Objective – “expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.”

Opinion – “a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.”

Out of all the terms and words that are falsely applied by people, not just marketers, the word objectivity is very high on my ‘oy vey-a-meter.’ The reason is that there can be only one ‘voice’ that is truly objective – data.

At some point, a line was blurred between what constitutes objectivity versus subjectivity and fact versus opinion. Too many marketers try to apply opinion (subjectivity), masquerading as fact (objectivity), and then wonder why they don’t get the results they want. A perfect example of this is the epidemic level of over-spend on social media marketing that exists. It typically goes something like this –

“I want to advertise on this page because they have 2MM followers.”

Noble Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman once said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” and to that end, as one of my heroes, Bob Hoffman, often points out, we must return to a world where facts matter more than the opinions of those who qualify themselves as experts. Experience doesn’t make you an objective expert – there is no such thing. Data (fact) and data alone is the only true source of objectivity. These so-called experts are sharing their opinions and sure, you can argue that their experience justifies them being considered an expert but all this (actually) does is demonstrate that their subjectivity would likely be more informed than someone with less tenure. It doesn’t, however, make them more objective.

If something is objective, it cannot be an opinion. Now, if you want to claim you have an informed opinion…have at it but consider this is subjective, not objective. If someone claims their informed opinion is that they want to advertise on a page because they have 2MM followers…fire them. There is nothing objective about an informed opinion or any opinion for that matter.

Using the example above, objective analysis would detail when these followers were added and how many active ones still exist, today. This completely changes ROI calculations and is (un)ironically a metric Facebook and those who profit off of social media marketing, fail to report on. To tell a story, one must use all data, not only the selection that proves their case or empowers them to avoid painting an accurate picture. If they are being selective, they are no longer being objective.


Objective Opinion – Doesn’t exist.

Subjective Opinion – Doesn’t exist. This is like saying “I have hungry hunger.” If it is subjective…it is an opinion.

Informed Opinion – “Yes, they have 2MM followers but only 10,000 of them are active and the average engagement rate is 0.27%. But I’ve never seen anything like this work, so let’s do a small test first to determine if this is worth pursuing further.”

Objective Analysis – “They have 2MM followers. 10,000 of them are active and the average engagement rate is .27%.”

Objective Analysis is the only, truly, objective statement because I am only referencing facts. And analysis is not synonymous with a plan…it is just analysis.

Thanks for reading!

*https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opinion