Why Sherlock Holmes Would Have Been A Great Marketer

I watched Sherlock Holmes this past weekend and it led me to an eye-opening realization about marketing and advertising.

For those of you who don’t know who Sherlock Holmes is, here’s Wikipedia to the rescue. Basically, he’s one of the world’s most widely recognized fictional detectives, he’s eccentric but brilliant, and he uses sound logic and deductive reasoning to solve seemingly-impossible to solve cases.

In the movie, they base Holmes’s ability to solve a case on the various “clues” he sees that most people would never notice. He recognizes a woman was previously engaged due to the small tan line around her finger. He deduces that a certain individual is a professor based on some chalk remnants near his collar.

The important thing to remember is this: NONE of the clues he finds are hidden. They certainly aren’t noticeable to the casual observer, but they aren’t hidden or invisible. The difference between Sherlock Holmes and the casual observer is that Holmes is always looking for clues.

So, as a marketer, are you Sherlock Holmes for your clients, or are you just a casual observer?

• A casually observing marketer runs a billboard for a client’s new product or service because “that’s just what we’ve always done.”
• A Sherlock Holmes marketer gathers clues by conducting marketing research which can lead to better, more informed decisions for the marketing campaign.

• A casually observing marketer simply reviews his or her client’s website analytics and sends a weekly report on Friday afternoon.
• A Sherlock Holmes marketer labors over each facet of a website’s analytics in order to best determine areas of improvement that could make the site even stronger.

• A casually observing marketer tells a client to “get on Twitter” so the client can send links to its website and keep its followers up to date on sales and promotions.
• A Sherlock Holmes marketer uses logic to help the client determine if social networking is the right path to take. Then the Sherlock Holmes marketer deduces how a client can best connect with customers to strengthen relationships, establish brand loyalty and inspire movements.

These are just a few examples of how digging a little deeper for your clients can produce great work and, more importantly, build a stronger relationship with your clients and their customers. Remember, the only way you can pick up on clues that will help you improve your work is by always looking for clues that will help you improve your work.

It truly is elementary, my dear Watson.

-Mike B.

Do you do work with the careful eye of Sherlock Holmes? Do you have any examples to share of a time when you went from casually observing to digging for clues and finding success like Sherlock Holmes? Do you think Robert Downey Jr. was as awesome in Sherlock Holmes as he was in Iron Man? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Photo (“Sherlock Holmes Statue”) c/o shining.darkness. Thanks!