Using User Mines in Marketing

The User Mine Method

Don’t be everywhere – Be where it matters to your business.



Last month I asked my LinkedIn and Twitter connections if they had ever used ’The User Mine Method’ in their marketing or go-to-market strategies. To my surprise, most didn’t know what it was.

As a business (and this is especially true for start-ups) being everywhere, won’t get you the results you are looking for and is also an extremely expensive marketing approach.

And I suspect that even though my connections don’t recognise the term ‘User Mine Method’, some of them may in fact use this method but with different labelling.

The User Mine Method is often used within growth hacking and by businesses trying to disrupt a market or get into a market that are difficult to penetrate, due to strong market leads.

The method has helped businesses like Airbnb disrupt the market and become a success in a very short time.


What Is a User Mine?

A User Mine is a cluster of potential users that are actively looking for the kind of service or product you provide.

They are not a fixed community, they don’t have the same demographic background and they do not have the same needs within the same scope of time.

Their only bond is that they have the same needs at some point in time and therefor are actively seeking what you provide, most often without even knowing it.

In short ‘The User Mine Method’ is a functional approach to what Google labels as targeting micro-moments and ‘being there in the moments that matter’.


So how do I locate and use a User Mine in my marketing effort?

Using ‘The User Mine Method’ can be broken down to 5 steps.


Step 1: Locating relevant User Mines for my business

Since a User Mine is not determined by shared demographics, interests, passion points or locations, locating the User Mine that is relevant for you and your business is all about understanding your prospects in-the-moment-needs, their most likely search behaviour as well as what you have to offer in comparison to the market you are in.

The first step in using ‘The User Mine Method’ therefore, is all about defining your own business and business opportunities. However, instead of doing a good old fashioned SWOT analysis, you focus on your unique selling points in relation to the needs of your potential customers, the linked businesses, your competition and the behavioural opportunities you have.

The User Mine Method


If we take Airbnb as example, the exercise would look like this:

What do we offer?

– An alternative accommodation for when you are traveling.

Who needs what we have to offer?

– People that are travelling and for some reason is on the lookout for different experiences than the usual accommodations like hotels or hostels.

When do they need what we have to offer?

– When they are searching for travel accommodations.

Where do they go to fulfil their needs?

– Websites that offer travels, plane tickets, accommodations/alternative accommodations.

– Social platforms.

– Off-line locations (Eg. travel-events or travel agencies).

The potential Airbnb customers doesn’t necessarily have the same reason for wanting to find alternative accommodations. For some it might be about pricing, for some it might be about the cultural experience and for some it might be about finding a space that fits the family size or needs. Therefore, the only thing your prospects have in common is that they have a need that you can fulfil and that they’re actively searching to fulfil their need.


Step 2: Map out the User Mines

Once you have determined precisely what you offer, who might need what you offer – why and when and where they might search to fulfil their needs, you need to map out the User Mines to find the ones you need to focus on.

  1. How many User Mines is there?
  2. How Big are they?
  3. Why do people come to the specific User Minds? How far along are they in their decision making process?
  4. What are the characteristics of the people in the different User Mines?


Step 3: Testing User Mines

Once you have mapped out your potential User Mines, you’ll have to test them out.

Let’s say that you’ve discovered that you have discovered three good potential User Mines. Now is the time to determine which of these User Mines that will actually help you realise your goals. What you do is this:

  1. Get to know the ‘rules’ and lingo of the potential User Mines – what kind of offers can you bring to the different User Mines. If the User Mine is within a community – become a part of that community.
  2. Place specific offerings for specific targets within the different User Mines, test and track their performance.
  3. Select the User Mine that performs the best in relation to your goals.


Step 4: Create the right type of content

Now that you have selected a specific User Mine and mapped out the user group and why they come there, it is time to create the right type of content to support your offering.

Depending on User Mine and targets within the Mine, this could be blogs, movies, pictures, pricelists and features or something completely different.

You can choose to do this on your own or get help from a creative agency, that has specific knowledge about the different target groups within your selected User Mine.


Step 5: Automate, re-target and Track performance

The last step within ‘The User Mine Method’ is to set up automation that enables you to target and re-target your offer towards your relevant target group as well as to track and analyse your results to ensure, that the selected User Mine keeps being relevant in the long run.

I know that some might feel bad about using automation in their marketing. But if you are selling at scale and the offering is relevant for the specific User Mine, automation is a good thing.


Want to know more?

If you want to know more about this method, you should watch this video by Alexander Ribin (@AlexRibin on Twitter) as he explains everything you need to know about ‘The User Mine Method’.

That’s all for now – shout with any comments or questions you might have.

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