Monday, March 30, 2009

Applied Segmentation & Targeting - two case studies from WAW @ Ghent

WAW @ ZebraStraat - what a beautiful location
Two months after first Belgian Web Analytics Wednesday (WAW) of 2009, a second one took place last week in Ghent. The event was hosted and sponsored by bSeen, a Belgian specialist in Search Marketing but also in Web Analytics. For the occasion, they hold the event in a superb location – at the Zebrastraat.

Thanks to lot of promotion done by bSeen who invited many of their customers, the event drove more than 90 persons! This was really great to see so many attendees and for once also many “practioners”.

Theme of this WAW was about “applied segmentation & targeting” with two case studies and one vendor (Nedstat) short demonstration.

Case 1: Targeting customers and optimizing lead generation @ Volvo Cars Belgium
Volvo CarsFirst case was about Volvo Cars Belgium and it was presented by Jourik Migom, from Boondoggle, their digital agency.

In a very traditional way, Volvo Cars is using online advertising to drive traffic to campaign microsites or main site where the main goal is to turn visitors into leads that are then passed to the retailer network through a CRM system.

However the problem was that until recently, online media analysis was limited to "basic" analysis (impressions, CTR, CPC...) and there was no link with the leads generated by the various campaigns. One of the main obstacles was that the different steps of the funnel (media -> microsite -> main site -> lead) were tracked with different tools. Volvo wanted also to use behavioural data in order to increase lead generation in general.

Netmining - behavioral targeting solutions for automotive industryFirst, a behavioural targeting solution was implemented: HitsIntoLeads from Netmining. The "intelligent" solution identifies visitors who are considered as potential hot leads based on their behaviour (e.g. visit frequency, key sections visited…). Specific content is then pushed to these “hot” visitors – for example an invitation to test the car or to receive a product brochure.
Volvo takes action based on visitor behavior and invite potential leads to request a brochure
But in order to go further and to link CRM data with online media activities, Netmining tag was added in online campaigns allowing Volvo to better measure leads generated by the various online channels (banners, emails and others). Behavioural data is also passed along with the lead to the retailer, providing key information about the visitor main interests. Next step for Volvo will be to close the loop and link online campaigns to sales.

The case was really interesting (I am always curious to hear case from competitors) but it was lacking more details about the actual results (for confidentiality purpose I guess). All that was said is the behavioural targeting helped increasing the number of leads but in what extent? We were not told…

It ended with a quick but optional introduction from Netmining. At least they showed us a sneak preview of their new impressive real-time control room.

Case 2: "Practical customer segmentation: basic ideas with great results - &"
Steve De Veirman from bSeen presented the second case: two very simple examples of how user segmentation was successfully applied using Google Analytics segmentation functionalities.

The idea is very basic: think about your audience and split it in limited number of key segments. Try to identify them explicitly on the website - ask them who they are (whether when they enter the site or via navigation options)! From there, measure and segment results accordingly – get insights and take actions.

The first example,, a provider in hosting & domain names solutions, defined key segments (IT starters and IT professionals) and redesigned its website accordingly (still on-going) to better serve each type of customer. Proposed products and offers will be adapted according to the segment.

Isotrie asks visitors to tell what type of users they is selling isolation products for house builders and renovators – each type of customer having interest in specific products & services. Therefore Isotrie defined 2 key segments builders & renovators (each being split in two sub-segments: Belgian Dutch and Belgian French). The Welcome page was modified: when entering the site, visitors have to select if they want to isolate their new construction or their renovation. The selection defines the customer segment. The product page is adapted based on the selected option – appropriate key products are presented on top of the page.

A/B tests were conducted in order to full assess the impact of the new design – results were more than encouraging – boosting conversions!

All was conducted in few months and showed that you don’t need complex sciences or to be a Fortune 500 company to be able to successfully applied customer segmentation.

You can find the case presentation below (from SlideShare)

View more presentations from stevedv.

Next WAW – call for hosts, sponsors & speakers!
The cases were followed by WAW traditional networking and drinks. As usual it was great and I really enjoy it. Again, a big thank you to bSeen for making this event possible and more important, such a success.

Now, it is time to start thinking about the next WAW. Target is to have another one before the summer holidays – ideally end of May (or early June).

So I am making a call: if you want to host and/or sponsor the next Web Analytics Wednesday, if you think you have a great case you would like to present – do not hesitate and contact me (michaelnotte at

See you at next Belgian Web Analytics Wednesday!

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