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Segmenting “Big Data”

Posted on 10.01.2012

Five Customer Behaviors that Deserve Your Attention Now!

That Plato character was pretty astute. The ancient Greek philosopher mused, “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge.”

Pretty powerful, given that a philosophy introduced thousands of years ago serves as the basis for all effective marketing campaigns today. With the introduction of behavioral targeting tools, marketers now have the ability to capture data about that human behavior and use it to tailor marketing campaigns that will conjure up more desire, emotion or knowledge in order to encourage a buyer to take the next step — whether that’s to make the purchase in the first place or to return to a site to buy more.

And it works. In email, for example, behaviorally targeted messages perform three times better in terms of revenue per send over traditional email communication.

That is, if you’re not using behavioral segmentation strategies, you’re losing out on valuable conversions. Here are five customer behaviors that deserve your attention right now.

Purchased: Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. Segment customers by what they purchased and send them information on complementary products related to their purchase. As they purchase more, you’ll be able to establish a profile of the individual that gives insights into their wants, needs and preferences to tailor future marketing.

Viewed Particular Item, But Did Not Purchase: For these individuals, the desire was strong enough to begin researching, but not strong enough to purchase. Did they decide they didn’t need it? Did they find a better price with a competitor? Segment these customers by what they viewed and send email messages that include positive reviews for the item or a special promotion for the item.

Purchased in a Category, Viewed a Specific SKU:
Say a customer buys something from a certain product category, then comes back later and views another product in that category. Buyer behavior tells us that product is likely his or her next purchase. Use that knowledge to market at a very specific level around the latest product the customer is researching in the category. By marketing at a productspecific level, it keeps the customer engaged. It keeps that product top of mind and also positions your site as the place it should be purchased.

Spent Time on Site, But Did Not Purchase: There is no commodity more valuable in today’s society than your customer’s time. Prospective customers who take the time to “window shop” should be courted. By segmenting time-on-site, you can get insight into your most engaged customers, even if they haven’t purchased yet. You can get specific in your marketing and highlight the products that were viewed, or you can be more general. Send an email to these customers with a special promotion or highlight your easy return policy. Give these customers a reason to go beyond engagement to conversion.

Reviewed: No matter what the industry, customers overwhelmingly say that feedback from peers is a deciding factor in their decision to purchase. Reviews are very powerful marketing tools. First and foremost, retailers should reward their customers who are participating in the global community of information and opinion sharing. But more than that, reviews can be used to personalize marketing. Draw segments around people who positively and negatively reviewed specific products, then cross-sell and upsell them, accordingly, on other products in your catalog. Reviewers are customers that are already participating in the conversation about products on your site. Give them something good to talk about.

In the days of requesting data from IT or laboring through mountains of disparate sources, behavioral segmentation was likely just an item on the marketing wish list. But with easy-to-use tools that can grab the data quickly and capture it in real time, the lowhanging fruit of behavioral segmentation is just waiting to be plucked. Use what you know about your customers’ intentions to conjure up more desire, emotion and knowledge; then, watch engagement and conversions grow.

About the Author:  Eric Tobias is the President of iGoDigital

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