If a site visitor isn't a regular customer, who are they and how do they fit in? Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise, told marketers at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit that brands should dig deeper into the funnel to find other consumer interests that might not initially sit on the surface. She explained how to integrate disparate ideas, such as vacations and pharma, to develop content and target ads.
Marketers typically identify product and page clicks, but don't fully explore connecting concepts that may lead to other categories. Dougherty pointed to a Hitwise client who wanted to learn more about visitors with self-diagnosed type-2 diabetes. Aside from food and recipes, it turns out this group researches travel and fitness. They look for information about all-inclusive vacations, how to manage their diet, and how to pack.
Health medical categories visited include recipe and well-being sites, such as pharma and physicians, but touchy-feely stuff provides the best fodder, Dougherty said. Questions typically drive searches. How to manage diabetes by regulating calories and fitness, and what's the best way to carry medicine and medical devices for travel when going through the airport medical detectors?
Dougherty also said when it comes to targeting millennials, most are more likely to navigate to retail sites through social and search, and less likely to use email and directories. She said this demographic will likely respond better to campaigns running on Pinterest or Facebook.
Data supports targeting, but during The Everlasting Importance of the Creative panel, Tony Mennuto, creative director at ad agency RadioFace, said to never forget the user, a person, and the ability to connect emotionally through laughter and content. "The moment of contact is quick," he said. "It's analogous to driving 80 miles per hour and seeing a billboard go by."
That content will likely sit on social sites Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. eMarketer insights Monday suggest an increasing interest by marketers in Pinterest, and Google+ campaigns. The research company estimates that two-thirds of the U.S. Internet population will belong to a social network by the end of 2013. Research from Strata showing social media sites most likely used for client campaigns points to a jump from 15.5% in Q2 2012 to 23% in Q3 2012 on Pinterest; and 18.3% and 25.7%, respectively, for Google+.
"The darkest place is directly underneath the lamp," said Heather Molina, managing director at Content Continuum, a Resolution Media company, quoting her Bikram Yoga instructor. Many marketers only focus on what they can see in the spotlight and ignore universal connections to the topic.