I was jolted back into reality this morning when I read Seth Godin's blog posting on data, and the importance of using it when making making decisions.You can read his entire blog post here: http://bit.ly/Dbfo9Here's the take-away for restaurateurs: For too long, data has played second fiddle to gut-feel, nebulous brand building and an "everybody's doing it, so I need to do it as well" mentality. Restaurant marketing has devolved into a never ending spend-fest on special events, promotions and the latest social media crazes, with little specific knowledge on what really works...what really pays the bills.As Seth points out, "counter-intuitive data-driven findings" are everywhere, including your business. If the vast majority of your spending on marketing and promotions can't be proven to work by cold hard data, then you'll continue to be a marketing victim.Instead, invest in marketing that has a proven, data driven, and direct impact on the bottom line of your business. Choose marketing systems that you can share with your spouse and say "Look, honey...I put $1,500 into this system last month, which resulted in 184 new guests and $4,500 in new sales."If you can't prove to your spouse, without a doubt, your marketing systems work, then you need to put your money elsewhere. Once you find the systems that do work, instead of dreading those conversations with your spouse, you'll look forward to them!Rod BrantYour Marketing Works!