Monday, June 28, 2010

Know Your Digital Customer: Using Web Analytics to Target Offline Customers

Any marketer worth their salt will tell you that knowing your customer is a key element to accurately targeting your marketing efforts.  In order to obtain this information, companies regularly spend thousands of dollars on consumer research projects.  Oftentimes, much of this valuable information can be gleaned from web analytics data already being collected on your Web site.  This online data can prove invaluable in understanding your customer’s behavior and how to tailor your offline messaging and offers to drive purchasing action.  Here are a few simple ways marketing professionals can put this information to use in their offline efforts.

Using Analytics to Guide Creative Development

The way customers interact with your website can provide very useful information on how to structure your offline promotional literature.  Are the majority of people who visit your website focused on product elements like color and features or are they more concerned about the product’s technological specifications?  Web analytics data can help you structure promotional literature in a way that’s easily digestible and highly relevant for your customers.

Using Analytics for Behavioral Insights

How do customers research your product?  What product information is most important to a customer in making a purchase decision?  Web analytics can help you gain a deeper understanding of what information customers feel is most important to their purchase by looking at what pages they visit and how long they spend there.

Geographically Targeting Your Offline Marketing

What languages do your prospective customers speak and where do they come from?   Web analytics data is rich with the geographical information for people who visit your website.  It’s a great place to learn about where your most active customers and prospects are located.   You may even find a new market you didn’t know existed.  I know of several companies who provide geographical analytics data to their sales teams to identify new opportunities.

A/B Testing of Sale Offers

What types of sale offers create action with your target consumer groups?   Web content is easily changed and provides a great place to test customer response to different sale offers.   Once the high-performing offers have been identified, they’re easily translated to traditional media without exhausting resources on offers that won’t meet ROI expectations.

Do you currently use web analytics for your offline marketing efforts?  What have the results been?  Share your feedback and personal experiences in the comments section below.

Rob McChane is the Founder and Managing Partner of Digital Sherpa, an online marketing consultancy specializing in direct response search engine marketing, web analytics, social media and email marketing.  Rob can be reached via email at, on twitter at @rmcchane or on Linked In at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MN AMA Event Recap: Marketing to Boomers

Ovations, United HealthGroup’s direct-to-consumer business dedicated to the health and well-being needs of the Boomer population, hosted the MN AMA’s Healthcare SIG event on May 27, 2010.
The event featured Terry Clark, Chief Marketing Officer of Ovations; Michael Carroll, Vice President of Ovations Marketing; and Bart Reed, Vice President of Ovations Marketing. The three spoke about the complexity of healthcare and the challenges it poses for consumers, specifically the growing senior segment known as “Boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964).
The event was full of healthcare marketers and provided a great opportunity for learning and networking.

Some of the notable facts included:

• Boomers control 60 percent of the wealth in the US, but only account for 40 percent of consumption

• Hispanics and African Americans will have the largest growth in the Boomer population over the next few years

• Eighty eight percent of Boomers surveyed said they use the internet to research before making a purchasing decision

• Only 6 percent of Boomers surveyed had plans to downsize their home in the next few years

• Life events are buying triggers for Boomers

The underlying theme was that Boomers will not respond to one-size-fits-all marketing. They are a diverse population and should be marketed to as such. Segmenting by generation is a common practice, but Bart Reed reminded us that the right segmentation strategy depends on your objective.

Do they view themselves as a Boomer? Do they consider themselves to be a retiree? What do those labels mean to them?

When marketing to Boomers it is best to understand the sub-segments in order to effectively communicate with them. As with any target audience it is critical to understand their wants, needs, and preferences. Do you understand your market?

Thanks again to UnitedHealth Group and YMM for their sponsorship of the event. Keep an eye out for the next MN AMA Heathcare SIG event in the fall.

Amanda Broman is a Marketing Specialist for Ovations at UnitedHeath Group. She can be reached on Twitter (@abroman) or by email at

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Can’t Have Brand "You" Both Ways

Personal Branding has become so prevalent; it’s its own industry. In reality, the main concept is just common sense publicists have been working on for years…geared toward the non-celebrities. While you may not have to worry about most celebrity problems, you do need to remember one rule:

You can’t have it both ways.

We know this rule can apply to a million situations, but I want to talk about how the rule relates to being a public figure.

Tiger Woods asked us to stay out of his life when his scandals erupted. To him, the world of Brand Tiger was different from his personal life. Not so in Personal Branding.

We buy the You that you have created, so if it’s drastically different from the You that you really are, then walk away now. It’s going to come back and bite you. If you’re going to go ahead anyways, then be prepared for everyone to lose faith in you.

When the Jesse James scandal broke, he probably knew right away his businesses were at risk. He’s even removing himself from California, probably trying to put some distance between himself and West Coast Choppers.

You may have different personal feelings about both of these men, but perhaps Jesse learned from Tiger: Everything that involves Brand You is affected by your scandal.

Businesses which are looking for spokespeople have always been looking to make sure the name and the man match. It’s not enough to have a signature from a singer or movie star; if that star is constantly in the tabloids for disreputable behavior, the company won’t want keep the connection going.

In the same way that news anchors have stipulations in contracts about hair length, I wouldn’t be surprised if more companies begin to demand that spokespeople contracts include more character and behavior requirements.

Understand that Brand You and you aren’t separate anymore. As a company, you should understand the same thing.

