of others, channel decision-makers can identify the options available to them for charting courses through routes to market. Experience, however, can’t provide critical pieces of information and intelligence to help determine the best or least risky routes.

Data provides clues about where to apply experience, and it’s the glue that bonds visions of paths forward with models that provide guidance and insights.

The problem with data and market intelligence is that it takes a fair amount of time and money to develop. It also takes expertise to craft the instruments that collect data and refine it into actionable intelligence. And it takes deftness to apply data in context to the specific needs of a business. Those requirements pose a challenge to decision-makers who need insights today, not eight weeks from now.

Based on feedback from our clients, 2112 developed 2112 Brainstorm, a member service that provides data-driven insights into industry trends, market conditions, and best practices across the technology channel. 2112 Brainstorm is the entry point to a vast trove of data developed and curated by 2112 over the past decade, giving channel leaders and decision-makers easy access to the intelligence they need to move forward with speed and confidence.

The reason 2112 created the 2112 Brainstorm program is because of narrative economics, or the socialization of ideas not based on facts. In numerous client engagements, we watched channel decision-makers constrained into poor strategic paths or proffering program ideas based on socialized narratives that sounded good but had little evidence to support them. Worse, we saw channel teams create presentation after presentation using randomly collected data that lacked relevance to their technology, channel programs, or sales models. They did look good on a slide, though.

Through 2112 Brainstorm, 2112 provides channel professionals with a resource to get the data they need to validate their strategies and partner programs. The data reinforces their constructs, improves their positioning, and gives depth to their value proposition and message. In cases where the data doesn’t fit the vision or strategy, 2112 Brainstorm provides the resources for making improvements.

The way 2112 Brainstorm works is unique. Members can access data and resources through the 2112 Databank portal – built in partnership with fellow Channel Marketplace member Webinfinity – or they can request data through our concierge service. With each request, 2112 kicks off a workstream to develop new assets for the program and shares with all members. Instead of playing into narrative economics, 2112 Brainstorms leverages the community’s questions to create more intelligence.

Data doesn’t provide answers, just evidence and guidance. Channel decision-makers need insights into market trends, partner attributes, and industry best practices to guide their strategies and choices. 2112 Brainstorm is the catalyst for better decision-making. As economist Charles Wheelan said, “It’s easy to lie with statistics, but it’s hard to tell the truth without them.”

For more information about becoming a 2112 Brainstorm member, contact the Channel Marketplace concierge for an introduction.

Topics: Strategy

Larry Walsh

Written by Larry Walsh

Larry Walsh is the leading go-to-market advisor to technology executives, channel leaders, and solution providers around the world. Widely known for his ability to cut through problems and challenges facing vendors, distributors, and solution providers, Walsh is sought for his advice, counsel, insights, and consultation on channel strategies and technology market trends. He and The 2112 Group team are responsible for crafting and shaping the channel strategies and programs of companies that span the hardware, software, cloud, and services spectrum of the technology industry.