If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It (Just Not Your Phone): Analytics Corner

Every day marketers see a new article or video about understanding the customer journey online. It’s mostly assumed that everyone is online in the same manner, i.e. mobile.  Marketers must remember that people view online content in different ways, at different times, and on different devices.  

Take affluent shoppers. One would think that a segment of shoppers with disposable income would adopt the latest tech in order to enjoy a digital experience that enhances their lifestyle.  As part of a multi-country study of shopping habits published this summer, YouGov examined the retail preferences of 2,700 respondents. The study revealed that almost one in five affluent US consumers avoid technology usage while in store.

That means a lack of interest in activities like conducting price checks on a smartphone, while shopping or using mobile payment features.

How should this low propensity for in-store tech use affect analytics strategy? Most analytics strategies are based on evaluating the interaction a person has with a website or app.  The behavior avoided by some affluent shoppers means that it is likely that a portion of the segment is absent from your metrics.

One might ask,“Well what about the other 80 percent? Shouldn’t I focus on the measurement wins related to that audience?” Indeed, a focus on the majority of affluent customers in your site traffic or app audience is worthwhile.  But that focus also requires applying appropriate metrics to that 80 percent.  eMarketer’s article about the YouGov noted that “none of the options covered in the survey were used by a majority of affluent shoppers in the US. For  example, only 41 percent use self-serve checkout. A mere 15 percent of US affluents use mobile payments.“  These results imply that several marketing tactics instead of one specific tactic is needed to understand such segments.

How to measure a digital marketing campaign that is not all digital

First, get a sense of how much exposure a business has to affluent buyers.  The demographics reports in analytics solutions can provide age ranges as a proxy for what visitors come to your site or app. Social media analytics can also identify the kinds of followers who engage with your  profile, painting a picture of the digital exposure for your brand.

For the affluent customer not using technology in-store, it may be possible to discover alternative digital touchpoints. Take display ads.  Display ads usually contain marketing messages that trigger search activity.  A thoughtful coordination of display campaigns could lead marketers to other touchpoints where providing a helpful message can prompt a purchase.

Another simple tactic is to offer a customized, shortened URL on physical cards.  The shortened URL can represent a landing page with a tagged link.   Using a custom URL maintains the tags that identify a campaign, while allowing the card to provide an appearance-friendly URL that a customer can easily type or speak into a device.  Companies like Rebrandly offer custom URLs.

To determine how those channels compare with methods that are easily measured from a digital standpoint, marketers should plan reports that can link the customer journey path to a value metric like Average Order Value (AOV).  Measuring the contribution of a campaign or traffic channel to a value metric can highlight which tactics should be strengthened to reach sales targets or business objectives.  Marketers should look first within the given analytics solutions for suitable reports. If nothing appears with a clear way to measure, marketers can then turn to outside visualization tools, such as Google Data Studio, to create a dashboard.

Affluent shoppers are not entirely tech-averse, but the YouGov study serves as a reminder that every customer segment uses different approaches to technology; enough to warrant different strategic approaches to the data collected.  Marketers must be creative with analytics throughout the customer lifecycle to discover interactions beyond the latest device or trend.

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