Hunt & Capture: A Brand's Guide for Using Analytics and Incentives to Ensure a Productive Digital Dialogue with Modern Moms, Part 1

In a two-part column, Q Interactive's “Women's Channel” – a pioneer in researching women's online behavior – offers insight on the new realities of building a digital relationship with modern moms. The first article dives into “the hunt” – a progressive, practical look at how brands can use analytics to find their best consumer. Part two will demonstrate how to best incentivize customers to stick with you and build up lifetime value.

When on the "hunt", analytics is your weapon of choice

When on the hunt for your ideal customers, the power of analytical data is a marketers' weapon of choice. Will you simply wait and hunt, or will you jump in and proactively find your target?

Sure, reacting to existing consumer behavior or reported trends is one way to find new customers, but with superior analytics and a deep breadth of information, it's possible to proactively predict what consumers are going to do before they do it.

It's perfectly reasonable to place a travel ad on a travel site, for example, but only up to a point. With high competition for that space, you're going to spend more for a smaller return. But, behold the beauty of marketing online – You can afford to cast a wider net.

If you can be a step ahead of your consumers, that puts you a step ahead of the competition—and of course the better your "map" is, the faster you'll get there.

Be willing to abandon your intended target

One story from experience: When a classic toy brand wanted to grow its email list, the brand realized its assumption that the majority of toy buyers were moms was yielding fewer new customers over time. Once the brand began extensive creative testing – by offering e-newsletters in exchange for a few bits of information, such as the child's age and the consumer's relationship to the child – the brand realized that it was actually grandparents who purchased the most toys.

With this new data, the toy brand was able to revise its messaging to speak not just to parents, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents-to-be as well. The e-newsletters became its strongest channels for engagement. With customized messaging (the newsletter content changes as the child grows older), the brand was able to talk effectively with their expanded consumer base.

A robust analytical approach allows advertisers to test their assumed audience and use that knowledge to learn, tweak and evolve – and all rather quickly.

Go for the big game

For a brand to have real impact, it needs scale. The use of multiple data points—geo-demographics, payment history, online transactions, offline purchases and surfing behavior—provides a deeper indication of a consumer's propensity to respond to advertising. If you need to reconcile a lot of different data points, techniques such as CHAID (this stands for Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detector) or statistical regression analysis can help identify which variables are the most valuable in describing your most valuable target.

Predictive behavioral targeting is based on insight, not just Web site. So if you have a brand like Winter Park, you don't want to put your entire marketing budget into finding the 35 year-old moms on BabyCenter looking for a family ski vacation. Your brand needs to scale the other Web sites this target consumer may engage with – from Facebook and ESPN to blogs and The Wall Street Journal online.

Of course, moms are all over the net. A recent study by Q Interactive revealed that more than half (54 percent) of women surveyed visit a social networking site at least once per day, and that 85 percent use up to five games and/or applications regularly. That's a big space for a successful “hunting” opportunity.

Now that you know how to "hunt" moms online, learn how to capture them. Part two will reveal how to best incent your audience to engage with your brand.

Cyndi Elliott is the consumer marketing specialist at Q Interactive. She has over 10 years of experience in online marketing and copywriting. Visit Q Interactive online at


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