Behavioral analytics is a science of learning. It looks at what consumers do online, how they act and react to content, brands and campaigns, and how they behave on different platforms and devices.

Leading marketers are using this data to inform everything they do – from brand strategy to marketing campaigns and customer service as a way of providing the tailored experiences that consumers have now come to expect.

Put plainly, as Alexander Wang says, “focus on the consumer and the consumer responds.”

No longer an added bonus for brands looking to get more targeted, behavioral analytics has become a staple for any business looking to succeed in today’s landscape.

But how is it really making a difference?

Transforming the Marketing Game

Access to this kind of data has transformed the marketing game in more ways than one. Instead of merely targeting by the basics of demographics and location and relying on assumption for the rest, you can find out exactly what your consumers want, and tailor your marketing to them. But for this kind of marketing to work, you need ready access to accurate, in-depth data that’s true to life.

As an industry traditionally rooted in interruptive, push tactics that have historically failed to appeal to consumers on an individual level, the introduction of these insights opens up new doors for marketers to take a fresh approach, the audience-centric way. As Tom Primrose, Planner at Southpaw says: 

“We really need to raise the bar as an industry, to create better content and appeal more to consumers. To do this, we first need to understand them better.”

Powering Marketing that Works

One brand that stands out above the rest for its innovative use of behavioral insight is Apple. Relying on in-depth audience research to shape its brand strategy, Apple relies heavily on behavioral data to tailor its products and messaging to its consumers.

Keeping that consumer-centricity in mind, the Apple teams leverage the extensive data they collect at every stage of the consumer journey to find out what really drives their audience towards purchase. The company’s strategic use of insight to map their products and services to the individuals at their core has been a key driver behind their success, both in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction.

Amazon is another example of a brand using behavioral analytics in a way that works. Analyzing this data to find out which items a customer has previously purchased or viewed, for example, or which products they might have in their basket or wish list, this is then used to recommend relevant items to consumers and optimize their experience.

This means personalizing the online shopping experience like never before – and what’s more, it works: 35% of’s revenue is generated by its recommendation engine.

Creating Content that Converts

Behavioral analytics is something marketers simply can’t do without when assessing what content resonates with their audience, and what doesn’t.

When used in the right way, it can unveil some revealing truths about your marketing and customer success strategies, identifying at which point in the purchase journey they may have dropped off, for example, and why, while also giving you insights into the kind of messaging and content that resonates most.

Having a better understanding of user behavior enables brands to refine their offering, tackling any pain points that need more attention than others, and essentially boosting conversions.

Targeting the Right Audience

Behavioral analytics can reveal a wealth of valuable detail on individual customers such as:

  • What products or content they’re most interested in.
  • Their familiarity with your brand.
  • At what point they’re most susceptible to being converted.
  • Which offers they find most attractive.
  • How much they tend to spend on items.

The insights that emerge can help a brand create personality types and tightly target their marketing to these segments. Some customers might be highly responsive to the presentation of relevant offers as they browse, for example, while others might be more receptive to recommendations at the point of purchase.

Understanding these personality types – their wants, needs and behaviors – allows brands to market to different groups in more effective ways.

Personalizing the Customer Journey

Consumers have come to expect personalized experiences from brands, and behavioral analytics enables companies to deliver this.

A consumer might click on a brand’s marketing email to visit their website, but then fail to convert. With this knowledge, the brand can retarget the user with a personalized email or banner ad for example, featuring related products, offers or content.

Likewise, for customers who have made a purchase or signed up for a newsletter, brands can use this data to nurture that lead and deepen the relationship with further relevant offers or information.

In 2015, the Aberdeen Group found that agencies who excelled at personalization achieved up to a 36% higher conversion average and a 21% stronger lead acceptance rate.

This intelligence can also be applied to paid social media to present the right sponsored content or advertising to the right audience at the right time.

Knowledge is Power

While you may be able to segment an audience by gender, age and location, the individuals within this group will still vary widely.

Behavioral analytics provides the missing piece, drilling down to understand what really appeals to people, and enabling brands to tightly target marketing campaigns or refine their products and services. It enables companies to stay relevant in a fast changing world. As Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group says:

“You can either shout into the wind, or you can directly target the people who are going to buy from you, and that’s what engagement is all about.”

Many brands are taking this level of understanding to new heights, using in-depth behavioral data to match their marketing efforts and make their strategy as targeted as possible.

Which example will you follow?

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