Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
If I were to tell you that marketers were using astrological signs as a way to understand/target specific groups of people, you’d tell me that’s a ridiculous strategy.
“Astrology is fake,” you’d say, and given the precision of modern marketing tools, using the stars to analyze customers or understand population segments would not only be lazy, but the chances of it working would be random at best. Yet, this is happening daily.
How? For example, thinking that millennials, a 75.4 million cohort of people in the United States alone, share a universal set of attributes.
Speaking in absolutes about a demographic that makes up ~20% of the total population of the United States with nearly no shared characteristics completely ignores the nuance, depth and uniqueness of humanity, and our diverse wants, needs and desires. We are complex creatures!
Common sense would indicate that drawing conclusions about such a loosely defined group of folks is at best “pushing it,” and at worst completely ludicrous. There’s simply no way to make an accurate, universally applicable statement about that many people, defined solely by a 20+ year age range based on the year they were born.
There’s no rigorous methodology behind generational branding
Even if I wanted to take generational branding seriously, it’s in my opinion not good social science. “Baby Boomers” (18 year cohort) are defined as people born between 1946 – 1964, and an age range between 51 and 70.
“Millennials” (a 23 year cohort) are people born between 1981-2004, giving an age range of 12-35. Gen Z (no defined cohort yet) have birth years that range from the mid-1990s to 2000s, and, so far there is little consensus about ending birth years.
The ranges are not only inconsistent, but the fact that not everyone can even agree on these unstandardized, randomly assigned dates says it all. It’s all highly questionable, even for a softer science like sociology.
A ~20 year ago cohort is too large to mean anything when our experiences of media, culture, etc. have fragmented
Social trends now move so quickly that single moments of significance are less defining, even if at the time they were seemingly important. The 3-TV-channel world where we all watched the same things has been dead for decades and yet we still apply concepts that were created then.
Everyone’s experience of the world from a media perspective alone is so unique we can’t underestimate the number of niche communities that now exist that have less to do with age and more to do with personality. The world and the people in it are becoming more, not less, complex and we need updated thinking if we hope to understand it and market to it.
Psychographics show far more in common than year born / demographic breakdown by year born. If you can target, not just arbitrary ranges as defined by buzzwords, but by people who live in a specific area, are married and are interested in weightlifting and organic food you would have to be willfully ignorant or lazy to think stepping back and targeting everyone is a good idea.
With the depth we have available for ad targeting in tools like Google AdWords and Facebook ads, it’s inexcusable to not take the time to target the right message to the right users. The sophistication of our marketing capabilities means we’re doing our shareholders and customers a disservice not to go deeper.
Sample AdWords ad targeting capabilities mean reaching specific and precise segments relevant to us:
Sample Facebook ad targeting capabilities reach specific social communities that care about our brand:
As for marketing to specific age ranges? Of course there are product categories with immutable segments for a certain demographic. But buzzwords like “Baby Boomer” aren’t required to market to these groups effectively.
Additionally, you want to be more specific than a 20 year cohort to accomplish this in a meaningful way. For example, a 34 year old millennial living in a city has little in common with a 20-something millennial just finishing college in a small town – yet generational buzzwords lump them together.
In Google Analytics, we break out age ranges in smaller, more manageable chunks, so you can analyze college-age students in a specific area which would be far more instructive.
To some, the word millennials has become just a blanket term for young people. This almost comical story of an iconic American brand grasping for relevancy shows what may be a typical situation in boardrooms, where a group of executives clearly feels behind the times.
So it seems like an easy solution to just use broad strokes like buzzwords. A brief quote from this story illustrates:
The other challenge is that many people who work at American Express aren’t all that millennially minded themselves. If you visit Amex’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan, you’ll find squared-jawed men in bespoke suits and fashion model-glamorous women, but not a lot of young people in the uppermost ranks … In one Amex brainstorming session, according to an executive I spoke with, participants spent 10 minutes trying to figure out what FOMO meant before turning to Google. They discovered it stands for “fear of missing out.” It is unclear if the group recognized the irony.
I don’t think this habit of over-generalization comes from a desire to marginalize millennials, but I do believe it’s a broader way people use to try and make sense of a technology-driven world.
In most analyses of millennials, the way technology shapes and controls their environment is key to understanding whatever point is being made about them. This categorization provides a way to add a human layer to the discussion around those who have been born into a world where technology and the internet automate our existence.
Why waste time with generational buzzwords when we have so many better groups to analyze/target/study instead?
For example, with recommended actions:
- Users who responded to holiday ads last year that become recurring customers over the next year (run more of those specific ads next season, replicate for your other product categories and double the budget if the numbers were previously great!).
- The specific location with the highest average purchase order or customer loyalty for a national restaurant chain (or better yet, the top 5%). What went right here? What are the common traits among customers here and how can we attract more of them to our other locations?
- For a pharmaceutical company with a new arthritis drug, targeting people ages of between 30 and 60, the average onset of RA According to the Arthritis Foundation (this is a specific, actionable age segment, not the nebulous “baby boomer” and is immutable range, no buzzword required).
