Standing on top of the marketing DAIS

Where does marketing and PR strategy come from? How do you know what to do, what problems to solve? Most marketers and PR professionals struggle to solve problems in as impactful a way as possible, leading to frustration and less than amazing results. Sometimes you don’t know what to do. Sometimes you don’t know what happened.

One of the frameworks we’ve come up with at SHIFT helps us understand what we should be doing at any given point to solve a problem, what our next steps should be, and where a marketing process might be broken. Our process is called DAIS (like the platform you stand on):

Data. This is the foundation of the platform, the bedrock you build on. Get data that’s reliable and high-quality. If your data is bad, everything else you build on it is going to fail.

Analysis. Once you have solid data, you have to analyze it. What happened? What things in your data are worth paying attention to? What things are outliers you can safely marginalize or omit entirely?

Insight. You have data. You know what happened. Do you know why? What caused the outcomes you received? Could you have done something differently? Why did you get the results you did?

Strategy. Once you know what happened and why, the most challenging part of the process is determining what should happen next to correct it. That’s where strategy comes into play; with enough experience and knowledge, you can look at the story your data has told you and determine either the logical conclusion to the story or make alterations to steer toward the ending you want to achieve.


When you’re using the DAIS framework, you execute it from the bottom up. Like building a house or castle, make sure each layer is strong, sturdy, and reliable before you move onto the next level. A small flaw at the bottom can lead to big consequences at the top.

When you’re trying to troubleshoot your marketing, begin your investigation from the top down. Look at the strategic decisions made first, then descend through each layer, checking the quality of each until you have a complete picture of where your decisions led to a bad outcome. Did you choose a wrong strategy with the right insights, or were your insights corrupted by bad analysis? Was your analysis of data that didn’t matter?

Try organizing your next marketing or PR project along the DAIS framework and see if you can achieve greater clarity in your thinking, decisions, and outcomes!

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


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