Who is the actual human we are targeting?

We begin by identifying every single person who is online. We do this by proving which social handles are connected to real people and which are simply junk accounts. The way to prove if a social handle is connected to a real person is to append extra data next to a social handle, such as other social handles, emails, addresses, phone numbers, the social handles of family members, job titles/bios from social sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo). This is important because we want to analyze real human beings and their behaviors. The reason we want to study real people is to make accurate predictions about human behavior and the outcomes of behavior in different contexts. When we can predict behavior more accurately, then we are able to influence individuals, which is one of the ultimate end games of marketing, advertising and pubic relations.

When we have a healthy set of columns with this kind of information, then we can move on to using tools that study all of the content posted by an individual, as well as the way the individual describes himself/herself in bios on various sites. We can also study posts about individuals, some of which may include video footage, images, interviews, and sites that denote achievement. This set of software studies all of this content about an individual and classifies him/her as a specific persona type, along with the interests this individual focuses on. This is important because we want to know more about the type of person each individual is and what influences his/her behavior.

The next set of software we use derives insight from offline data, such as the data from credit bureaus, credit card companies, direct marketing companies, catalogue marketing companies, club membership research, background checks, etc. When we blend offline data with online data, we are able to demonstrate with more confidence the brand preferences, purchasing-buying styles, and many other classifiers related to an individual. This is important because online conversations, posts, and self-description in bios do not always give us enough to deeply understand the behavior of individuals. The blending of offline and online data results in a more complete portrait of the individual human being.

In short, we are able to more precisely influence what an individual human being will do in the future. For a brand, this long-term influence is very important as this will be how loyalty and sales are ensured. There are, of course, deeper goals for other organizations, such as governments, religious groups and media groups. These groups are often interested in wholesale culture change, particularly in enemy/competitive territory. The action of changing another culture is a top long term priority of groups that have been around far longer than the Unilevers and P&Gs of the world.


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