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October 26, 2016

Behavior-Based Segments Outperform Demographic Ones

Today's increasingly sophisticated marketing tools allow us to engage users with an unprecedented level of precision. This kind of information access lets us think beyond traditional demographic and attribute-based segments-- it’s one of the first steps toward behavior-based marketing.

Demographic-based segments are pretty straightforward to work with: create a persona, choose some attributes that define the persona, then formulate some rules to target users with those attributes.

While the approach is straightforward, it turns out that you're not likely to get much mileage out of it. We analyzed campaign data throughout the Lytics platform to determine the subsets users most likely to interact with the campaign. These subsets consisted of behavioral, demographic, content, custom attribute and custom segment data.

If you're not already incorporating behavioral data into your workflow, you definitely should be. The only problem is that it can be difficult.

Taking Behavioral Data By The Horns

Why is this so hard?

If you want to incorporate your behavioral data into your workflow, you're often confronted with it head on, and are immediately required to make the following choices:

  1. Choose Your Own Fields: Identify fields in your customer database that identify user behavior, like purchases, email opens, site visits, social shares, etc.
  2. Choose Your Own Thresholds: Determine the value of the field you chose that will best identify the users you're trying to target, like more than one purchase, two email opens or greater, etc.

Constructing rules for execution can be a fragile process. Let's say you're trying to run an upsell campaign against your users who are "mildly active" who you'd like to convert into "loyal" users.

Have your "mildly active" users opened one email? Or two? Or twenty? Or better yet, maybe they clicked on a link in the email.

If that’s the case, which field do you use to identify the users you're trying to target: opens or clicks? Or do you reconcile both somehow?


The efficacy of your execution depends on if you happened to choose fields and thresholds that encapsulate the behavior you’re trying to target. Better choose wisely then, brave marketer!

A Better Way

As we've discussed earlier, there are a lot of aspects to user behavior, and Lytics' behavioral scoring helps to summarize them into dimensions with which you can get your hands dirty.

Let's go back to the upsell campaign we mentioned earlier. First, we'll want to identify your users who are "just active," for which we can either:

  1. Use the Active segment that comes pre-built in Lytics, or,
  2. Create a more behaviorally descriptive segment using raw Lytics scores -- like Momentum, Quantity, and Intensity.

Then we can segment further on users that aren't currently in your loyalty program.

BINGO! You've now targeted users who meet some specific behavioral conditions in just two steps. Sync these behavior-based segments to your email service provider and start a nurture campaign to influence these customers towards becoming advocates of your brand, as an example.


Not only is it easier to use your behavioral data using tools in your Lytics toolbelt, but it helps you be an incredibly effective marketer.

When we run the same analysis as above, including Lytics' behavioral scoring data, it's easy to see that users targeted with behavioral scores are 20x as likely to interact with your campaign than users targeted with demographic attributes alone.

Whatever your workflow may be, it's vital that you're somehow incorporating behavioral data to target your engagement with your users.

You can always make it easier on yourself by using Lytics' behavioral scoring to make you a behavioral bad-ass. This is some new, exciting stuff that we’re introducing to marketers who really want to make a difference in their ROI. As always, we’re here to help you take that first step into data-driven predictive marketing territory.

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