Over the com­ing weeks, the media indus­try experts in Adobe Con­sult­ing will share a series of analy­sis quick wins for media pub­lish­ers, using Adobe Dis­cover 3. For a lim­ited time, Adobe Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 clients can inquire with their account team and ask to take part in a free trial of Adobe Dis­cover. We’ve made it eas­ier than ever to try Dis­cover, and we’re show­ing some great Dis­cover analy­sis oppor­tu­ni­ties spe­cific to the retail indus­try. For more infor­ma­tion and to request Dis­cover trial access, con­tact your account man­ager or account executive.

Even though I’m an ana­lyst and a mar­keter because I’m in the Tech indus­try, my friends and fam­ily con­sider me a “com­puter guy” and direct com­puter ques­tions to me. The way I approach answer­ing these ques­tions is going to vary depend­ing on their skill livel and knowledge.

Sce­nario 1: If my wife were to ask me how to use our new com­puter, she would prob­a­bly be refer­ing to the new win­dows 8 oper­at­ing sys­tem and how to find her music or saved files. She has good com­puter knowl­edge so I would talk to her as a peer and could quickly give her a few tips, show her some new fea­tures, and she whould be on her way.

Sce­nario 2: When my 5-year-old asked me that ques­tion, she really just wanted to know how to find the games. I could just show her where the game sec­tion is and within a few min­utes she’ll be play­ing games I never knew we had.

Sce­nario 3: When my mother-in-law asked me how to use the com­puter I had to take a com­pletely dif­fer­ent approach. I knew she really just wanted to know about this ”Face­book Thinga­ma­jig”. This was an involved con­ver­sa­tion where we talked about the on but­ton, how to use a mouse, browsers, and finally ended with me help­ing her cre­ate an account and nav­i­gate Facebook.

The point is that each of these peo­ple wanted dif­fer­ent things, and I need to cus­tomize my expla­na­tions based on their needs and experience.

Too often I see my clients mak­ing the mis­take of ana­lyz­ing and opti­miz­ing site behav­ior at the aggre­gate level rather then putting their traf­fic into mean­ing­ful user seg­ments. Just like with my fam­ily, your cus­tomers have unique wants and should be treated diffrently. There is great value in seg­ment­ing and tar­get­ing your site traffic.

I recently helped a client group their users by vis­i­tor fre­quency per month, such as Infre­quent Users, Mod­er­ate Users, Fre­quent Users, and Power Users. By fol­low­ing this approach, you will find a wealth of knowl­edge about user behav­ior in these dif­fer­ent groups. Often you’ll find com­pletely dif­fer­ent results when look­ing at the inter­nal search terms, mar­ket­ing chan­nels, arti­cles, and con­tent types viewed by your Power Users com­pared to an aggre­gate analy­sis. This type of analy­sis is espe­cially use­ful when it comes to using Test & Tar­get to cus­tomize your site expe­ri­ence for your vis­i­tors. Why opti­mize for a generic site expe­ri­ence when you can group your vis­i­tors into var­i­ous engage­ment lev­els and cus­tomize the user expe­ri­ence accordingly?

For the pur­pose of this blog post, I’ll be focus­ing on Monthly Visits/Unique Vis­i­tor. How­ever, you could just as eas­ily per­form this seg­men­ta­tion using Page Views, Time on Site, Video Views, or other metrics.

This type of analy­sis needs to be done in Dis­cover because there are time-based seg­men­ta­tion options. You can also use it in con­juc­tion with the new vis­i­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion met­rics (see my last post ) to per­form some pow­er­ful analysis.

Prior to set­ting up any seg­ments, you will need to imple­ment an eVar for visit num­ber that expires each month. On each visit to the site, this eVar is pop­u­lated with what­ever visit num­ber you are on for that month. This is typ­i­cally done with a plug-in (ask your friendly Site­Cat­a­lyst Imple­men­ta­tion Con­sul­tant about this).

After imple­ment­ing this eVar, we are ready to use Dis­cover to seg­ment based on var­i­ous engage­ment lev­els (1visit, 2–3 vis­its, 4–6 vis­its, 7 or more visits…).

For ‘this exam­ple, let’s say one of your seg­ments was a vis­i­tor that comes to the site 2–3 times a month. The first step is to seg­ment based on date. In Dis­cover, the seg­men­ta­tion wiz­ard has dimen­sions for var­i­ous date group­ings (hour, day, week, month, quar­ter, and year). You’ll need to define a vis­i­tor seg­ment where a visit hap­pened dur­ing a spe­cific month.

After seg­ment­ing for the month you’re ana­lyz­ing, you will need to define which visit num­ber your vis­i­tor reached. To do this, you’ll need to inculde vis­i­tors where vis­its dur­ing the month (stored in your cus­tom eVar) was greater than or equal to 2 and exclude vis­i­tors where vis­its dur­ing the month were greater than or equal to 4 (see com­pleted seg­ment below).


Once you’ve cre­ated seg­ments for each of your engage­ment lev­els, you are ready to apply them to any report. This is a great way of com­par­ing the brows­ing behav­ior of your Fre­quent Users com­pared to that of your Infre­quent Users. You can then make deci­sions on how you can get your Infre­quent Users to come back more often and how to improve the expe­ri­ence for your most valu­able cus­tomers. If you have any ques­tions or thoughts on this Dis­cover tip, feel free to com­ment below or reach out to your Adobe Con­sul­tant. Good luck with all of your segmentation.