How do you make hard data into something personal? Reams of transactional records can seem like a cold and detached way to get to know your customers. But, analyzed over time, the dollars and interactions add up to reveal patterns in behavior which can be used to construct personas reflecting real people, their defining traits, and the value they represent. Who is your typical customer versus the most likely big spender, and what makes them different?
Making data personal is, well, a personal passion of mine. As a former quantitative researcher studying linguistics, I spent my time taking measurements of speech data and building statistical models at a computer terminal. What made this endeavor a social science was revealing stories of how social and geographic groups of people subconsciously construct identities through the measurable nuances in their speech.
To give you an illustrative (and fascinating) example, if you’re an American, take this short dialect quiz created by fellow language enthusiast Josh Katz of North Carolina State University (my alma mater). You’ll find it can pinpoint your hometown to three likely cities based on just 25 data points. It correctly guessed I was from Minneapolis/St. Paul!
At Campos, I do very similar work with our clients’ data to triangulate in on their best segments of customers and what factors make them distinctive. What I find most exciting is our capability to add layers and layers of information related to lifestyle, demographics, and consumer behaviors to personalize your existing data. As a data analyst, I collaborate with other researchers and strategists on the team to glean an enormous amount of insight into questions like:
- What are the profiles of successful distance education students and what story does this tell about their motivations for completing an online degree?
- What are the common characteristics of donors who characteristically give $1,000 or more annually?
- Where is the geographic opportunity to message to segments of people who regularly frequent upscale boutiques?
- How are millennial outdoor enthusiasts staying digitally engaged when they’re not in your store shopping for camping gear?
If you want to know who your best audience is and how to design messaging that doesn’t just resonate, but reverberates, you can see why the first place to start is with any available data you have about your existing customers.
What personalities lay in wait to be discovered?