Targeted Marketing using Behavioral Analysis

The following poll was taken at a web seminar with Search Marketing Now: Getting from “What Happened?” to “Why?”, sponsored by Unica. Our speaker, Evan LaPointe, asked the audience (mostly web analysts and marketers) to check which of the choices they perceived as challenges for their use of analytics. It is striking how many in the audience were in agreement that going from mere reporting to behavioral analysis was the most common challenge.

Reporting to Behavioral Analysis

There are many interpretations and questions that we can draw from this anecdotal information. One of these is about the use of behavioral analysis for targeting purposes.

Two Uses of Web Analytics: Aggregate and Individual Level Insights

Conventionally, marketers use web analytics at an aggregate level. They seek to report on the performance of their web sites and advertising, so they can adjust their efforts to improve the results. This is an extremely worthwhile application that can deliver excellent return on investment. For example, Unica’s customer Citrix has a published case study with 1900% improvement in conversions.

However, marketers may be squandering a huge opportunity if they do not also leverage web analytics as a rich source of behavioral insights on individual prospects and customers. Using behavioral targeting, web analytics can play a far more direct role in engaging customers, improving customer experiences, and increasing sales, by enabling companies to deeply personalize their communications and interactions.

Identifying What Behavior Nuggets To Mine For

Individualized web analytics can reveal actionable insights into individual prospects and customers. For example:

  • Individuals’ personal preferences and current product or content interests
  • Where individuals stand within the buying or customer life cycle
  • When they are most susceptible to being persuaded, converted, or up-sold
  • When timely action must be taken to retain them
  • Which offers will be seen as most relevant and persuasive
  • How much each individual will be willing to spend

These insights can be transformed into targeted marketing initiatives at every stage of the customer life cycle (see graphic).

Mapping Business Goals

Figure: Mapping life cycle stages and business goals to initiatives that can be driven by personal web analytics

Targeted Marketing Initiative Example

Venn Diagrams are useful for many purposes (see my recent post on fun Venn diagrams that describe the challenging job that web analysts face). A very cool way that Venn diagrams can help in analytics is for segmentation and targeting. The screenshot below is an example from Unica’s Interactive Marketing OnDemand product which combines the web analytics product (NetInsight) with Unica’s products for email marketing, testing, and website personalization.

The Venn diagram shows the overlap of 3 segments:

  1. Received a recent email campaign (data from the email marketing component)
  2. Clicked-through on the email (date from the web analytics component)
  3. Converted (data from the web/customer analytics component)

Marketing Venn Diagram

The blue slice represents visitors who clicked-through but didn’t convert. They would be an ideal target segment for a re-marketing campaign. Their behavior suggests that they took an interest in the content of the email but weren’t quite persuaded. So we could send them an email reminder if they don’t return to the website on their own in coming days. Or if they are frequent visitors to the website we could create a dynamic banner that will be seen by these visitors to remind them.

Meanwhile the visitors in the Turquoise segment have clicked and converted. Since they seem open to receiving and responding to our marketing email we may want to target them with a cross-sales offer next.

This can be accomplished by saving and exporting the lists to email service providers. Or in the case of the Unica InteractiveMarketing OnDemand product the email and website personalization capabilities are built directly into the solution.


  • There is a goldmine to be found in using web analytics data for behavior analysis at the individual level which most companies haven’t tapped yet.
  • Usually, the reason for this lack of action is not negligence by analysts and marketers but the scarcity of integrated web analytics, email, and personalization solutions.

It is our mission at Unica to make behavioral targeting easier by providing better integrated web analytics solutions to our customers.

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