Are You Overestimating Unique Visitors?

When you are trying to determine the rate of success of your advertisements or your local seo, one of the key measurements you’ll be paying attention to is the number of unique visitors who hit your site. Uniqueness is important, because it allows you to determine two important data points. The first is how many actual individuals are able to find you on the web. The second is how many times each of those unique visitors has returned as a result of your SEO efforts. The first data point relates directly to reach, the other to customer loyalty.


Determining how many unique visitors you get may not actually be as simple as just checking your analytic data unfortunately. Since internet users may access your website from multiple devices (especially these days with mobile platforms), you may see the same visitor registering as multiple “unique” visitors. All that’s really unique in such a situation is the devices. A further complication is the deletion of cookies. Internet users routinely delete their cookies in order to clear out space and take care of privacy concerns. That means that an old visitor who has recently cleared the cache may appear as a new visitor.


Fortunately we can extrapolate based off of research on cookie deletion to try and get a clearer picture of what’s going on. MediaMind has researched how often users delete cookies on average and how many they typically have stored at a given moment and used that information to estimate how much “inflation” cookie deletion causes in unique visitor estimates.


In the above chart, you can see that cookie deletion varies by country. Users in the US and Canada delete cookies more often than users in other countries. The rate at which US users delete cookies can inflate unique visitor estimates by a factor of 3.


You can use this data to get a better idea of how many unique visitors are coming to your site. Just remember to apply the inflation rates by country to calculate the likely reality for each.


Another interesting chart from MediaMind shows us the interaction and dwell rates for different ad types:


While this is only loosely related to the previous topic, it’s of interest when it comes to the general task of procuring visitors. Even though users frequently whine about floating ads and noisy media ads, they are actually more responsive to those ads than they are to polite banner ads. So focus on media rich advertisements to bring up those unique visitor counts!




Affluent Customers Interact with Brands Online for Different Reasons


It can be tempting to think that once you’ve figured out the rules of marketing toward the general population on social media sites that you know what you’re doing, regardless of audience. Each demographic group has its own unique subculture and rules though, and there are some significant differences in the ways each group interacts with social networks and brands. In the case of affluent customers, there are different driving motivations and even different networks to focus your campaigns on.


NowResearch conducted a survey of affluent customers to find out their reasons for interacting with brands on social networks, and compared those reasons with the motives of the general population. While affluent customers were still very interested in deals and discounts, they were significantly less motivated by them than the general population. Affluent customers in the $500,000+ range were significantly more drawn to interact with a brand out of pure loyalty. While only 36.9% of the general population cited this as their reason, 52.3% of the most affluent survey participants said it was their prime motive. Affluent customers are also more interested in keeping up with news on brands they love, and significantly more likely to follow a brand which a social network recommends to them. They also are more motivated to follow leads from external ads. They are significantly less motivated by entertainment.

Affluent female members of Gen Y actually stated that promotions and offers were their main reason for following brands on social networks. It should be pointed out though that these Gen Y members were still not considered entirely affluent—most of them were projected to make $100,000 within the next year. While this is certainly more affluent than many people, it isn’t as far up the scale as many other affluent customers. That may account for some of the difference in thinking.

Members of affluent society favor Facebook as their primary social network, just like members of the general population. They are significantly less drawn to Myspace though and significantly more likely to join LinkedIn and Twitter. There are more affluent customers who are interested in Meetup and ASMALLWORLD as well.

If you are marketing a luxury item and want to appeal to affluent customers, you need to know where to reach them and how to appeal to them. Definitely market on Facebook, but consider putting a little extra effort into marketing on Twitter and LinkedIn. Spend less time on Myspace, and maybe think of marketing on some other smaller networks which appeal particularly to the affluent audience, like Meetup and ASMALLWORLD.

When you market to the wealthy, remember that brand loyalty is their primary motivation, not discounts. The wealthy still want discounts, but being wealthy, they don’t really need them as much as others. Many wealthy people actually take pride in being able to spend money in the first place on expensive goods. They want the best, and what you should be doing is proving to them that what you offer is the best. If you can appeal to the affluent sense of style and self image, affluent patrons will adhere to your brand. The same discounts which might draw in less affluent customers may turn away some wealthier customers because they do not wish to be seen as “cheap.”

One encouraging implication you can glean from all this is that if you do manage to get the attention of affluent customers on social networks, they will likely reward you with greater loyalty than the general population. This means you may have a greater opportunity to build up a devoted customer base which will support you now and in the future and spread the word about your business.