Interests and visitor profiling

February 2, 2022

Being able to draw a meaningful portrait of visitors based on what they have done or seen and then refining the progressive profiling with each visit until you are able to engage via a personalized conversation, without bothering the visitor with direct questions, is one of the main dreams for marketers. That is what Marketing Factory allows marketers to do with the interests feature.

With Marketing Factory, you can assign interest tags on your content pages and assign them a value (or scoring weight) to each interest tag you are applying. These interests are collected and stored in the visitor profiles as they navigate through your pages, silently creating a comprehensive profile.

This chapter describes how the interests mechanism work and contains step-by-step instructions to assign interests tags. Finally, it provides some examples of usage and best practices recommendations.

1 Interest definition

In Marketing Factory, an interest is defined by a string (one or several words) and a numerical value (the weight).

2 What is the interest or interests?

The interests mechanism allows you to perform an implicit classification of your audience and define certain characteristics based on what the visitors have seen. For instance, defining whether a user is more interested in technical or marketing content, if he is interested in a certain type of products versus another, a certain look and feel, etc.

3 How interests are collected?

Whenever a visitor hits a page that contains one or several interests, Marketing Factory stores this information into the visitor profile.

If the interest does not exist yet in the visitor profile, Marketing Factory will add this entry and the scoring weight value defined in the visited page. (By default, the value is 1)

If the interest already exists in the visitor profile, Marketing Factory will simply add the weight value of the current page to the existing total already stored in the profile.

4 On what content can interests tags be applied?

Interests can be applied on pages . In Digital Experience Manager, a page with all its content is not a single object but a collection of multiple items. When a visitor views a page, Marketing Factory will collect the interests values that are assigned to that page (the item identified in the URL and displayed as a page) but not all the values for all the items that compose the page.

5 Is the list of interests imposed or limited?

Marketing Factory provides a feature you can use the way you want, depending on your needs and particular strategy.

  • The software does not impose its own schema of analysis nor its own pre-defined list of interests and does not limit the number of interests you can use on your site.
  • Marketing Factory does not need you to prepare in advance a list of interests or pre-declare them to be able to flag your site pages. In fact, the interests feature is the most agile you can find on the market today.

6 Assigning an interest

As interests must be applied on pages, this operation is done directly in Digital Experience Manager Edit Mode.

Select a page in the site tree and right-click > Edit.

Or select an item inside a page that does not appear directly into your site map but can be rendered as full page like, for instance, a news item.

In the form dialog that appears, activate the interest section by checking the box.

The section expands:

Click the Add button. A line appears. Simply type the name of the interest that Marketing Factory will collect if a visitor comes to that page.

If you do not specify a value, Marketing Factory will assume that the value is 1.

To give a higher weight to the interest, simply add a colon followed by the numeric value you want; for example, Tennis:5.

You can add as many interests on a given page as necessary by repeating the procedure.

Save the edit dialog at the end.

You must publish your page(s) to start collecting interests you have declared. Marketing Factory does not need any other setting or configuration; it starts to collect the interests as soon as they are available in pages that are accessible to visitors.

7 Viewing interests in the visitor profile

In any visitor profile page, you can see a section named User Interests.

That section shows a graphic with the eight most important interests of this visitor. Thanks to this graph, you can see the visitor profile portrait at a glance.

By hovering your mouse over the different interests, you can see the number of points collected for each of those interests.

8 Interests collection consistency

For consistency reasons, interests are collected only once per page and per visit (session). This rule applies to avoid distorting profiles with non-relevant behaviors, such as automatic page refresh or users coming back during this navigation session not because they have a particular interest but for a simple navigation purpose. By eliminating this data noise, the results are much more relevant because if a visitor comes back later to re-visit your site and goes on pages he has already seen during his previous visits, chances are that there is a particular interested in them.

9 How to use interests?

  1. Interests can be used as conditions for personalization.
  2. Interests can be used as conditions for segmentation.
  3. Interests can be used as conditions for user extraction.
  4. Interests can be used for automation. If interest A is higher than X (where X is a figure you choose), then send an email to a sales representative. If interest B is higher than X, then assign it to a list. If interest C is higher than X, then copy this data into Salesforce, etc.

Use marketing personas

When building your site, if you use personas, try to define interests that match with those personas. As a result, tagging your site will be much easier for content authors.

Start soon

The sooner you apply interests on your content, the better for building more robust profiles. It can be very work-intensive to have to come back to apply interests on each page later.

Start small and grow.

Start with few interests (4 to 6 maximum) and apply those on your pages. Let the visitors navigate on your site for a few weeks until you have a more comprehensive view of your audience before adding new interests or concepts if it is really necessary. It is better to have only three interests and be able to use them as effective personalization criteria than starting with dozens and being incapable of maintaining them correctly.

Define a scale of notation and share it with all co-workers.

In order to have consistent evaluation of the visitors interests, you should define a scale of weight that is shared with all your collaborators. At the very least, you should define a maximum weight; otherwise, the risk is that a visit to one single page that is over-weighted may completely unbalance your visitor profiling. Usually, the deeper a page is in your site tree, the more weight it should have (because the user had to navigate to that page and demonstrate an obvious interest for the topic in this page). Also, the more dedicated a page is to one topic, the more weight it should have as well. On the contrary, the top level navigation pages should not have any interest declared or should have interests with a low weight, unless your site structure is really relevant from the start level. Obviously, your home page should not have any interests because coming to this page does not reveal anything yet about what the visitor is searching for nor his interests.

 Sample use case

A basic scenario
Marc is a digital marketer working for a home improvement company. The company sells tools and its online catalog is organized by lines of products (drills, hammers, saws, etc.). However, the company has items for both, professionals and amateurs and Marc would like to push relevant offers to both segments. Using Marketing Factory, Marc decides to flag his products with two interests - amateur and pros - ranging from 1 to 5 points as a weight factor depending on the technical difficulty of the product. He also flags the video pages available on his website: DIY videos are flagged amateur with a high score, while technical demonstrations of the products are flagged pros with a medium score. After two weeks, Marc is able to personalize his home page, offering a special rebate to amateurs and even to amateurs who have already been on the jigsaws page at least twice (because he has a full inventory to sell before a new model is launched). At the same place in the site, if the visitor is a professional with a score higher than 15 points, Marc decides to push an invitation to become a registered partner.

An advanced scenario
Julie is a digital marketer for an online store selling beauty products only for women. Using Marketing Factorys reporting features, she already noticed that 15% of her visitors are male and that, surprisingly (or not), they look at more pages than women. Julie suspects that they are coming to the store to buy a gift but are lost between the different products they do not really understand. Using the interest feature, she decides to apply the following tags on her pages perfumes, skin care, lipsticks, makeup, nail polish.

Then Julie decides to create a personalized experience to push content specifically written for the following occasions: how-to choose a perfume for a gift, how to choose a lipstick, how-to choose a skin care, etc.
For each variant she creates a personalization rule to push the appropriate content to the visitor if he matches the following conditions:
gender is male
has already done 2 visits
he has seen more than 12 pages
his interest in is > 30 (here the interest is different for each variant)

Thanks to that personalization Julie is able to convert male buyers much more efficiently, guiding them to the right product or product type when previously she had a high percentage of males leaving the site without doing any transaction.

The two examples above show how the interests feature can be used in very different contexts and used to profile visitors from a completely different perspective.