How Better Decisions Using Uncertainty Can Lead To Great Marketing Results

Hey there, marketer! It’s no secret that data is the bread and butter of marketing success. Thanks to the wealth of information available at our fingertips, it can feel like we’re on some unstoppable path to making smarter, more informed decisions. 

But as marketers, our brains are part of what makes us human. And humans aren’t computers. When it comes to marketing, one of your greatest assets is your intuition and yet intuition often ends up getting overlooked in favor of data-driven decision-making. 

If you’re ready to start giving your gut instinct a seat at the table (figuratively and literally), read on for my secrets for harnessing uncertainty to make better marketing decisions.

The Secret to Better Decision Making – YouTube
1. Embrace Uncertainty: Instead of fearing uncertainty, leverage it as an opportunity for innovation and creative problem-solving in your marketing strategies.
2. Data-Informed Decisions: Gather and analyze relevant data to make informed decisions that are based on real insights rather than assumptions.
3. Flexibility Matters: Develop flexible strategies that can adapt to changing circumstances, allowing you to pivot and adjust your marketing approach as needed.
4. Experiment and Learn: Embrace experimentation to test new ideas, campaigns, and approaches. Learn from both successes and failures to refine your marketing tactics.
5. Consumer-Centric Approach: Focus on understanding your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. Tailor your marketing decisions to meet their evolving demands.

Know When To Hold Them, Know When To Fold Them

There are many lessons we can learn from poker, and one of the most important is to know when to hold them, know when to fold them. 

In marketing, you will encounter many situations where you have to make decisions on whether or not a certain course of action will be beneficial for your business. 

Some decisions may seem like good ones at first but could end up being detrimental in the long run (like investing all your money in Bitcoin). 

Other times it may feel like there’s no choice but for you to walk away from an opportunity (like quitting your job because your company won’t give you a raise).

But there are also times when making a decision is easy and obvious: running away from danger when someone comes at you with a knife; 

Fighting back against bullies who pick on those weaker than themselves; talking with people who might help build bridges between nations so they don’t go to war again. 

These kinds of choices are straightforward because they’re either right or wrong you don’t need much thought involved before deciding what action should take place next. 

When it comes down to it though, these types of decisions only matter if they help advance your goals which bring us back full circle into problem-solving mode!

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Act-On Instinct, But Take It Seriously

You’ve probably heard the phrase “trust your instincts.” It implies that there are times when you can trust these instincts when making a decision, like which advertising campaign to run or what products to sell.

If this sounds familiar, it should: Intuition is a powerful asset for making decisions because of its ability to process information quickly and accurately without conscious thought (or at least not as much conscious thought as deliberate reasoning).

But here’s the thing: If you’re going to use your intuition effectively in business, it’s critical that you take it seriously and not just as some kind of magical sixth sense that comes out at random moments of inspiration. Here’s why:

Embrace The 5 Percent Or 95 Percent

When it comes to uncertainty, you need to know when to be cautious and when to be bold. You also need to know when to take risks and when to play it safe. You need to understand how conservative you can be and when you should be aggressive. 

Finally, you must understand that carefulness isn’t always the best decision-making strategy in all cases.

If an opportunity presents itself that could lead your brand down a profitable path but would require some risk-taking on your part (that is, taking a chance on something), then chances are that this risk is worth taking!

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Give Your Intuition A Role In The Process

Intuition is a critical part of the decision-making process. It’s an existing understanding you have about something, and it can help you make smarter choices. But while intuition is a powerful tool, it’s not a replacement for intelligence or research.

Intuition is a helpful tool to test your research and intelligence when making decisions because it allows you to see if there are any gaps in either area. 

And when it comes down to which type of decision-making style works best, I think that we would all agree: intuition should always be included in the discussion!

Share Your Intuition With Others

Another great thing you can do is to involve other people in the decision-making process.

Use the power of group brainstorming when you’re trying to make a decision, as it allows everyone to contribute his or her ideas and opinions. 

This also gives you a chance to hear from people who aren’t directly involved in the decision-making process and may therefore be able to identify important factors that never occurred to anyone else. 

For example, if someone from sales is involved in this process, he or she might mention that some customers are switching away from your product because they want something cheaper. 

In addition, when several people are giving their suggestions for how best to proceed with a project, it’s easy for someone else on your team (or even an outsider) who has been listening quietly all along suddenly to come up with an idea worth exploring further!

Make sure there’s diversity within your group: don’t just include individuals who think alike but rather try incorporating different perspectives into decisions being made by including those who have opposing viewpoints.

As well as those who aren’t familiar yet still interested enough about what’s happening around them at work today so much so I’m sure will contribute positively towards improving outcomes.”

You Don’t Need A Big Budget To Test Big Ideas

Testing small is a great way to figure out if you’re on the right track. Testing big can help you determine if your idea has legs and will be successful in the long run. But testing everything is critical because it’s often the unexpected results that lead to huge successes!

