There it was. A tweet in Arabic, punctuated by the one word of text I could actually read: Marchex.
Then came another tweet, this time in Chinese, followed by more. A quick cross-check in Google Translate confirmed that Marchex wasn’t being spammed in the #twittersphere. On the contrary, we had entered the Holy Grail of the content world.
We had gone viral.
After we released our data on Valentine’s Day on how men are “more gabby” than women when they call up businesses, USA Today wrote a story about it. So, too, did several other outlets, from radio stations (KOMO 97.7) to mobile/tech publications.
It’s been exactly one week. And in that time, people around the world have taken notice, offering up their opinions and retweeting the findings like crazy.
Being the data devotees that we are, we thought, “This is kind of awesome. FINALLY, people are as excited about data as we are.”
But here’s the reality: This data is exciting because when we found that men speak 13 percent longer when they call up businesses to buy things, it got people to reflect on deep-seated stereotypes.
People had a really visceral reaction. I admit, even I went into the raw data with assumptions about how much men and women talk. And I came out… well, surprised. (I posted my comments about the USA Today story here.)
The data will hopefully get businesses to think harder about how to better target ad campaigns and give customers more relevant treatment over the phone.
By the way, just a reminder: the data only applies to behavior related to business transactions over the phone.
In other words, don’t expect the findings to represent the phone call habits of men when it comes to, say, personal relationships.
Women may still need to work with men on that one.
Senior Analyst, Marchex Institute