Driving people to websites is still the main objective of most marketing campaigns, and why not, surely that’s the end goal of all marketing.
But what happens to people, once they get to the target site seems to be less important to many campaigns, as is the measurability of those converting from prospects to customers once they arrive.
It’s about customers, content and profit
On average over 80% of a typical marketing budget is wasted as this is the percentage of customers that arrive on a site, can’t find what they want, and leave to go through another route, usually your competitor.
If you present information to a customer that matches what they are looking for, they will get through your site quickly and easily. Bearing in mind that many customers don’t complete their tasks on their first visit, presenting them with content that matches their previous visits to your site will, again, ensure their tasks are completed as easily as possible.
When prospects are presented with content that targets their behaviour, without it being intrusive, they are much more likely to become customers, and existing customers are much more likely to be loyal and therefore profitable.
One site fits all
The cost of creating micro-sites and campaign sites, that have short life spans, is hard to justify, particularly when a company has invested a large amount in a single, main site that should meet everyone’s needs.
Behavioural targeting allows you to customise a site to meet both a customer's needs and those of the business. For example, a financial firm running a campaign to sell a new product or rate will probably feature this on the homepage hero space. However, other campaigns are running at the same time and need that space too, so either five of them share, on rotation, with a 20% chance of being seen, or compete altogether and get lost.
The customers route to the site, in relation to the campaign for example , 'Eurodutch bank low rate mortgage at 2.8%', is likely to be through a search engine, through a term like 'Eurodutch mortgages'.
A user following the search results would either be taken to a microsite, through paid search, or to the homepage, through natural SEO. Microsites are out, too costly as we know, and the homepage has some information on this campaign but it’s battling for space with insurance, savings and investments.
Behavioural targeting allows the site to dynamically change the homepage to show content on the new mortgage, effectively acting as a microsite, and because we know where the customer is in the country, also up-sell home insurance, as our data from CRM and collected online, shows the majority of new customers in this region are likely to buy both together.
The same technique can be applied to people coming from banners and affiliate links, or email newsletters and viral campaigns. In fact it can be used for anyone coming in from any route, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs and texts.
Tracking and understanding what an individual is doing on your site allows you to speak to them directly when they come back, targeting content based on what they looked at, searched for or did on your site.
Presenting additional benefits for a specific product, on the homepage, to someone who has looked at that mortgage on the site before, along with a comparison chart of competitor products and an application form is much more likely to convert them as opposed to making them hunt through the site to find it on their own.
This learned behaviour can also be used to understand how wider groups of customers are using the site and create delta segments, where a wider set of behaviours are used to present content to first time users.
For example, customers coming in to a travel site from affiliates such as newspaper promotions will often group based on the quality of the paper. For instance, Daily Mail readers are more likely to be women and after more of a bargain then Times readers.
However, this profile is based on a very wide audience segmentation presented by each newspaper and may well not reflect the type of user that has linked to the travel site.
The solution is to track, over time, where customers are coming from and what they are looking at then buying, then use this data to customise the homepage accordingly. This approach will give instant uplift in sales without presuming to know what the customers want and can be applied to time of day, geo-location and a range of other metrics that to date have been difficult or impossible to attain.