Here are some tips for how to test anything:

  • Test things that make sense – if an idea seems logical and reasonable, it might be worth testing!
  • Test things that don’t make sense – if something doesn’t seem logical or reasonable (but still sounds like something people might want), then maybe it’s worth testing!
  • Test things that are not logical – don’t discount ideas just because they don’t seem logical; sometimes these types of ideas turn out to be winners!
  • Test things that do make sense – but remember: there’s no reason why a good idea shouldn’t also be tested before being implemented in full-scale production mode.

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Find The Right Balance Between Creativity And Intelligence

We’ve all heard the phrase, “creativity is intelligence having fun.”

But I like to think of it more as creativity and intelligence are both important; they balance each other out in a perfect way to form an idea that no one could have possibly expected the kind of idea that can take you somewhere.

That said, if you rely solely on creative thinking without any intelligence behind it, you won’t be able to make sense of your ideas or improve them with new insights or research. 

The same goes for putting too much intelligence into your work without allowing yourself enough space for creativity; this will result in boring work that probably isn’t going anywhere interesting anyway! The best results come when both sides are given equal weight.

Research Is Sometimes Overrated

Research can be a great tool for decision-making, but it’s not the only one. Sometimes you need to be able to think outside the box and use your intuition to make decisions. 

Your gut instinct can sometimes lead you in the right direction, especially when there’s no way of testing something with research.

For example: how do you decide on which brand of toothpaste is best? You could spend months researching every brand and its ingredients.

But at the end of all that work it still comes down to personal preference there’s no objective answer as far as what one brand is better than another (if such an answer even exists). 

In cases like this where research isn’t helpful or available, it’s important to rely on your innate ability to make informed decisions based on experience and common sense instead of just doing whatever seems logical at first glance.

Here are some ways you can combine intuition with research when making decisions:

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Use Your Data But Don’t Let It Paralyze You

Data is great, but it’s not everything. Just because you have data doesn’t mean that you should use it to make every decision. Data can be misleading or incomplete, meaning that it’s important to base decisions on both your intelligence and intuition.

Make sure the data you’re using is relevant to the question at hand. Don’t let your marketing team make decisions based on irrelevant data just because they can it’ll result in wasted resources and inaccurate decisions. 

If you’re making a big decision about how many people are using an app or website feature one month later, look at historical trends of user engagement with this feature over time rather than comparing this month’s engagement rate with last month’s rate (which won’t tell you anything).

Keep Your Research Agile, Rather Than Fixed

Agile research is a collaborative approach to gathering insights that allow for flexibility and adaptability as the project progresses. 

Agile research allows you to go back and make changes based on new information or insights that arise during your investigation. 

This can be especially helpful when you’re working with a tight budget and timeline if something turns out differently than expected, it’s more feasible (and cost-effective!) to change direction rather than starting over from scratch.

Agile research is useful in marketing because it encourages marketers to consider potential issues before they become problems. If there are parts of the process that require more resources or time than originally planned, this allows you to adjust accordingly. 

You can avoid ending up with unusable data by being flexible with how much time/resources are needed throughout each step of your process.

And also by being open-minded about what kinds of data might be relevant so that you aren’t missing out on any unexpected gems along the way!

Embrace Flexible Research Methods

You don’t have to do things the same way every time. The key is to identify and evaluate the right method for each research question.

In addition to traditional methods like focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and surveys, flexible research methods include:

Reconnaissance—observing people in their natural environments using tools like Google Street View or Facebook Places

Ethnography—studying how people live and behave in their environment to understand a specific culture (for example, visiting the homes of your target audience)

Social media—interacting with social media users via services such as Twitter or Facebook (for example, running contests on Facebook that allow you access to conversations about your organization)

These flexible research methods can provide actual insights that help inform decisions about marketing strategy. 

For example, a reconnaissance analysis might reveal an opportunity for sales growth if it showed that your target customers are spending more money at competitor stores; 

An ethnography report could suggest new ways for communicating with customers about information relevant to their needs; social listening data may indicate what topics resonate most strongly among consumers currently interested in your brand.

Split-Test Everything

You’ve probably heard of split-testing, but you might not know exactly what it is. There are many different types of tests, including website testing and landing page testing. However, I’m going to focus on split-testing for your marketing efforts in this article.

Split-testing is a way to test what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your marketing efforts. 

They allow you to compare two different versions of something and see which performs better without having to guess what the results will be beforehand or rely on guesswork alone. If you’re not doing this yet then now’s the time!

Split-testing doesn’t just apply to digital marketing; it can also be used in print advertising or any other type of advertising medium as well (including social media). 

This can help businesses determine what offers they should put forward at any given moment based on their target audience’s demographics.

