Let’s talk about two words: accuracy and precision.
These terms are often confused but they are not synonyms. And the distinction between accuracy and precision can make all the difference in the success of your marketing program.
Jason Voiovich from Voyager U shared a great perspective on these two terms in his content on how to size the target market.
But I actually think it’s much bigger than that.
It’s a universal thing about marketing and I can explain what I mean.
A dictionary definition that I’ll use for today for accuracy is”conforming exactly to truth or a standard”.
So accuracy means something is right, or it’s correct.
In marketing terms, I think of this as finding the truth of what you’re doing:
- When you’re defining your brand, accuracy is understanding the truth of who you are as a business and whom you serve.
- When you’re targeting your customers, accuracy means you understand who it is that you can help; you accurately define the profile of those people that you can help.
- In your messaging, accuracy is when you hit on the truth of your story and your value, and that’s when it will resonate with your clients.
Accuracy comes in with quantified things as well. You can size something with an accurate estimate, but it may not be very precise – which brings me to precision.
Precise means “minutely exact”. So we’re talking about detailed perfection, really.
Marketing can always be more precise – as pretty much everything in life can be – but we’re not living in a perfect world.
You have to know when to quit when it comes to making your marketing more precise.
So when you’re calculating market opportunity, for example, how many decimal points are you including? How many really add value to what you’re deciding and planning?
Respecting precision and how much effort it takes to achieve it, and understanding where the law of diminishing returns is is huge in marketing. So many problems with marketing are really caused by trying to do too much.
Art and science
So the magic of marketing, in my view, is putting accuracy over precision.
Are you headed in the right direction?
Do you have the truth? The core of the truth, at least – that you’re trying to achieve in all aspects of marketing?
You need both accuracy and precision in your marketing. But all things equal, finding the truth works better than chasing perfection.