MAY 29, 2014Mary Meeker: Mobile devices equal big data devicesKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers report sees mobile devices at the center of a slew of personalized data-harvesting trendsBy Serdar Yegulalp | InfoWorldFollow @syegulalpPrint|Add a commentinShare18
Credit: VOLODYMYR GRINKO
Mary Meeker, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has delivered the latest edition of her annual "Internet Trends" report, a series she has churned out since 2001. The touchstones for this year's report all involve familiar terms -- mobile devices, big data, cheaper processing power -- but one finding revolves around the way connected and instrumented mobile devices create data from user behaviors, as opposed to just providing data for user consumption.
First, the basics: Overall, Internet usage continues to grow -- 2.6 billion users as of the end of 2013 -- but its growth rate has started to flatten, and much of the growth is in markets that Meeker describes as "more difficult to monetize," such as India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Most of that Internet usage is shifting to mobile devices, with the lion's share of engagement taking place on smartphones rather than tablets despite the latter's booming sales. Even there, it's starting to level off: Smartphone subscriber growth is flattening, with the majority of growth taking place in what Meeker calls "underpenetrated markets" like China and Brazil.
But Meeker notes how mobile devices are not being used as mere consumption devices. "People enabled with mobile devices and sensors [are] uploading troves of findable and shareable data," says the report. Meeker also sees this as part of the way our newly found big data-gathering abilities (thanks to cloud computing being cheaper than ever) are being refashioned more as big problem-solving methodologies. The push is toward figuring out what specific problems to solve with all these harvesting tools and the data they gather.
As promising as such a view is, it's also an experimental one, with the applications, user behaviors, the harvested data, and the potential problems to be solved all in flux. In messaging, for example, all-in-one apps like Facebook are being replaced with more utility-specific applications like Snapchat, a process Meeker describes as "unbundling." Meeker also notes the rise of what she calls "invisible apps," such as Foursquare Swarm or Dark Sky, that gather data passively in the background based on a user's behaviors, both online and in the real world, and notify the user only when needed.
Elsewhere in the report, Meeker examines how education and health care are being reshaped by technology. Both have become costly affairs; the former is doing a poorer job of preparing people for the realities of the modern job market, and most of the cost of the latter stems from management of chronic conditions due to behaviors that engender health risks (bad diet, lack of exercise).
In both cases, Meeker sees connected technology as a reformative influence. Education is being reshaped via cheaper online courses, and the "consumerization of health care" allows patients to not only more closely manage their own conditions, but give more detailed feedback about the quality of their care providers. There's still room for skepticism, given the newness of those fields, and Meeker seems to implicitly understand that, as she characterizes her findings as "green shoots data."
This story, "Mary Meeker: Mobile devices equal big data devices," was originally published atInfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
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How to Create Buyer Personas With Google Analytics
By Ben Jacobson Published May 8, 2014
Do you want to learn more about your social media followers?
Have you created social media buyer personas?
You have to know your audience before you can serve them on social media.
In this article I’ll show you how to create buyer personas for your social media audience using Google Analytics.
Why Buyer Personas?
A buyer persona goes beyond the definition of your target audience. You use them tocreate fictional identities that represent people within your target audience who share similarities.
Use Analytics data to find information you need to create your buyer personas.
With solid buyer personas informing your social media messaging, you can formulate content to better target your audience’s interests and concerns. This will in turn make for a more engaged audience.
You can find a lot of information about your brand’s online audience in the search data from your website’s analytics.
Here’s how to build buyer personas with Google Analytics.
#1: Research Your Website Traffic by Keyword
Begin by opening up Google Analytics, then go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Google/Organic and set the Secondary Dimension to Keyword.
Go into Google Analytics to find your keyword traffic.
This shows you the keyword searches that bring visitors to your site over a relatively long time period.
While the vast majority of the referring keywords will be “not provided,” the remaining data will be enough to get you started.
Here is an example of top organic keywords displayed in Google Analytics.
Copy the list into a spreadsheet so you can edit it.
#2: Find User Similarities in Search Traffic
Sort through the keywords in your spreadsheet and group them into themes or categories.
For example, if you market sporting goods, you might divide the keywords into categories such as clothing, footwear, balls and other equipment. You might also have categories for location-specific searches or sports-related questions.
After you determine which keywords send customers to your website, imagine what types of people are searching for them. Image: iStockPhoto.
Once you’ve created the categories, use them to determine what types of people are searching for these terms. Use the information you have to find the right questions to ask yourself to come up with accurate representations of your customers.
Make a list of personas such as “serious runners interested in buying sneakers locally for under $100,” or “beginners thinking about getting into mountain climbing.”
These are your rough buyer personas.
#3: Refine Buyer Personas by Social Channel
Now that your personas have been roughly defined, use the referral traffic data from Analytics to create prototypical audience members for each of your social media channels.
Back in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Referrals. Choose Second Dimension and click on Landing Page.
Find out what content your readers like by social media channel.
Download this data into a spreadsheet and group the landing pages by social channel so you can determine which kind of content resonates best with the followers from each social media channel.
Who is listening to you? Where are they? Image: iStockPhoto.
The patterns and preferences you find will help you create a sharpened buyer persona for each social network your brand manages a presence on.
For example, a restaurant might find that Facebook refers more people looking for reservations and that Twitter refers more people looking for daily specials.
With that information, the restaurant can install a custom reservations tab on their Facebook page to better serve their existing customers and begin promoting their lunch specials on Twitter to bring in new customers.
#4: Fill Out Social Details for Your Personas
You can take things a step further and beef up your personas by looking at how your fans and followers on social media describe themselves to see if you canspot any patterns.
Twitter’s native Analytics provides relevant insights, especially from the Your Followers Also Follow and Interests sections.
Using the often-overlooked Twitter Analytics module, you can learn what topics (other than those directly related to your brand) are popular with your followers.
Followerwonk will pull common keywords from your followers’ Twitter bios.
On Facebook, you can use Graph Search to learn more about the interests of your fans by running queries such as “pages liked by fans of [your business page]“.
Examine the smaller social media sites your audience frequents—for example,Behance, Empire Avenue, TripAdvisor, OpenForum or Quora—to help you further narrow down their interests.
For example, people who spend time on Q&A sites are likely to enjoy information written by experts, while those who like photo sharing social networks will look for content rich in images.
Use social media buyer personas to zero in on your customers’ interests. Image: iStockPhoto.
The more information you compile for your buyer personas, the more personal you can make your messaging, content and outreach.
Over to You
Follow the steps above and you’ll learn more about your social media audiencesand maximize the business impact of your social marketing.
Once you know what your social media audience searches for, you can adjust the content you create and your messaging so they match the interests of each social media channel’s buyer persona.
Better understanding through data analysis is what lets you do this, and the potential rewards are huge. When the members of your community feel that you understand them and have a knack for addressing their needs, they’ll pay more attention to what you have to say. They’ll also interact more with your posts. This means more organic reach to like-minded people, which will drive more business.
Use the information available to you on Google Analytics to learn more about your audience and serve your customers better on social media.
What do you think? What tools and techniques are you using to learn more about your social media audience? Share your suggestions and comments in the box below.
Images from iStockPhoto.
Tags: audience research, ben jacobson, buyer persona, customer persona, customer research, google analytics, google analytics report, keyword analysis, keyword search, marketing persona, marketing strategy, persona, social media market research
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Ben Jacobson
Ben oversees new media marketing and at Action Packed Media, a boutique managed service agency based in Israel. Action Packed Media also offer subscription-based email marketing solutions via ManagedForMimi.com. Other posts by Ben Jacobson »
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