And ultimately help them increase conversions by making sure they’re always offering what their customers want most at that time rather than guessing blindly about which products/services would appeal most strongly based solely upon intuition or experience.

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Social Media Doesn’t Tell You Why But It Will Tell You How

Social media is not just a means of communication, it’s also a way to understand how and why people are talking about you.

Now, this isn’t to say that your social media results are guaranteed to be representative of the entire market. It’s not and if you’re looking for a phenomenon like that, you’re going to be disappointed. 

But if you want real-world examples of the kinds of insights that will help inform your decisions in other areas, social media can certainly provide them.

Look For Inconsistencies Among Data Sets

The first step to making better marketing decisions is understanding the data that you have. Start by checking for inconsistencies among your data sets. These can be found through a series of questions:

Are there any outliers? If so, what do they represent?

Do you see any trends in your data? What are they telling you about what customers are thinking or doing?

Is there missing information in one of your data sets that would help shed light on another set? 

For example, if you’re trying to understand how people view a product but don’t know who has seen it before and who hasn’t.

This could throw off your results because some respondents may be unable to fully evaluate how they feel about it until after seeing an ad or other promotional material first-hand and others might not care enough even then!

Test Things That Don’t Make Sense Logically

  • Test things that don’t make sense logically
  • If you don’t test something that doesn’t make sense logically, you won’t know if it works.
  • If you don’t test something that doesn’t make sense logically, you won’t know if it doesn’t work.

Don’t Stop At 30 Seconds; Go Deeper Into Consumer Mindsets And Behaviors T

You can’t just stop at 30 seconds of research. Asking the right questions is only part of the equation you want to get deeper into consumer mindsets and behaviors. Here are some ways you can do this:

Use more than 30 seconds of research. Don’t just look at the data, look at the context!

Look beyond what consumers say they want or will do with your product or service and look instead at how they behave when exposed to it.

Avoid a myopic view of customers by looking at trends (e.g., younger generations want convenience over quality), industry trends (e.g., industry consolidation), macroeconomic factors (e.g., an increasing number of people living alone), and other external factors (e.g., tax incentives).

Make Decisions Based On Both Intelligence And Intuition

Intuition is a powerful tool for decision-making. It’s fast, automatic, and unconscious. It helps you make decisions when there’s no time to think.

Intuition is your brain’s way of making sense of the world around you by connecting patterns between things you’ve seen before to come up with an idea about what will happen next—and often it does this better than conscious thought can manage on its own

It does this by pulling information from other parts of your brain (like memory), noticing differences in how people behave based on context and language cues (like tone), and using past experiences to predict what might happen next


When it comes to making decisions, we’re not always dealing with black and white situations. There are many shades of gray, and often only a combination of both logic and intuition will lead to the best marketing results.

While this may be easier said than done, there are some methods that you can use to integrate both your intellect and your instinct into your decision-making process, such as watching out for data inconsistencies or focusing on consumer mindsets instead of just surface-level behaviors.

When you make these kinds of decisions the kind where you embrace uncertainty you open yourself up to new possibilities that would otherwise be missed. 

You empower yourself to discover opportunities in what might seem impossible at first glance, which is ultimately the goal of any marketer: To find opportunities in places nobody else has looked before!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to delve deeper into the topic of making better decisions under uncertainty:

3 Ways for Marketers to Navigate Economic UncertaintyShort Description: Discover three effective strategies that marketers can employ to successfully navigate economic uncertainty and achieve marketing goals.

Better Decisions Under UncertaintyShort Description: Explore insights and techniques for making better decisions when faced with uncertainty, as presented by the thought leaders at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Tips That Help in Decision Making Under UncertaintyShort Description: Read practical tips and advice on how to improve decision-making skills in situations of uncertainty, empowering you to approach challenges with confidence.


How can marketers thrive in times of economic uncertainty?

Navigating economic uncertainty as a marketer requires a strategic approach. Focusing on targeted messaging, diversifying marketing channels, and monitoring consumer trends can contribute to sustained success.

What are some key factors to consider when making decisions under uncertainty?

When making decisions in uncertain scenarios, it’s essential to gather relevant data, assess potential risks, and consider alternative outcomes. Flexibility and adaptability play a crucial role in making informed choices.

How can uncertainty be harnessed to improve decision-making?

Uncertainty presents an opportunity to explore new avenues and think creatively. Embracing uncertainty can lead to innovative solutions, provided there’s a willingness to adapt and experiment.

What are the benefits of improving decision-making under uncertainty?

Enhancing decision-making skills under uncertainty can lead to more effective problem-solving, reduced anxiety about the unknown, and improved overall decision outcomes, even in unpredictable environments.

How can individuals build resilience in decision-making during uncertain times?

Building resilience involves cultivating a growth mindset, honing decision-making skills through practice, seeking mentorship, and learning from both successes and setbacks. This can lead to increased confidence in navigating uncertain situations.