Lately I’ve been think­ing a lot about cus­tomer pro­fil­ing and web ana­lyt­ics. Cus­tomer pro­fil­ing isn’t a new con­cept by any means — in fact, it’s been a fun­da­men­tal part of mar­ket­ing for decades. But in the con­text of web ana­lyt­ics, few peo­ple seem to be tak­ing advan­tage it. And that’s why I wanted to blog about it, because cus­tomer pro­fil­ing can be really pow­er­ful, easy, and rep­re­sents yet another untapped oppor­tu­nity for web ana­lyt­ics ROI.

What is an Xographic cus­tomer pro­file?
As always, let’s start with the basics. First, you’re prob­a­bly won­der­ing what I mean by xographic cus­tomer pro­files. Good ques­tion. In all truth, I just invented the term today :) But I like it. It describes any set of demo­graphic, techno­graphic, geo­graphic, or psy­cho­graphic attrib­utes you can iden­tify for your cus­tomers. For exam­ple, gen­der, mar­i­tal sta­tus, age group, income level, hob­bies, tech­nol­ogy pref­er­ences, home own­er­ship, birth­place, etc. These are all xographic attrib­utes that can incor­po­rate into a cus­tomer pro­file. Of course, there are other cus­tomer attrib­utes like atti­tu­di­nal data and sat­is­fac­tion scores that could also fill out a cus­tomer pro­file, but I want to write about those in my next blog.

Where to find xographic cus­tomer pro­file infor­ma­tion?
Typ­i­cally the best place to locate cus­tomer pro­file infor­ma­tion is your own inter­nal data ware­house. This infor­ma­tion is often cap­tured at the unique cus­tomer level, and can source from any num­ber of chan­nels. For exam­ple, a mem­ber reg­is­tra­tion process, a call cen­ter, in-store sales, con­fer­ence atten­dances, newslet­ter sub­scrip­tions, etc — these are all good sources of cus­tomer pro­file information.

Enhanc­ing web ana­lyt­ics with xographic cus­tomer pro­file data
To begin with, ensure you are mea­sur­ing unique peo­ple and cap­tur­ing a cus­tomer IDwith your web ana­lyt­ics plat­form. Once you have your cus­tomer ID, there are actu­ally sev­eral ways to build a richer pro­file with Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst. I won’t go into all the meth­ods here, but one of the eas­i­est meth­ods is to use Omniture’s SAINT import tool. SAINT is incred­i­bly flex­i­ble and you can use it to add attrib­utes to almost any record in SiteCatalyst.

In this exam­ple, you’d sim­ply cre­ate a SAINT group­ing for your cus­tomer IDs. Then you’ll want to pick a few key xographic attrib­utes that you want to add to these pro­files. For exam­ple, you might start with age group, gen­der, and income level. That’s three attrib­utes in total that you’ll be adding for each cus­tomer ID. Once you’ve imported your cus­tomer pro­file attrib­utes via SAINT, they will appear within Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst and Omni­ture Dis­cover rel­a­tively quickly.

Prof­it­ing from this new cus­tomer per­spec­tive
Now comes the fun part. Start­ing with Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst, you can quickly seg­ment any of your suc­cess met­rics across these pro­file types. For exam­ple, which age group con­tributes most to suc­cess on your web­site? What about income level? Remem­ber, suc­cess doesn’t need to be rev­enue. It could be leads or page views or even self-service inquiries. In that sense, you can fairly quickly assess which cus­tomer types are most likely to sub­mit a cus­tomer sup­port inquiry and take action to bet­ter under­stand the chal­lenges this par­tic­u­lar seg­ment may be having.

Xograph­ics pro­files and N-dimensional Seg­men­ta­tion
But let’s kick it up a notch for some even more inter­est­ing opti­miza­tion. Jump into Omni­ture Dis­cover. As I’ve talked about in my pre­vi­ous blog on n-dimensional seg­men­ta­tion, the pos­si­bil­i­ties for busi­ness opti­miza­tion are vir­tu­ally lim­it­less so if you’re not using Omni­ture Dis­cover, now is a great time to start!

Using xographic cus­tomer pro­files to improve cam­paigns
First, let’s say you are pri­mar­ily focused on cam­paign mar­ket­ing and you want to under­stand which types of cus­tomers are respond­ing to your spe­cific cam­paigns. This is easy. Pull up the Cam­paigns Report in Omni­ture Dis­cover, and then pull up the dif­fer­ent xographic reports you have. With one click, you can quickly seg­ment your cam­paign respon­dents by income, gen­der, or age group — or if you pre­fer, all three. Let’s say this reveals that Women, age 18–24, earn­ing $40-55k per year are con­vert­ing the best. Great! You can now refine your future mar­ket­ing cam­paigns to focus on this audi­ence seg­ment. There are actu­ally many con­tent web sites that attract this exact cus­tomer type. And because you’re look­ing at con­ver­sion and not just response, your cam­paign will likely pro­duce much higher ROI instead of higher response rates.

Using xographic cus­tomer pro­files to enhance ad tar­get­ing
If you’re a con­tent pub­lisher with an ad-driven web­site, another pow­er­ful con­cept is to exam­ine con­tent affini­ties by xographic attribute. With Dis­cover, high­light a par­tic­u­lar sec­tion of con­tent such as your Sports sec­tion. By fil­ter­ing on this sec­tion, you’ll instantly see which age group, income level, and gen­der is most likely to visit this par­tic­u­lar con­tent area. In doing so, you can now pro­vide prospec­tive adver­tis­ers with a highly tar­geted oppor­tu­nity to reach this audi­ence. Fur­ther­more, for those of you that sell adver­tis­ing based on unique vis­i­tors, Dis­cover offers dedu­pli­cated unique vis­i­tor counts for this par­tic­u­lar seg­ment so you can quickly pro­vide your prospec­tive adver­tiser with an esti­mated reach for their cam­paign at any given period of time.

Using xographic cus­tomer pro­files to improve the con­ver­sion fun­nel
Any web­site with a con­ver­sion fun­nel can use xographic pro­files to improve their con­ver­sion rates. This includes any retailer or eCom­merce site, reg­is­tra­tion fun­nels, mem­ber and sub­scrip­tion fun­nels, and even self-service fun­nels. Start in Omni­ture Dis­cover with a fall-out report that high­lights your con­ver­sion fun­nel, and pull up your Most Pop­u­lar Pages report. Now pull up your xographic reports onto the same palette. You should have 5 or 6 reports on your screen. Look­ing at the fall-out report, deter­mine your most sig­nif­i­cant areas of attri­tion. Let’s say it’s Step 2 of the fun­nel, where you ask for Per­sonal Information.

Now, in your Most Pop­u­lar Pages report, fil­ter for all vis­its that include the first two pages but do not include any pages beyond that. It’s gen­er­ally eas­i­est to do this in the Advanced Seg­ment fil­ter, rather than click­ing on each page indi­vid­u­ally. Once you’re done, Dis­cover will fea­ture data for only those vis­i­tors who have bailed out of this con­ver­sion fun­nel and their key xographic attrib­utes. To make it extra easy on you, run an AB com­pare so you can com­pare this with generic site vis­i­tors. Doing so will quickly high­light for you those key cus­tomer attrib­utes that define unsuc­cess­ful visits.

For added per­spec­tive, try adding to your AB Com­pare seg­ment to view all peo­ple who actu­ally com­pleted the pur­chase process. This com­par­i­son will help you drill into the key fac­tors that may have con­tribute to fun­nel aban­don­ment, and where you want to focus your next opti­miza­tion initiative.