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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Behavioural Targeting is the “Quantum Leap”, Segmentation is just common sense

Our technology has included the capability to segment traffic to a site based on "web environment data", that's criteria such as browser type, operating system and screen resolution since launch. It's relatively easy to do because, believe it or not, your browser supplies this information to every web server it connects to unless you have customised your privacy settings. You might be wondering why this is of any importance. When combined, these three criteria allow you to determine what type of device is being used to view a website. That means we have the capability to optimise your site separately for visitors using different devices. A consumer browsing from their Nokia smartphone while on the move will respond positively to different content than a teenager at home browsing from a games console.

We can, in many cases, even distinguish between devices and serve customised content. For example, the optimal page to persuade an Apple iPhone user to convert to a sale could be subtly different to that which persuades a Nokia N95 to convert. There are also significant usability elements. If your website can detect that a visitor is coming from a small-screen portable device, content can be served differently to speed up browsing and allow the visitor to get more from your site in a shorter time frame.

This is all juicy stuff but it is a common sense progression of multivariate testing. With visitor segmentation, we are performing a series of multivariate tests in order to optimise content for each target group of visitors. It is not, as a competitor termed it earlier this week a "quantum leap" in site testing and optimisation although it can add significant uplift in conversions.

If we were wheeling out our marketing hype writing skills, Behavioural Targeting would be the natural "quantum leap" candidate. With this technology, websites and offers can be personalised to a visitor by visitor level. Our behavioural targeting is capable of doing that today, we can input client CRM data about past interactions and other demographic information and serve the optimal content to ensure that the possibility of each individual visitor converting is maximised. Segmentation by device is a powerful tool but it's by no means the state of the art in website optimisation; behavioural targeting is and surprisingly, that competitor can't offer that technology yet.

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