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Industry Insight

Dr. Joe Recommends: A Symphony of Content, A Perspective of Context

By Dr. Joe Webb
Published: May 25, 2017

The Content Marketing Institute and Ion Interactive released their report about “The Symphony of Connected Interactive Content.” It has some very good insights into the use of media at each stage of the sales process. A press release about the free report can be viewed at the Ion Interactive site. The “symphony” metaphor is a good one for today’s communications strategy initiatives.

The revision of printing industry shipments data is a small portion of an annual revision of all Department of Commerce data series.

A press release details the overall process for this update of manufacturing data. Throughout the year, key data are updated, none more important that the annual update of employment data that is released at the beginning of every February.

Retail sales data are usually updated in April. All of the data series revisions are based on the cleaning of past data, and especially the replacement of data that had to be estimated at the time of the original release with hard data from actual business records, especially gathered through tax returns and other reports. At the end of July, the data for GDP of the last five will be revised. It’s a reminder that the best real data are actual company records and their transactions with customers.

Macroeconomic data should only be a small part of a business’ decision process. When it is, it needs to be in the right context and with the understanding of the role that estimates and surveys play in data when they are newly published. Most government data are softer than most executives assume, and by the time the revision processes are final, the time horizon of their use has long since passed.

Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry's best-known consultants, forecasters, and commentators. He is the director of WhatTheyThink's Economics and Research Center.

 

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