The Importance Of Being Human

“Experts often possess more data than judgement” – Colin Powell

In Internet Marketing, data is necessary. I don’t think that can be denied. In order for a company to ‘measure’ their user’s behaviour on the site, they have to fall back on data. Websites and Applications such as Mouseflow, Google Analytics and Social Crawlytics allow us to do this relatively easily and comprehensively.

As you may have guessed, the next part is where I present the slightly fuelled and incredibly opinionated counter argument. Hooray!

Data is good. However, being encompassed in it is bad. What does data tell you? It tells you what the ‘user’ is doing. How many ‘clicks’ have been made. What your ‘conversion’ rate is. That’s all lovely. But now what? Why are these stats useful?

‘Data is ultimately useful because it tells you what needs improving, and how your target audience behaves’

If you said that, you would be correct. Well done. Have a lolly.

But how does data relate to creating good campaigns for internet marketing? We can refer to general datasets when it comes to trends that have previously worked with marketing campaigns in the past, but I believe they are restricted. Mainly because they don’t account for your audience and your motives as a business.

By this point, I’m fed up with figures now. Now is the time to think a bit more.

I go back to the terms ‘users’, ‘clicks’, ‘impressions’ and ‘conversions’. What do all these have in common? They are all referring to a human. A gardener called Dave, retired lady called Gwyneth, champion Bull Fighter called Juan etc. This is important to remember. Data can quite easily detach you from thinking of your target audience as humans. And humans are complex, emotional beings – that are ultimately difficult to accurately measure.

So – back to Internet Marketing. If you can’t rely on data at the creation stage, what can you rely on? I shall tell you; with human psychology. Human brains have a lot in common with each other. And you can use these similarities to your advantage. Victor Schwab complied a strategy (Hoke Communications, 1956) which displays 40 key emotional drivers in all humans:

What they want to gain: What they want to save or reduce:
Health Time
Popularity Discomfort
Praise from others Risks
Pride of accomplishment Money
Self-confidence Worry
Time Embarrassment
Improved appearance Work
Comfort Doubts
Advancement: social-business
Security in old age
Increased enjoyment
Personal prestige


What they want to be: What they want to do:
Good parents Express their personalities
Creative Satisfy their curiosity
Efficient Appreciate beauty
Recognized authorities Win others’ affection
Up-to-date Resist domination by others
Gregarious Emulate the admirable
“First” in things Acquire or collect things
Sociable, hospitable Improve themselves generally
Proud of their possessions
Influential over others


So the next time you’re met with an Internet Marketing challenge, remember your audience are humans. Get into their mindset and understand what they would want to see. Then, design your page/write your copy/create your campaign with the above drivers in mind. If your material abides to these drivers, you are far more likely to make your marketing more efficient, and to make your relationship with your audience a stronger one.

Find out where to target with data. Find out how to target with human psychology.