In this two-part column, I’ll offer insight on the new realities of building a digital relationship with modern moms. Part 1 dives into “the hunt,” a practical look at how brands can use analytics to find their best consumers. Part two, which will appear in the 4/29 editon of eM+C Weekly, will demonstrate how to best incentivize moms to stick with your brand and build lifetime value.
When on the hunt for your ideal customers, the power of analytical data is a marketer’s weapon of choice. Will you simply wait and hunt, or will you jump in and proactively find your target?
Sure, reacting to existing consumer behavior or reported trends is one way to find new customers, but with superior analytics and a deep breadth of information, it’s possible to proactively predict what consumers are going to do before they do it.
It’s perfectly reasonable to place a travel ad on a travel site, for example, but only up to a point. With high competition for that space, you’ll spend more for a smaller return. But, behold the beauty of marketing online, which allows you to cast a wider net.
If you can be a step ahead of consumers, that puts you a step ahead of the competition. And, of course, the better your “map” is, the faster you’ll get there.
Be willing to abandon your intended target
One story from experience: When a classic toy brand wanted to grow its email list, it realized its assumption that the majority of toy buyers were moms was yielding fewer new customers over time. Once the brand began extensive creative testing — offering e-newsletters to consumers in exchange for information, such as the ages of the children they’re purchasing toys for and their relationship to them — it realized that it was actually grandparents who purchased the most toys.
With this new data, the toy brand was able to revise its messaging to speak not just to parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents-to-be as well. The e-newsletters became its strongest channel for engagement. With customized messaging (the e-newsletter content changes as the child grows older), the brand was able to talk effectively with its expanded consumer base.
A robust analytical approach allows marketers to test their assumed audience and use that knowledge to learn, tweak and evolve — and all quickly.
Go for the big game
For a brand to have real impact, it needs scale. The use of multiple data points — such as geo-demographics, payment histories, online transactions, offline purchases and surfing behaviors — provides a deeper indication of consumers’ propensity to respond to advertising.
If you need to reconcile a lot of different data points, techniques such as CHAID (Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector) or statistical regression analysis can help identify which variables are the most valuable in describing your most valuable target.
Predictive behavioral targeting is based on insight, not just website. So if you have a brand like the Winter Park Resort, a ski resort in Colorado, you don’t want your entire marketing budget to go towards finding 35 year-old moms on BabyCenter looking for a family ski vacation. Your brand needs to scale other websites these target consumers may engage with, from Facebook and ESPN to blogs and The Wall Street Journal.
Of course, moms are all over the net. A recent study by my company, Q Interactive, revealed that 54 percent of women surveyed visit a social networking site at least once per day, and 85 percent use up to five games and/or applications regularly. That’s a big space for a successful “hunting” opportunity.
Cyndi Elliott is a consumer marketing specialist at Q Interactive, a Chicago-based online marketing services provider for advertisers and publishers. Q Interactive’s “Women’s Channel” is a pioneer in starting online dialogues between leading brands and ideal women customers. Reach Cyndi at firstname.lastname@example.org.