Are we being wired to be too critical?

As we try to market to a group of consumers, are we sometimes being too analytical?

Digital platforms such as Snapchat, Google and Facebook allow us to target people specifically on their personal characteristics and digital (and sometimes offline) activities. As marketers, we are wired to take advantage of all of the data and our analytics brains to create the most effective campaigns. But what happens when we let loose and try something different?

I strongly believe that data is undervalued, but people are also emotional beings – so sometimes we need to forget what we think is right, and try something out of the box.


We have recently run a series of advertisement via Facebook where rather than targeting people we thought were in our target market. We targeted everyone – we selected only selected an age demographic and physical location. Everything else was left up to Facebook…

Generally, in the past when we have tried similar campaigns, this type of targeting didn’t receive the same high quality results that we would expect out of a targeted campaign. But we needed to test the crazy idea of generic ads in a data driven world.

Although not entirely shocking, we have had fantastic results. In fact, it’s probably been the best digital campaign that we have run in the past 12 months. Wider reach, better results, happier customers.

Just because I want to read book, doesn’t mean that I like literature. Just because I like to play sport, doesn’t mean that I follow sporting teams.

Keep it simple, pull-back on the over analysis.

(1) How many character personas do we have for our product?

  • How many of these have we thoroughly tested in parallel?
  • What happens when we go general in marketing? Do we have an increase in customer acquisition costs?

(2) Are our buyers the same as our end users?

  • Is the marketing collateral that we are publishing built for the buyer or the user?
    • If it doesn’t hurt the brand image, are we able to advertise to both?

(3) How often are we looking at new platforms to find where our customers are ‘hanging out’?

  • Do we have a group of people within each persona that we can seek feedback from?

(4) What are our competitors doing? Or more, importantly – are we innovating within our industry and being the leaders…?