- All your site visitors who added something to their shopping cart but don’t complete checkout. For sure these include people of all ages; likely optimizations don’t even require demographic data.
- Users who follow your brand on social channels (aka your influencers) – what can you learn about this very specific group that is unique to your brand. Incredibly useful to understand these folk and their nuances so you can best nurture those relationships.
- The top 20% of your customers by annual spending or product category. How can you grow these really valuable segments?
The above list is just to get you thinking, but to me it’s so exciting what’s now possible that to keep doing what was always done is doing our work and sector a huge disservice.
Or, you could just ignore all of this and just make stereotypical ads for millennials without actually getting to know them, so that you too can repeat Pepsi’s gaffe and become a global embarrassment.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Of the many tools available for tracking visitor behavior, Google Analytics is one of the most famous ones.
This free tool provides website owners with insightful information about the traffic driven to their website, helping them to determine exactly where each user originated and how they ended up on the site.
Why Google Analytics?
A lot of visitors and subscribers visit your website daily and hence, it becomes increasingly important to track information about their visit. If you are focused and determined to monitor your website’s traffic statistics, data drawn with the help of Google Analytics can be extremely useful.
This tool helps you track how your visitors are moving ahead and navigating through your website. This information is vital because it will help you identify the key areas of your website which are doing well and the others, that need a little more attention.
After installing Google Analytics on your website, you can learn about the geographical location of your visitors, their browser information, their duration of stay at your website, pages visited and much more.
With so much information available to access, we hope that we have answered your question as to why you even need this tool. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you use Google Analytics with your WordPress site. So, let’s read on.
Getting started with your Google Analytics account
For the very first step, you are required to create a Google Analytics account by using your Gmail account. A Gmail account is imperative if you want to start using the Google Analytics tool with your WordPress site.
- Visit the signup page for Google Analytics. You will be presented with the Gmail login page. Simply, enter your Gmail account login credentials to move forward with the process.
- You will be asked to provide information regarding what would you like to track with this service. You can either track statistics for your website or your mobile apps.
- Since this blog post is about tracking results for your WordPress website; select the ‘Website’ option.
- Fill in the other relevant information to start tracking with the Google Analytics.
- Enter your website’s name, its URL and the type of industry it is related to.
- Select your time zone so that the service can accurately track the results as per your requirement.
- Finally, get your Tracking ID by agreeing to Google’s terms of service usage.
- Once you have your Tracking code, copy it and keep it handy.
Adding Google Analytics to your WordPress site
There are several methods that will help you add Google Analytics to your WordPress website. We will mainly discuss two methods here that are suited to readers with a non-technical approach to blogging.
Using the plugin ‘MonsterInsights’
A very popular plugin with over 13 million downloads, MonsterInsights has proven its worth when it comes to seamlessly integrating Google Analytics with a WordPress site.
With a free and a premium version on the shelf, this Google Analytics plugin works well for even the most basic users. Let’s see how you can use this plugin to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site.
- Download the plugin and activate it on your WordPress site.
- Once the activation is confirmed, the plugin will add a new label to your admin dashboard by the name, ‘Insights’.
- For configuration of the plugin, visit the ‘Settings’ tab under the ‘Insights’ label.
- A tab will be presented to you that will read ‘Authenticate with your Google Account’. Click on it and then you will be asked to enter a Google Code.
- Above it will be a tab that will ask you to click on it, in order to receive the code. Click on it and then click on the Next button.
- Allow ‘MonsterInsights to access your Google Analytics data’. Finally, provide the plugin with the permission to view and manage your Google Analytics data.
- A Success Code popup will follow. You will be required to copy it carefully and paste it on the popup (discussed above) in point number d.)
- In a final step, select the profile that you want to track with the Google Analytics plugin.
Whenever you want to view reports regarding your site’s visitors and subscribers, you can simply go to ‘Reports’ tab in the ‘Insights’ label of your Admin dashboard.
Using your WordPress theme
In the process discussed earlier, you received a Tracking ID from Google Analytics signup procedure. To use this method, locate the Theme settings option of your WordPress site’s theme. Then, find the label that leads you to a tab asking you to add a Footer Script.
You can simply paste the Tracking code to this section and you will be good to go. Always save the settings in order to confirm your changes.
Once your settings are done and you are ready to take off with your Google Analytics tools, always wait at least 12 hours to let the tool reflect proper results.
There are other ways to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site. The ones mentioned above are easy to pursue and are highly recommendable. The following are methods that can involve some technical briefing.
- You can manually add the tracking code by editing the header.php file
- If you don’t want to edit your theme file, you can install and activate the Insert Headers and Footers plugin to insert the Google Analytics code
- You can also use the Google Analytics + plugin to access the visitor performance of your WordPress website.
Google Analytics is of huge help when you are looking to track results about a recent marketing campaign and are expecting some conversions to take place. This tool will also help you identify the keywords that are relevant to your site’s search engine optimization.
With so much to offer, Google Analytics is a must-use tool for all website owners out there. I sincerely hope that this detailed guide will help you make the right decision without having to expend too much time and energy on the implementation.
If you still have questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below. We are always open to receiving feedback and awesome suggestions.