The importance of data analysis for planning: Behavioural targeting

The ‘spray and pray’ approach has long been proven to be an ineffective method of targeting your prospects. Savvy marketers now have the benefit of data to target audiences that offer higher conversion rates.

Carefully crafted messages that connect with your audience are infinitely more effective in boosting conversions and sales. In the third instalment of our blog series, we’ll look at how analysing user behaviour in more detail helps you reach the right audience.

What is behavioural targeting?

Behavioural targeting is a marketing strategy where data and artificial intelligence come together to display relevant ads and marketing messages that resonate with your target audience. Broadly speaking, this targeting typically relies on analysing the user’s online behaviour, such as:

  • What devices and technology they use
  • Socio-demographic information, such as location, gender, age, interests, etc
  • Interactions with your company, such as phone calls or form submissions

This data comes from a variety of sources, including your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, social media insights, and loyalty programmes, as well as website analytics.

Why use behavioural targeting?

We’ve all browsed the likes of Amazon, and products we’ve looked at have followed us around the web. Or a service you’ve researched online has appeared in Facebook as a sponsored post. I had a face-to-face conversation with someone in the office about a company that does dog portraits once, and it didn’t take long before ads started popping up on my Instagram feed!

These ads are delivered to you because the advertisers know you’ve expressed an interest, and there’s a high chance that you’re going to convert… you just need a little nudge.

Using these data points, you can create ads and content that mirror a prospect’s preferences and needs. It boosts conversions for your company, and studies find that it improves the consumer experience too:

A more relevant ad experience

While we don’t like the idea of giving out personal information to advertisers, it’s also frustrating to continue to be served ads that are irrelevant or unengaging. More personalised ads means a more enjoyable browsing experience, and a better overall perception of your brand.

More efficiency in the online buying process

That relevant product is just a click away! With a compelling message and landing page, you make it easy for a prospect to convert.

They serve as a reminder

An ad can remind prospects of items sitting in their basket and motivate them to complete the purchase. Sometimes, a delay in buying might be price related, so an offer to get them over the line is also beneficial.

Getting more insight

To better understand your customers and prospects, you need to collect meaningful data. Start by defining which aspects of a customer’s behaviour are most significant to your business. If this isn’t information you already hold, you can proactively collect it. Then measure and analyse better ways to engage your prospects and, ultimately, sell more.

  • Ask website visitors what they’re interested in. Users are more likely to give you a little more insight into themselves if you offer something in return, such as a great piece of content, a discount, or a free trial.
  • Find out what marketing sources bring customers to your site. Also, what channels bring them back on subsequent visits? Map out their journey to fine tune your strategy.
  • What ads and messages do they engage with: What hooks a user in and motivates them to click? Messages, calls-to-action (CTAs), images, colours… these all affect whether a user will click or not. This allows you to create more effective campaigns.
  • What pages they view on your website: Look for patterns in behaviour or interest trends. Can these be aligned to specific segments? Does the trend indicate another purchase down the line is more likely? This will influence the ads the user sees after leaving the site.
  • Have they abandoned an online purchase? This is an ideal opportunity for retailers. It indicates a higher readiness to purchase in the future, compared to users who just browse. You can target ads to consumers highlighting the products they are specifically interested in.
  • What keywords and search terms do they use? For example, if a user searches for marketing technology, there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll be responsive to relevant advertising.

Reach the right audience

With all the data marketers now have access to, uninformed marketing should be a thing of the past — especially online. The technology – and the opportunity – is there to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, and make sure you’re not wasting valuable budget or resources.

Next week

Our final article in this series reveals how real time analysis helps you better understand your customers.

Catch up on our previous posts in this series:

Find out how you can get more layers of user data to improve your behavioural targeting. Get in touch for a 15 minute online demo of Mediahawk.

About the author

Author: Natalia Selby

Marketing coordinator at Mediahawk, with over 10 years experience in analytics, content management and eCommerce.

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