The following is a post from the APG Team’s summer 2020 intern, Jaad Mohammed.
Web analytics is the collecting and analysis of data for optimizing an online process.
Segmentation. or segment analytics, is an approach of dividing customers into groups based on different characteristics. The resulting segments are composed of consumers who will respond similarly to marketing strategies and who share traits, such as similar interests, needs, or locations. During the remarketing, for instance, you can target specific customers with the help of these segments.
For example, your total website traffic can be segmented as:
- customers who purchased your products,
- customers who only visited your website,
- customers who bounced from your homepage.
Using segment analytics, you can create meaningful and accurate personas representing each of these customer segments.
We discuss using personas with segment analytics here, and a later blog post, Personas with Segment Analytics (Part 2), we will discuss how to create personas using Google Analytics segmenting feature.
First, let’s refresh our memory on personas.
Personas are imaginary people representing the users, audiences, or customers of a market segment based on real market research data. With personas, organizations get answers to questions such as: “Who are the customer?” “What do they want?” and “What are their goals/interests?” etc. all presented in a manner that most people can relate to – another person!
A typical persona profile will contain information like the customer age, gender, location, topics of interest, etc. This information is then given a name and photo so that stakeholders can empathize with their customers by thinking of them as real people.
Figure 2 is a representation of a Customer personas profile created automatically by APG
With personas, decision makers in the company can be on the same page regarding the identity of the customer which facilitates smooth discussion for the design efforts of a product or service among team members and stakeholders. Instead of debating whether “Our customer would like ‘this’ over ‘that’ feature”, etc., members can discuss “What feature would be most useful for Ghada, in this situation?”
Businesses initially design personas for the integration of empathy towards customers with which a user-centric design approach can be achieved, but personas can still be leveraged for other areas, even after a website or product has gone live!
Return of investment (ROI) increases if you continuously leverage personas for development of an ongoing service, after all, a lot of time and research effort has gone into forming these realistic representations of your customer.
Personas for Segment Analytics
By creating a customer segment in your analytics tool based on existing personas, or vis versa, you can analyze how your real customers actually use a product with which previous assumptions of personas can be validated. It also allows you to uncover new information about the customer. This can be used for refinement of existing personas so that anyone referring to these personas later may gain an up to date insight about the customer.
The idea of segmentation is to narrow down volumes of data. Once a persona-inspired segment has been created, trends in behavior and site usage for individual user types will emerge more clearly than they could when viewing data for all site. Personas then provide the emphatic understanding of this segment as real people.
To be meaningful and worthwhile for separate segment analysis, the persona representing the customer segment should display customer behavior that is clearly different from other customers and should represent an impact chunk of your customer population. For many, this reasonable chunk falls within 7–10% of overall visitors, but ultimately it is up to you to determine what makes sense for you and your organization.
The great thing about segment analytics and creating personas from web analytics data is that personas can now represent micro-segments, as the creation of data-driven personas can be automated with systems such as a APG, automatic persona generation.
Personas from Segment Analytics (Part 2) will show you how to make personas using the Google Analytics segmenting feature.
More about APG?
Jung, S., An, J., Kwak, H., Ahmad, M., Nielsen, L., and Jansen, B. J. (2017) Persona Generation from Aggregated Social Media Data. ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2017 (CHI2017). Denver, Colorado. p. 1748-1755. 6-11 May.