Segmentation is Key to Truly Targeted Marketing

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segmentation is key to targeted marketingRemember when websites had hit counters? I’m not talking about your basic Google Analytics installation - I mean the ones that were actually displayed at the bottom of the site and would update every time you refreshed the page. Sometimes I miss those days. It was a simpler time. A time when, as a webmaster, or, in my case, a sixth-grader taking an HTML elective, you could watch your hit counter rise like the odometer on your dashboard (remember when your dashboard was in your car?) and beam with pride as you reached the next big milestone.

Of course, this time was also the rough equivalent of the Bronze Age in the digital analytics world. And while our tools and our skills have come a long way since the mid-90s, in 2014, the tools we have at our disposal have evolved so much that we often don’t get as much out of them as we should. The basic hit counters and analytics tools of the early Web didn’t tell us much about the people visiting our site; instead, we had to try to make improvements to our sites by watching what people were doing in aggregate and then responding.

Unfortunately, for all the segmentation power that modern tools like Google Analytics bring to bear, we too often remain stuck treating our visitors like a big, homogenous mass.

In reality, our visitors are very heterogeneous - they come to our sites at various stages of the consideration process, they use a variety of devices, they achieve an assortment of goals, they experience varied problems, and so on. Why treat all these people in the same way?

Without segmenting your audience, we can’t target different people with different content, promotions, etc. In other words, until we embrace the power of segmentation, we’ll be stuck treating our visitors as if they’re all the same. The good news is that with a modern Google Analytics implementation, you can perform audience segmentation along almost any lines.

For example, wouldn’t you want to be able to gain deeper insight into segments like these:

  • “Whales” (people who buy big-ticket items, or who have a high lifetime value)
  • People who added a product to their shopping cart, but didn’t buy
  • People who signed up for an account, but never logged in
  • People who visit your site especially frequently
  • People who viewed a contact form, quote request page, etc., but didn’t complete it
  • People who only buy when a promotion is running

The segments we can identify and analyze are virtually unlimited. What’s more, we can even push these segments into AdWords and build campaigns targeted to these very specific groups of people. Just think - now you can tailor your message to people based not only on the keyword for which they searched, but on important customer and behavioral attributes. What might that mean for your clickthrough rate, your bounce rate, and, more importantly, your conversion rate?

Learn how to take advantage of audience segmentation by attending the upcoming SiteTuners webinar being led by Dave Booth, the 2014 Digital Analytics Association’s Practitioner of the Year. Here’s what you need to know to sign up:

Title: Easy & Powerful Segmentation Hacks Using Google Analytics
Date: September 10, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT

After attending the webinar, you’ll receive a recording which you can view on-demand, along with supplementary materials to help you implement what you learn during the webinar. Hope to see you there!

About the Author

nick iyengar thumbnailNick Iyengar is Associate Director, Digital Intelligence, at Cardinal Path. He recently returned to the firm after completing his MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Prior to joining Cardinal Path, Nick spent four years at Google, cutting his teeth working on Google Analytics support and consulting. He brings nearly 10 years of experience in digital marketing and analytics, working with clients in a wide variety of industries. When he's not helping his clients build their analytics capabilities, you can find Nick tailgating at a Michigan football game or homebrewing in his basement.