Audience in the Digital World
Traditional Mass Media like TV commands an audience of millions for a single content piece like a TV show. Newspapers too have a staggering audience for their front-page articles. The economics of these media works on sheer numbers. In the Digital Media, the audience is highly fragmented. It is quite impossible to get such concentrated, sizeable audiences for a single web page. Even Social Media like Twitter, which leverages Trending News, will garner and audience that can cross thousands in some cases – but not in millions. Since the standard methodology of traditional media which relies on broadcasting a message to millions will not work in the digital media, narrow-casting i.e. identifying a sizeable subset of the target audience with specific messages is the path to success.
Holy Trinity – Audience, Data and Insights
The economics of the digital media is based on different sets of parameters. While the number of page clicks was used as a standard parameter, new parameters like the time spent on a page i.e. engagement time is being proposed by emerging analytics companies like chartbeat.com. Whatever metrics are used for measuring the effectiveness, one has to start with the Audience. The first step to know the target audience is to segment them. We can heuristically create groups like Mid-Level Business Executives, CEOs, etc. a Data driven approach using statistical algorithms can yield better results. If we consider the Audience as the Core Element of Digital Marketing, analogous to the Father of the Holy Trinity, then Data is like the Son in the Holy Trinity. Only when Audience and Data are taken together can we get Insights, which is the Holy Spirit of the Marketing Trinity.
Segmenting Audience using Web-traffic Data
The key data source people use for analysis is their own web-traffic data. The web-traffic data helps one to segment the audience into sizeable groups by looking into the content consumption patterns of the users. Once some sub-segments of the audience are identified to be effective for a business, then the business can work towards targeting those specific audience segments.
It should be noted that web-traffic data is only behavioral data about the users, which is a partial picture of the audience. Unfortunately, most take this picture as the reality and invest in content creation relying solely on this data. For a better picture of the audience, a profile-based segmentation has to be performed. For this segmentation, user profile data is the first important data source. Using different attributes of the person’s profile data like age, location, job, etc. we can analyze the group behavior of that particular segment. Unfortunately, collecting user profile data through websites is not effective because asking such profile information would be perceived as very intrusive for the users.
Another important factor to be considered during web-traffic data analysis is that the available dataset, most of the time, is limited in quantity. Drawing conclusions from such limited datasets might lead to error-prone decisions.
Email Lists for Audience Segmentation
We have to realize the limitations of web-traffic analytics and understand that web-traffic data alone cannot give insights into the entire spectrum of audience, especially those who have not visited the brand’s content pages. Marketers have to look for alternative, yet cost-effective ways to supplement data that can support effective audience segmentation.
Email Lists are good sources of data that can help you segment your audience and analyze their behavior. Using the Click-through rates of emails, one can easily analyze the behavior of specific segments of audience. The Email Channel can be used to perform controlled tests on what type of content works on specific audiences before embarking on a large-scale content revamp of websites.
When we analyze audiences using the email click-through rates, we can combine rich user profile information with their behavior data. This analysis can help us create highly targetable audience groups as it includes both user profile data and behavior data. Also, today Email list aggregators can provide large datasets that can be used to perform the audience segmentation, unlike one’s own web-traffic data source.
Content Personalization based on Insights
Insights from highly segmented audience data that we get from the Email analytics can help content creators personalize and target specific audiences to improve click-through rates. Hence identifying the right audience data provider who has quality data becomes one of the mission critical decision points in the Digital Marketing exercise. By analyzing the number of email opens without click action, we can also determine which content is not appealing to the audience segments. A/B Email Testing Method is a very good quantitative data-driven methodology to determine which content is successful and which should be fine-tuned better.
Build or Buy Audience Data
At the end of the day, the question before a marketer boils down to whether to build his own Audience Data or buy it from a third party source. For a startup or for an established business, the risk is whether the company can wait till their own database gains critical mass as it might take months and months for that to happen. In many cases, it might be more sensible to rent/purchase the Audience Data from legitimate third party sources.
By focusing on the Holy Trinity of Digital Marketing – Audience the Father, Data the Son and Insights the Holy Spirit, we could achieve business success which is the salvation we are seeking in our business endeavors. While organically growing one’s own mailing list by making users subscribe is ideal, acquiring quality emails lists from email list aggregators will give the scale of data needed to perform quantitative analysis for taking decisions like creating targeted content creation.
MLI is the leading database and direct mail company in India offering all kinds of mailing lists – direct mail lists, telemarketing lists and email marketing lists in India. The wide range of Email list databases that MLI covers includes Indian customer/opt-in databases, Indian company databases, Indian professionals databases, Indian high net worth individuals databases, and Indian consumers databases.
MLI is the leading Direct Marketing company in India, offering integrated multichannel marketing strategies in the B2B and B2C space. The company provides access to all types of mailing lists in India and the rest of the world direct mailing lists, telemarketing lists and email marketing lists and support services for cross-channel marketing.