Visions of Behavioral Analytics Dance in Marketers’ Heads

There are two types of behavioral analytics. The first kind is “aggregate” analytics. This is what you can see when pulling reports from an Omniture or Webtrends. It shows you things like how many impressions, how many pages viewed on your website, which pages are most popular, or even the path a prospect takes while reviewing your site.

It can also show you, based on reverse IP look-up, the companies that are looking at your site. From a campaign perspective, this type of information allows you to launch more targeted campaigns. This still falls short of today’s best practices for personalizing campaigns based on what the specific prospect is most interested in because it allows the marketer to respond in general versus based on the online behavior of a specific, known individual.

There is a much stronger capability as it relates to lead generation and revenue creation — the ability to track and respond to a known individual’s digital body language, which allows for the optimal personalization of a campaign to a prospect or opportunity.

Why Marketers Should Care: The Numbers Tell the Tale

Today’s marketer is more metrics-driven than ever before. Metrics on campaign performance are actively and aggressively watched, discussed and tweaked, and the metrics around improved performance when that campaign is more personal are well documented.”Personalization used in messages, but not necessarily in subject lines, continued to perform well, generating open rates 7% higher and click rates 80% higher, on average, than email messages without personalization.” (Source: Email Marketing Metrics Report)

“Ninety-six percent (96%) of organizations believe that email personalization can improve email marketing performance. Heavy personalization techniques allow organizations to develop highly personalized relevant marketing campaigns by incorporating customer profile information, segmentation or demographic behavior, channel behavior, purchase history, personalized product or service recommendations, online activity, and other attributes from a customer databases.”

“Relevance, personalization and timely engagements with prospect generate two to three times higher engagement with a target audience.”(Source: Email Marketing: Get Personal with Your Customers)

Levels of Personalization

There are two levels of campaign personalization:

  • Level I Personalization:
  • Characterized by the initial push or interaction and manual effort of personalization
  • Characterized by a focus on an asset — an email, a landing page
  • Characterized by simple behavioral metrics — Did they click through?
  • Level II Personalization:
    • Characterized by inviting and responding to behavior and creating a digital relationship
    • Characterized by process versus an asset
    • Characterized by a more complex set of behavioral metrics — If they went a key solution page on the website, enroll them in a specific nurturing campaign.

    The following chart begins to capture the differences between the two approaches:  

    Level I (Initial, Manual) Level II (All, Automatic) Subject Line No Yes Greeting Yes Yes Email copy and graphics Yes, done manually Yes Call to Action Yes Yes Signature Yes, can be a challenge Yes Landing Page No Yes Form No Yes Auto-responder No Yes

    This article’s focus is Level II personalization.

    Level II Personalization

    The ability to automatically read and respond to known prospects’ online behavior is allowing marketers to create vivid, unique and personal relationships with an unlimited number of prospects — all in real-time.

    This capability radically changes the concept of a campaign from something that is one and done to a longer-term flow and multi-interaction of a relationship. The ability of a marketer to “see” that a key prospect has just visited five pages on Solution A, allows the marketer to begin a highly targeted set of messaging to the prospect that provides value during the buying process.

    Driving this new level of personalization are marketing automation tools that allow the marketer to see and respond to an individual prospect’s online behavior PLUS provide the ability to set up an automated extended relationship. Based on this model, personalization occurs not only at the point of initial contact, but also as a result of what is occurring in the set of behaviors.

    This level of personalization also brings a new set of behavioral analytics that is focused on an individual behavior, what it means and how to respond.

    There are many features of marketing automation that drive and support this “ultimate” personalization — such as lead scoring, work flow and dynamic content.

    Lead scoring is the ability to score both demographic data — company size or geography — and online behavior — how many Web pages viewed in a single visit or which pages were viewed. Scoring provides the marketer an indication of how to interact with this particular prospect. A low score indicates a nurturing campaign would be appropriate. If a score has not incremented in 30 days, switch to a new kind of campaign.

    Work flow is the ability to look at all online behavior and make “decisions” on how to respond to that behavior. If a prospect visits a particular solution page on your website AND has a low score, you might want to automatically enroll the individual in a nurturing campaign on that particular topic. If a prospect’s score begins to increment, speed up the communication process.

    Dynamic content is the notion that based on a known element, such as vertical or industry, all communications — from email copy and graphics to landing pages, forms and auto-responders are automatically populated with personalized content.

    Buyer behavior has changed. In the new paradigm, buyers gather the majority of their information online. Today’s successful marketer needs to be engaged in this digital dialog at a personal level to win business. Level II personalization, driven by technologies like marketing automation, is the way to make your campaigns more personal — and the best way to compete and win in 2011.

    Debbie Qaqish, principal partner and chief revenue officer of The Pedowitz Group, is a nationally recognized speaker, thought leader and innovator in the demand generation field. She has more than 30 years of experience applying strategy, technology and process to help B2B companies drive revenue growth. Contact Debbie at [email protected].

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