Emily Japser is a Corporate Marketing Manager with PDI Ninth House. In addition to marketing, Emily has sales and PR experience from previous roles. She currently writes a blog, "From the Gen Y Perspective," and can be followed on Twitter at

A Special Thank You from the MN AMA Blog Manager, Thusuong Hiel:

For those who have been reading Emily's posts regularly, this will be her last post as our MN AMA Staff Blogger. In this last year she has contributed to our Blogspot with insightful posts relating to Marketing.  She will be leaving Minnesota to pursue her MBA at V-Tech.  Emily has been a wonderful team member and a valuable blogger. Speaking on behalf of the MN AMA Blog team, we will certainly miss her. Please join me in wishing Emily well as she pursues her future endeavors.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Being a Marketer is Like Being a Parent

As a marketer for 13 years, and a mom for 5, I have learned a lot by experience. Many of the same basic principles apply to both my titles, as Marketing Manager, and Mom.
1) Benchmarks Matter: As a parent, I want to make sure my young kids are developing at or above the same level as their peers, or at least know what areas we need to work on. As a marketer, I need to focus on results and compare the results with industry standards, past results, or objectives. How did our marketing campaign do and why? What did we learn and how can we improve?

2) Listen more then you Talk: Communication is essential, and sometimes we tend to tune our kids out. They may be asking for the same thing over and over, or trying to tell you something while you are focused on another task. Just like with our customers, kids are not going to talk to us just when it is convenient for us. All feedback is valuable, and when our customers speak up, we need to listen. Often all our customers are looking for is someone to listen to them, provide empathy, and do what we say we are going to do.

3) Focus on Education: Kids learn new things everyday and we encourage them to be independent, seek answers, and make their own decisions. How are you educating your customers about your products? Are you educating them on the benefits, providing them with helpful whitepapers, videos or articles on your blog? Our customers are seeking information that will help them make a wise buying decision. What educational resources can you provide to help them?

4) Use your Connections: Parenting forums, mommy blogs, and networking with friends can all provide insight or a different point of view into a challenge that you are having with your kids. Just like when we network with other marketing professionals, we learn new ways of approaching a problem and learn from each other’s experiences. As marketers, this is what makes organizations like the MNAMA and social networking priceless.

5) Rewards Help: Every kid likes to feel special, whether it is a new toy, a special outing, or a just encouragement at the right time. Your customers are no different: a well thought out promotional gift, VIP event, or just simple recognition can help set your brand apart and make your customers think the world of you.

6) Attitude is Everything: It is amazing how a smile and sense of humor can neutralize a potentially bad situation. We all know that it’s true: a rough morning with the kids, a marketing campaign that did not produce, or having to deal with an irate customer or co-worker. Think positive, smile, and try to find a little humor in the situation. Then try again.

In both my roles as marketer and mama, I have enjoyed the ride. The day-to-day journey is equally as important as the long-term goals.

Jackie Kaufenberg is the Marketing Manager for Altimate Medical Inc. in Morton, Minnesota. They manufacture standing frames for people who use wheelchairs and also have a blog for people with disabilities, and medical professionals. You can reach her via Twitter @jkaufenberg.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Protecting Your Privacy in the Digital Age

If you’re reading this post, it means that the digital world didn’t implode after “Quit Facebook Day yesterday (5/31/10). For those of you who may not have heard, Facebook recently revealed some changes to their service that would make the web more “social.” This could include sharing all of your personal information out on the open web. To Facebook’s credit, they give users full control over their privacy settings. However, in a more “social web,” Facebook would rather that you share your information.

As of right now, Facebook requires that you opt-out of sharing your personal information rather than opting-in. I’m sure that some of you reading this may not be aware that you can (and should) change your privacy settings and Facebook prefers it that way. Today I want to take just a couple of minutes to discuss how you can protect your privacy in today’s digital age.

1) Change Your Facebook Privacy Settings
The Guardian has a great article about how to adjust your Facebook privacy settings so that you’re comfortable with the information that you’re sharing. You read the post here.

2) Google Yourself
If you haven’t done this, I highly suggest that you give it a shot. If you haven’t done it recently, I also suggest that you give it another shot. Spend some time to see out what information is floating around the “social web.” New content is added daily, so make sure that you do a thorough scan frequently

3) Setup Google Alerts
After you’ve done your initial Google research, setup some automatic alerts on Google. With automatic alerts, Google will send you updates when new content gets published that contains your alert keywords. Start with your name, then considering adding your company or your brand (or even your competition) to your alert queue. One important note: make sure that you include quotation marks if your keyword is more than word. If your keyword is JIM JOHNSON, Google will update whenever JIM and JOHANNSON shows up in anywhere in the content and the kewords don’t have to be anywhere near each other. There are a lot of Jim’s in the world, so your inbox will be flooded. Instead, setup your keyword as “JIM JOHNSON” and you’ll only get results where the two keywords show up next to each other.

4) Post with Caution!
You may think that you have the greatest Facebook friends, Twitter followers or Foursquare friends, but be careful what you tell them. Often times, people are too forthcoming with their status updates. They’ll tell you what they ate for breakfast or when they going grocery shopping. A group got together to help raise awareness about posting too much information.  aggregates posts when people state that their out to dinner or away from home, giving site visitors opportunities to rob those people’s homes. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but it proves a point. Post with Caution!

With these suggestions you can help protect your privacy and your personal brand. There are additional ways to help keep yourself secure, so how do you protect your personal privacy? What have you found as you’ve done your research? Have you heard any horror stories? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Philip Wocken is the Director of emerging media at d.trio marketing group, a Minneapolis-based marketing agency. He can be reached on Twitter (@pwocken) or at

A Special Thank You from the MN AMA Blog Manager, Thusuong Hiel:
For those who have been reading Philip's posts regularly, this will be his last post as our MN AMA Staff Blogger.  In this last year he has contributed to our Blogspot with clever postings and delightful insights to the world of social media.  He has been a wonderful team member and a valuable blogger.  Speaking on behalf of the MN AMA Blog team, we will certainly  miss him.  Please join me in wishing Philip well as he pursues his future endeavors.
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