Playdoh, Guess Who? and Data Profiling | DMA

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Playdoh, Guess Who? and Data Profiling


Everyone has played the game, Guess Who? If you haven’t, A) where have you been? B) Definitely go and play it.

Basically, you pick a person off your board, as does your competitor off theirs. You then proceed to ask questions to race against each other to find out who they have picked. Riveting stuff.

Anyway, all these questions you are asking are actually profiling the person they have chosen. Do they wear glasses? Yes. Do they have curly hair? No. This game may be based purely on looks, but it is profiling all the same – you can still glean information from people’s style.


The more information you weedle out of your competitor, the fast you can identify the person. It’s the same with data, the more information that you have on a person or a company (yes you can definitely profile companies!), the more targeted communications you can perform. In Guess Who? you wouldn’t sit there quietly, not asking about the person and it’s the same principal at work. What use are your campaigns if you don’t actually know your clients?

Data profiling can certainly add a fair bit of value to your database, however you need to ensure that the information you do attribute to a lead is correct otherwise you’ll be assuming all kinds of nonsense.

So if someone is buying maternity wear, you can use this data to schedule a promotion in a few months time for baby clothes and nappies and all that goes in the world of babies. Or maybe someone buys a noticeably large amount of ice cream every year at the start of summer – perhaps give them a discount next year?

Or perhaps you want to target shoe companies within a certain geographical area with a revenue over £1.2 million with your revolutionary sock design. Businesses too are clients so of course can be profiled and segmented.


Supermarkets use profiling exceedingly well. I know I’m constantly bombarded with coupons for all my favourite foods and I always used to think I was so lucky that the food I love always seems to have a coupon, but low and behold this was profiling at its finest and not the planets aligning for me. Sigh, one day.

Birthdays. A great way to promote yourself as caring and lovely by wishing someone a happy birthday – plus with all the extra birthday money that they have they’re probably more inclined to spend a few extra pounds here and there. It always confuses me when birthday offers end on someone’s birthday – the après birthday shop is where the money is at!

By enhancing your database with extra details about each person you can analyse the data as a whole and identify crucial market segments to improve marketing campaigns. You can fire out emails to people with a certain job in a certain industry, or target people with a specific hobby who are also in a particular wealth bracket. Information-rich data is like playdoh, you can mould it and shape it exactly how you want to use it and the benefits will be seen so rapidly, you’ll wonder why you never profiled in the first place.

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