Know Your Audience
Content marketing agencies wise enough to invest in tools that identify insights along the customer’s buying journey are well positioned to benefit from brand’s increased spending on mobile. It’s paid off in multiple ways for interactive digital agency Rosetta Marketing Group. Its Personality Based Segmentation, a patented methodology that delivers to brands the ability to target relevant customers, attracted Publicis, who plunked down $575M in 2011 to acquire Rosetta.
We spoke to Rosetta’s Jason Tabeling, partner, paid, owned, and earned media, to get beyond the jargon of the term, “Personality Based Segmentation.” He told us about how they’ve applied the methodology to one of their clients, Nationwide Insurance.
Content: Can you give us the snapshot of what Personality Based Segmentation is, beyond mere demographics?
Jason: We have three patents around PBS. Your target market could be, on a demographic, a 35-year-old married male with two kids. If two guys fit that demo, one might be very concerned about savings, the other could be a spender. So understanding that, beyond demographics, really makes a huge difference in the types of targets you would focus on. If you’re thinking of it in terms of Nationwide Insurance, that spender might be more likely to switch insurance because they’re looking for ways to save money, where the saver guy might be much more akin to staying with Nationwide for years and years, which is when the company really begins to make money. The way that they act, the way that they buy, the way that they treat themselves as customer of your brand, might be very different.
Content: How do you drill down to find these differences?
Jason: Through first-party surveys. We have a pretty robust survey methodology that helps identify where these people are in the customer journey, how their segments align and how they show themselves, like where they’re browsing on the web. The first segmentation goes beyond digital, with driven direct-mail programs. The surveys say, “How do you think about savings? How do you think about spending? Where’s the first place you go when you think about shopping for auto insurance?” The questions help us understand it, and that’s the primary driver of these large samples. We also have these tool that we use on websites that we call a Typing Tools, where, basically, you get to a site and you might fill out three questions, and quickly we’ve adapted the experience you’ll have on that website, because we’ve put you into a segment bucket—the creative you’ll see or the message you see or the offer you see, will adapt to allow us to take advantage of what we know about you and your segment.
Content: You’ve said that Rosetta is working on ways to exclude people from seeing certain messaging for Nationwide.
Jason: We found ourselves looking for ways in a couple different areas: For Nationwide, we have a program we classify as lead aggregators, which are a grouping of sites that perform well organically, that as the users get to the landing page, or to that site, they have an opportunity to select some options, and with those options you basically know what kind of customer Nationwide has. In this case, we ask, “Have you had insurance the last two years consecutively, and do you have more than two accidents in the last year.” These types of questions help us determine whether we want to bid on that customer, and if so, how much. And then for all our clients we’re also looking for ways to write our creative on our landing page; for Nationwide, we’re not talking about how you can save $440. We’re more of a “Join the Nation” mentality, trying to exclude those folks who might be looking for the big savings message, because we’re finding those people to be the higher churn, lower quality customers and that’s not really the goal of the client at this point.
Content: How does this align with content strategy?
Jason: At the agency level, we have what we call the content consortium—the social team members, the SEO content writers, our creative content writers, where we’re trying to structure our work. On a client level, there’s a lot going on where we’re feeding back keywords that are successful, creative options that are successful. It’s really tied into analytics that our content team members are getting feedback from and making adjustments. That’s how we help align all our strategies for Nationwide Insurance, to help identify the types of people they’re looking for. They have two customers: agent loyalists and direct channel protection seekers. So basically we wanted to show Nationwide that we know who their targets are, that we’re going to help isolate and understand how they’re moving through the customer journey, and then tell [Nationwide] what tactics we’re going to use to reach them at individual times.
Content: You spend a lot of time conducting keyword research for brands. What’s been the most surprising part of that experience lately?
Jason: The wide variance of new keywords and performance over time. So, you still have the 80-20 rule, people are searching for the same old keywords. But I am surprised by the amount of keyword optimization we have to do in terms of finding new negatives to be added, finding new phrases, words that maybe didn’t convert for a while and now are converting. We saw a huge variance away from “money markets” to “high yield savings account,” for example. “High yield savings account” didn’t even exist, at all, and over time it’s now a large traffic generator for us. Even the way Google maps their keywords back, that creates a real need to be nimble. So, I guess I’m surprised at how you cannot rest on your laurels in this space.