Finding David in the Data

What can one of the most famous sculptures in history teach us about online conversations and consumer needs? As you’ll see, quite a bit. You just have to know where to look.

What a Renaissance Artist Tells Us About Today’s Consumer

When the huge slab of marble arrived at a young Michelangelo’s door, it must have looked pretty daunting. It’s baffling to imagine how an artist like Michelangelo could bring out the famed image of David from such a lifeless hunk of stone.

However, Michelangelo knew something his patrons didn’t. David, you see, was already in the marble. He just needed to be discovered. The 26-year-old sculptor looked the Florence Cathedral commissioners in the eye and said, “the sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there; I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

Maybe Michelangelo was just being cocky. He had, after all, succeeded where other famous artists like Donatello and da Vinci hadn’t. Or maybe the young sculptor was on to something. Maybe it’s up to us how we perceive things.

At 113 Industries, we take this to heart. We consider ourselves artists when it comes to data. With a massive, hulking block of information in front of us, we chisel and hammer away to discover our masterpiece— consumers’ unarticulated needs.

How 113 Industries Finds David in the Data

Tweets, Instagrams, Facebook and blog posts. The marble blocks we work with can be just as scary as Michelangelo’s. And while it doesn’t take us the two years it took the Italian sculptor, we painstakingly scour blocks of data to find our David.

Instead of chisel and hammer, our toolbelt is made up of Big Data analysis and AI. It’s Consumer Behavior Modeling that helps brands learn more about their consumers than ever before possible. Just like a sculptor at his marble, it’s these tools that build complete consumer profiles, and learn about their lives and personalities. CBM is a strategic approach that leverages data instead of molding it. We know when the dust is blown away and we wipe off our hands, we’ll have a meaningful masterpiece on our hands; an unarticulated needs that’s been there all along.

David in the Data in Action

Finding David in the Data requires attention to detail. Sometimes that big block of marble is a lot of social media noise we have to pick at. Such was the case with a frozen foods company we worked with. As many of us might affirm, eating a frozen meal isn’t the ideal way to spend an evening in. They’re for convenience or part of weight-loss plan. To some, they may feel embarrassing to eat and can make dinner feel like a punishment:

“I think Lean Cuisine is the saddest thing ever.”

“Ever eat a Lean Cuisine and think ‘I am so alone?’”

“Another Friday night alone eating a lean cuisine for dinner…..LAME : (“

Scouring online conversations, we saw these sentiments time and time again. Few were excited about their frozen food and many felt ashamed to eat them. There was no indulgence to be found in a microwaved flauta or a boiled bit of broccoli. In turns out that customers were looking elsewhere for this indulgence. As we kept chiseling the marble, we found our David in the Data:

“Having a glass of wine with a frozen meal to make you seem fancy”

“Bought a bottle of wine that cost more than $10 (for once) to pair with my Lean Cuisine.   Just classing it up over here.”

“I find that a chicken parmesan lean cuisine is paired best with a boxed pink wine. #classytaste

With our David on full display, we set out recommending how to rebuild the relationship between consumers and their frozen dinner. The goal was to move away from the dieting, calorie counting messaging and focus on healthy foods and, separately, indulgence and higher-quality taste. This led to two major new products: Smart Ones and Devour! New packaging with its own wine pairing recommendations that would appeal to consumers looking for more than another Friday night alone with a frozen dinner. Suddenly, the meals were a treat. Consumers responded and generated $100M in new products.

Learn more about how you can find David in the data.

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