Profile Website Visitors via Campaign Codes and More
One of the things customers ask me about is the ability to profile website visitors. Unfortunately, most visitors to websites are anonymous, so you don’t know if they are young, old, rich, poor, etc. If you are lucky enough to have authentication or a login on your website, you may have some of this information, but for most of my clients the “known” percentage is relatively low. In this post, I’ll share some things you can do to increase your visitor profiling by using advertising campaigns and other tools.
Advertising Campaign Tracking Codes
If you have been using Adobe Analytics (or Google Analytics) for any length of time, you are probably already capturing campaign tracking codes when visitors reach your website. In Adobe Analytics, this is done via the s.campaigns variable. While this data is valuable to see which campaign codes are working to get you conversions, it can also be used to profile your visitors if used strategically.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine that your advertising team is looking to reach 18-21 year old males. To do this, they can work with an agency to identify the most likely places to reach this audience through publishers like Facebook or display advertising targeted at sites geared towards this demographic. If you embed campaign tracking codes in those sites that have a high probability of targeting 18-21 males, you can assume that many visits to your website from these campaign codes will be from this demographic. Therefore, you can use SAINT Classifications to classify these codes into a segment profile. If the following tracking codes all came from this targeted campaign, you might classify it like this:
Once you have classified the codes by demographic, you can use segmentation to isolate Visits (and Visitors) who came from these codes. While this may not be a large population, you can segment the data and treat it as a sample size to see how that demographic is performing vs. your general population or other demographics. Keep in mind that you may get some false positives since ad targeting isn’t an exact science, but if your advertising is well targeted, you should have a decent amount of confidence in your segment. In fact, there may be cases in which the sole purpose of spending a small amount on advertising is to test out how a different target demographic uses your website.
Business to Business via Demandbase
If you work for a Business to Business (B2B) company, in addition to using campaign codes to profile visitors, you can also use tools like Demandbase to identify anonymous visitors (companies) to your website. I have used this in the past when I worked for Salesforce.com and in my current role at B2B clients. It is amazing how much information you can gather at the company level including Company, Industry, Size, etc. This information can be embedded into your web analytics implementation so that you can segment on it along with your other eVars and sProps:
This allows you to build segments on this data:
And you can see reports like this:
Here is a brief video I did a few years back on this integration:
As you can see, whether you are a B2C or B2B company, there are some quick wins you can achieve by adding meta-data to campaign tracking codes and using other technologies to identify anonymous visitors. These short-term solutions can be augmented by more robust tools offered by Adobe, Google and others, but these ideas may be a way to get started and build a case for more advanced visitor profiling. If you have other techniques you have used, feel free to leave a comment here.