Small Data Book Summary - Small Data Book explained in key points
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Small Data summary

Martin Lindstrom

The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends

3.9 (51 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

Small Data by Martin Lindstrom is a marketing book that explores the power of understanding people's behavior through intimate observations, rather than relying solely on big data. It reveals how small details can have a big impact on customer loyalty and brand success.

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    Small Data
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    Big Data has a hard time predicting the emotions and desires of users.

    Chances are you’ve heard of Big Data – the term has been a buzzword for years. As you might know, it refers to observable patterns in huge amounts of data that offer insights into consumer behavior on online shopping platforms like Amazon.

    But despite the massive quantities of data users produce, the information this data offers is actually quite limited.

    People search shopping sites, click on ads, stream videos or post on Facebook every day, in the process creating data about the products they like, their tastes and even the way they feel. However, this online behavior is a poor representation of who users really are, especially when it comes to emotions. When people are online, they tend to be less empathetic.

    Just as being in a car can make you more rude toward other drivers, being online makes it easier to post a mean reply because you can’t see the other person’s reaction.

    So, the information people leave online is insufficient to make judgments about them. While big data does allow for some emotional analysis, it doesn’t offer the specific data necessary to measure or build desire for a brand.

    For instance, Google’s algorithms have a 70 percent chance of inferring a user’s emotional state just from the way they write and the typos they make. But it’s very difficult to determine whether a brand can appeal to a user’s emotions based solely on data gathered from web browsing.

    This is important because such information is essential for great brands to stand out by making consumers desire their products. The makers of the BMW Mini, for example, know that the desire for their car is fuelled by customers’ urge to indulge in the joy of driving.

    So, online behavior is insufficient to paint a complete picture of consumers. But where can you find the information you need to build a highly desirable brand?

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    What is Small Data about?

    Small Data (2016) is a guide to utilizing minor details about people’s lives to connect with them and sell them on your brand image. These blinks incorporate observations of cultures all over the world to point to the emotions and desires that help brands become household names.

    Small Data Review

    Small Data is a captivating book by Martin Lindstrom that explores the untapped power of observing people's behavior and uncovering valuable insights. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with fascinating real-life stories, it reveals how seemingly small details can have a big impact on understanding consumer behavior.
    • Combining research, anecdotes, and analysis, it sheds light on the importance of paying attention to the human element in data collection and analysis.
    • With its practical applications and actionable strategies, the book offers valuable takeaways for marketers, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in understanding what drives people.

    Best quote from Small Data

    Big data is pretty incompetent at suggesting how to increase love.

    —Martin Lindstrom
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    Who should read Small Data?

    • Marketing professionals and students of human behavior.
    • Anyone working to establish a brand.

    About the Author

    Martin Lindstrom is a world-renowned marketing and brand-building expert, and he has been an advisor to the likes of Walt Disney, Pepsi and Red Bull. A study of 30,000 marketers named him the number one brand-building expert of 2015, while Thinkers 50 named him the world’s 18th-best business thinker.

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    Small Data FAQs 

    What is the main message of Small Data?

    The main message of Small Data is that the key to understanding people lies in observing their behavior and listening to their stories.

    How long does it take to read Small Data?

    The reading time for Small Data varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Small Data a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Small Data is worth reading because it reveals the power of uncovering insights through small observations and personal stories.

    Who is the author of Small Data?

    The author of Small Data is Martin Lindstrom.

    What to read after Small Data?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Small Data, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Data Detective by Tim Harford
    • It’s Not the Size of the Data by Koen Pauwels
    • Super Human by Dave Asprey
    • Influence is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance
    • The Art of Statistics by David Spiegelhalter
    • How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
    • The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel
    • How to Make a Few Billion Dollars by Brad Jacobs