Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Using Deep Web Activity Insights in a Decision Rule

Sometimes when building a program we want to look at fairly light information about what a person did on the web site - number of visits, or whether they clicked through an email. Sometimes, however, we want to look at a much deeper view of what they did online, where they went, and what they looked at.

You can build this with Program Builder quite easily, by having a Decision Rule look to see whether there is a web visitor associated with the contact in the program, and whether that web visitor meets the set of rules you define in a Segment.

The Decision Rule works like any other type of Decision Rule, just select "Segment Membership" as your type. From there, you either select or create a new Segment definition.

Segments are rules that look at web visitor profiles to build a specific rule of which visitors performed a specific set of actions. You have access to the full set of AND, OR, and NOT operations to build whatever rule makes sense in your situation.

We talked the other day about using search terms to understand and define where in a buying process an individual was, so let's look at adding that logic to a program. We'll build a Decision Rule that determines whether a person has searched for terms related to the awareness phase of the buying process. As we talked about in the original post, these are terms that have to do with "lead scoring", "lead management", or "marketing automation".

To build our segment that looks for a set of these terms, we will define it as looking for Visitors who have searched for any of the terms we are interested in. Segments are built from individual conditions, and we'll look for specific terms in each of those conditions.

For each of the conditions, it's important to remember that we're looking for the phrase as the user typed it in to their search. Wrapping a key phrase in wild cards usually gives you the best ability to cover a variety of terms

For example, looking for a Most Recent Search Query of "*lead scor*" covers "lead scoring software", "best practices in lead scoring", and "what is a lead score". Remember to cover mistakes, alternate spellings, and alternate phrasings. For example, we would need another condition to cover "how do I score leads" as a search term because the words have been reversed.

Using a Decision Rule to look into whether a Segment Rule has been met gives you a good technique for defining a very precise rule around web activity. This can be leveraged for lead scoring, as we did in this example, or for understanding the area (or product line) of a prospect's interest, or in a variety of other situations. It's a very versatile technique worth being comfortable with.