Posted by: Matt Shanahan
In my previous post, the lack of provenance for visit data was described as a big hole in web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Yahoo! Web Analytics. Provenance allows a publisher to enrich visit data with information from circulation, CRM, or other databases. Provenance also enables visitor analysis to identify patterns in behavior. These two capabilities help publishers maximize the lifetime value of visitors with improved targeting and prediction.
Improved targeting comes from visit data enrichment. The easiest way to increase the potential pool of advertisers, is to create more targeted segments. Visit data enrichment allows publishers to slice and dice their impression inventory in smaller chunks. The smaller and more targeted the chunks, the more segments that can be packaged and the bigger the pool of potential advertisers. The larger pool means increased demand for impressions and better CPM revenue.
Prediction comes from visitor analysis. By analyzing an individual visitor, a publisher can identify impression patterns – not statistics – patterns. Patterns from a visitor look at the historical behavior to determine frequency and reliability of impressions for each targeting parameter. What sections does a visitor use? Which topics in breaking headlines does the visitor respond to? What day of the week does the visitor return? Does the visitor come in during work or personal hours? Understanding the frequency and reliability of impressions by targeting parameter allows a publisher to increase inventory forecasting accuracy. Consequently, the quality of each insertion order goes up, and the level of make-good placements goes down. With better utilization of inventory, the publisher has more inventory to sell and drive revenue.