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Langa Sithole, Mediamark Digital Strategist

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Media owners who want to craft compelling digital value propositions for their advertisers should look beyond the hard data and quantifiable metrics for the story the numbers reveal about the people who visit their websites.

That’s according to Langa Sithole, Digital Strategist at Mediamark, who says that many websites focus on statistics such as impressions and unique visitors without looking at them in the context of the user’s experience and behaviour.

“The numbers can be invaluable in helping brands understand how a campaign is performing and how users are engaging with their content, but media owners must go deeper,” says Sithole. “When making decisions about where to spend their advertising money, brands also need to know the quality of the users and engagements with them.”

Relevance and targeting

The metrics can help brands to understand the ebb and flow of traffic in their digital channels, the actions their audiences took and in what order. But that data is not enough on its own to create relevant and targeted marketing that speaks to the desired audience.

The implication is that media owners and agencies should rethink the way they sell their products to advertisers, says Sithole. “Statistics can be confusing and boring to many people,” he adds. “They come alive when they’re used to tell a story about the people who read the online publication or use the website.”

Who, not just how many

Instead of just giving the numbers, media owners should be transparent about who their website visitors are, how they behave and what they’re interested in.

This encompasses psychographic and demographic insights such as:

· Which brands are their audiences loyal to?

· Do they have kids?

· Have they got car insurance?

· Which banks do they bank with?

· Which car would they like to purchase in future?

· What type of music they like?

· What are their personal interests?

· How much money do they spend on certain purchases?

· What languages do they speak?

Psychographics provide insight into the psychological and cultural reasons people make with certain purchasing decisions. “Conversations around these sorts of insights gives the planner an instant picture of the type of audience,” Sithole says. “This also helps to justify the value of the audience to the advertiser in terms of its quality and relevance to the brand.”’

Maximising ROI

Brands increasingly understand that marketing to the right target market is much more effective than just going for big numbers that have no context. As such, savvy media owners and planners look to help advertisers maximise ROI by helping them to access targeted audiences with a higher propensity to convert.

That’s why media owners should be looking to overlay their standard metrics – such as unique visitors, impressions, bounce rate, page views per visitor, new and returning visitors – with psychographic insights about their customers, says Sithole. This information combined provides a 360-degree picture of the online audience.

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