The clues are there if you look for them.

If there’s anyone who understands the importance of data and analytics, it’s Sherlock Holmes. He’s able to construct incredibly intricate and virtually accurate narratives about individuals derived from the most subtle and nuanced clues of their behavior. Take a look at the clip below.

What if we told you that you could do the same thing when it comes to understanding your customers; crafting narratives of consumer digital behavior for customer segmentation? Because you can.

Understanding your customers’ motivations and needs starts with the subtle clues and nuanced digital behavior found in your website’s data and analytic reports. But data’s just information without analysis. It’s the creative process of analysis that derives meaningful narratives from the data, informing the segmentation of your target audience.

One of our #marketingheroes Seth Godin once said, “Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.” That’s a great place to start in thinking through this process on a pragmatic level.

  • Finding customers for your products is pretty much synonymous with promotion-based marketing. It looks for anyone and everyone that might buy-in. Sure, it can work, but it’s definitely not the most effective approach, or efficient.
  • Finding products for your customers, however, requires a level of empathy. Knowing your customers is more than knowing their broad demographic information. It’s having a clear understanding of their individual motivations and personal needs. Constructing those narratives allows you to effectively and efficiently target your marketing efforts: getting the right content, to the right people, at the right time.

It’s kind of like peddling a pack of spearmint gum. Sure, a lot of people chew gum, but exactly who are these people chewing gum and what are their needs, or their motivations for chewing gum? For example, you might have a hyper-aware individual that doesn’t want to have bad breath. You might have the “I don’t have time to brush my teeth person.” Or maybe the, “I really like spicy food for lunch” business professional. These are just a few examples, but already with this kind of information, your marketing efforts, messages and targeting can become more specific, smarter and more effective.

So next time you’re evaluating your data and analytic reports, just pretend you’re Sherlock Holmes. Be on the lookout for those clues that can inform meaningful narratives for greater marketing effectiveness. The clues are there if you know what to look for.

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