Ana­lyt­ics cus­tomers in the enter­tain­ment and media indus­try are increas­ingly using Adobe Consulting’s sta­tis­ti­cal clus­ter­ing tech­niques to pro­file their vis­i­tors; almost all of them are also awak­en­ing to an impor­tant fact: most of the page views on their sites are dri­ven by a very small per­cent­age of their visitors.

I’ve per­son­ally con­structed sta­tis­ti­cal clus­ter­ing mod­els for more than a few large media com­pa­nies with sites rang­ing from over 10 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors per month to as high as 100 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors per month, and each of them have come to a sim­i­lar and star­tling con­clu­sion.  Each found that 6% to 15% of their vis­i­tors are gen­er­at­ing 50% to 75% of the total page views on their sites.


This skew is fur­ther under­lined when you con­sider that bounc­ers (sin­gle page view vis­i­tors) make up 40% to 60% of the total vis­i­tors for most media clients, but will typ­i­cally only con­tribute 5% to 10% of the total page views.  Addi­tion­ally, I’ve noticed that 75% of all page views are usu­ally gen­er­ated by less than 25% of total visitors.

Most online adver­tis­ing is sold based on the total num­ber of impres­sions with­out con­sid­er­ing that most of those impres­sions will likely be con­sumed by a very small pro­por­tion of those vis­i­tors.  There­fore, the ad reach may not always be what it seems and highly engaged users can become bom­barded with the same ads over and over again, or they quickly blow through a few pre­mium ads and are left with noth­ing but rem­nant ads.

Also con­sider that this could be com­pounded by the fact that media ad inven­tory sales teams are usu­ally given incen­tives to sell huge ad con­tracts for whop­ping amounts of impres­sions rather than hav­ing greater high-CPM con­tracts with fewer impres­sions per contract.

This presents a two-fold prob­lem that many in the media indus­try have not yet realized:

  1. You prob­a­bly have an ad fre­quency prob­lem which can hurt your user expe­ri­ence; if you don’t,
  2. Your adver­tis­ers prob­a­bly cap impres­sions per user which presents the sec­ond prob­lem: Your most valu­able traf­fic will hit that cap very quickly leav­ing them with only pitiable low-CPM ads – dimin­ish­ing your revenue.

Luck­ily, Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing prod­ucts com­bined with Adobe Con­sult­ing have the tools you need to help you under­stand and com­bat this problem.

First, you’ll need to under­stand how dras­tic this sit­u­a­tion is for your site.  In my opin­ion, the best way to do this is using vis­i­tor clus­ter­ing tech­niques pro­vided by Adobe Pre­dic­tive Con­sult­ing.  We can take your Site­Cat­a­lyst data, sum­ma­rize it at the user level, and run pre­dic­tive pro­fil­ing tech­niques to have the com­puter iden­tify your high and low value audi­ences.  These algo­rithms deter­mine what makes these audi­ences more valu­able than other visitors.

Sec­ond, you can export the list of these high-value users to Adobe Audi­ence Man­ager.  AAM is the pre­mier data man­age­ment plat­form for media indus­tries since it allows you to com­bine ana­lyt­ics with ad tar­get­ing and expe­ri­ence test­ing.  It also allows you to com­bine pre­dic­tive clus­ter infor­ma­tion with demo­graphic infor­ma­tion (for fur­ther con­sumer insights) and sell ad inven­tory to these spe­cific vis­i­tor pro­files onsite and off­site.  With AAM, you can also make sure that your high value cus­tomers aren’t com­pletely sat­u­rated by the same ads over and over again. AAM also gives your ad sales team the abil­ity to sell the extremely valu­able traf­fic since you can now per­son­al­ize the ad mes­sag­ing to each of your high value users.

Finally, AAM inte­grates with Adobe Test & Tar­get.  This inte­gra­tion allows you to present extremely per­son­al­ized expe­ri­ences to each of your high value cus­tomer seg­ments.  Not only is this shown to increase user engage­ment, but it will give insight into which parts of your site are work­ing for each con­sumer seg­ment and which parts are not.

If you own a media site, it’s going to be increas­ingly impor­tant in the future that you under­stand your vis­i­tors and act accord­ingly.  Adobe has the tools and resources you need to make this hap­pen.  If you’d like to start this type of analy­sis for your site, reach out to your Adobe rep today.