Metadata and the sniper mind marketing

Metadata is important. Used correctly it could stop a revolution from ever happening (in which case the United States of America and all its history might have never taken place). It can also determine whether a sniper makes the decision to shoot or not or a search engine to show a particular result in response to a search query.

Today I am going to use it in a more light-hearted way to look at what the audience of The Sniper Mind is doing. My helper in this task is none other than Amazon’s recommend engine that shows me what the majority of those who viewed “The Sniper Mind” went on to view next.

I’ve got just two instances to go with:

1. Coffee: 

The Sniper Mind and those who buy kettles metadata 

2. Golf balls: 

The Sniper Mind and those who play golf metadata

Now, in my sharing of these two in social media I have quipped how I can see that ardent readers of The Sniper Mind also feel the need for some strong coffee, hence the kettle (which may be right, or may be not).

In the second sharing however, those who went on to look at premium golf balls are golfers and golf is the kind of sport where focus, emotional control, self-regulation and decision making all come together. The seemingly impossible feat of hitting a little white ball that’s just over one and a half inches wide with a metal stick and accurately putting it where your eyes go requires the kind of mental calculation that an unfocused, noisy mind is incapable of.

And to drive the point home (pun entirely unintended) consider Tiger Wood’s epic five-birdie performance at the Tour Championship.

 Tweet of the day at the time: 


Metadata And Marketing

To better understand the importance of what I am saying I strongly suggest a detour to Teodora Petkova’s excellent piece on the important of metadata and its interconnectivity on the semantic web.

What Teodora explains in a really detailed way and what I am already suggesting here is that metadata reveals what’s important to your target audience, not just in terms strictly associated with your product or service (and I am treating “The Sniper Mind” as a product here) but also in terms of their general behavior and online journey to that all-important zero-moment where they will make a purchase.

This is important to marketers who must produce content to resonate with audience needs and audience intent. It is important to advertisers who have to decide just whom to target and how. And it is important to product creators (and writers) who get to see more clearly just how their products resonate and what happens next.

In these two particular cases I have shared, for instance, I could make the case that having bought the book in each case (or at least having decided that “The Sniper Mind” is a book they should buy) my audience then went on to check out electric kettles for coffee and tea (to keep their mind alert while reading it) and premium golf balls (because they are getting ready to put some of the lessons of the book to good use in improving their golf game).

My example is necessarily crude because I didn’t originally set out to truly analyze things this way. Opportunity presented itself for a fun post and then it sort of escalated from there. But using better analytical tools and creating a pathway designed to capture such data a smart marketer would know:

  • Where the potential customer landed
  • How long he stayed there
  • What he did next

Multiply that by, say, a modest factor of just 1,000 data points and suddenly you begin to get a very clear picture of customer behavior that not only shows intent but also habits, perceived value (of your product) and general journey.

If, for example, I saw that those who look at “The Sniper Mind” in their majority, go on to check out golf, baseball, and basketball gear (which are mentioned as cognitive activities in the book), my content would then have to move away from say “cognitive research” articles and focus more on competitive sports. I would have to examine and mention the decision-making process involved in activities such as playing baseball, basketball or golf and analyze the direct benefits players would get from reading my book.

My advertising (if I actively engaged in any) would then also have to change to reflect my deeper understanding of my audience’s interests. This would change the context in which my ads would appear on the web and in search. My targeting of influencers and podcasters would also change to reflect that. My social media stream would also undergo a change of flavor.

You can see how it’s all linked.

This is the 21st century. Starting out from what you think your audience wants because you created a product for them, is OK. Staying rooted in that assumption without further data after your product is released is not.