Spying on People
Recently, a post went around Facebook wherein your kids answered questions about you. I decided to do this with my daughter and when we got to, “What do I do for a job,” she answered, in part, “You spy on people.” After collecting myself, I had to admit that, yes, in its simplest form, Web analytics is effectively “spying” on people—but only insomuch as an astronomer spies on the universe, a chemist spies on a reaction or a sociologist spies on a culture. It’s all about learning everything we can about an area of focus. In digital analytics, that would be user behavior.
Who, What, Where, When and How Analytics
Like the sociologist, the main focus of Web analytics is to study the specific behavior of your website's users in a standardized and scientific way. Don’t get me wrong, I like a little cloak and dagger as much as the next guy, but the goal of Web analytics is not to collect intelligence in the form of personally identifiable details. The FBI would be sadly disappointed on that front.
Rather, we collect data to find patterns to uncover opportunities and find answers to your important marketing questions like:
- “Who is my potential client?”
- What products and services are they interested in?”
- “When are they searching?”
- “When are they ready to engage or purchase?”
- “Where can I reach more prospects?”
- “How are they thinking, talking and reacting to my products and services?”
Case File: That New Car Smell
I was reviewing Web user data for a national consumer goods client when I noticed a significant pattern in the numbers. Or as I like to think of it, “a tip from a reliable source.” I was analyzing the demographic data around a cleaning product intended mostly for household use. It has been traditionally marketed to females, 35–45 years old and married with kids. However, what I found in the gender data was surprising: a substantial amount of traffic is male. A-ha, a clue!
At that point, my mission became clear: find out who these guys are and what they’re looking for. As I dove into the age group data, I found another surprise: This group has a significant amount of younger (25–35 years old) users than the usual audience. Additional data revealed they had little in common with the traditional “homemaker” we’d been targeting. What we learned was the 25- to 35-year-old male visitors are unmarried with no household or kids—definitely not a current media target, yet one with considerable presence and disposable income.
Now that I had gleaned this information, I needed to figure out what they are looking for. Further sifting showed me that these male users are almost unanimously interested in (if not fanatical about) their cars. That broke the case wide open! It just so happens that our client’s household cleaning products also work quite well for automotive applications. Mystery solved! And, who doesn’t love a clean car?
In this particular case, careful review of Web analytics helped to uncover an untapped source of customers for the client. With a little nurturing in the form of targeted marketing campaigns, this audience could quickly and easily double in size to a 30% share, rivaling the traditional “homemaker” audience in both size and sales. Additionally, analytics identified new ways that the client’s existing products could be used and marketed, effectively tossing them the keys to explore new territory in the $9 billion automotive cleaning industry.
Analytics: a 24/7 Focus Group
Analytics has the power to turn your website into a finely tuned marketing research tool. Think of it as a 24/7 focus group of unlimited size. Just imagine what you could learn about your brand, your products and services, and your audience, which ultimately leads to powerful marketing strategies, robust business decisions…and Finding Your Better.
What prospects, new product lines and game-changing campaign ideas are lurking in your data? See what we’ve found for other clients here: http://bit.ly/1XhceUK.