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What Makes a Good Custom Attribute?

Harrison Small
Principal Consultant for the Oracle Maxymiser Professional Services team

The creation of custom attributes can add a great deal of value to organizations as they evaluate the effectiveness of their digital presence. Here are some of those benefits:

  1. Segment identification: Custom attributes can be used in testing campaigns to identify subsets of users who have a consistent pattern of behavior.
  2. Data filtering: Meaningful custom attributes allow for more granular reporting filters, leading to a better understanding of user behavior and more robust learnings.
  3. Dynamic content targeting: Once an understanding of user behavior is established, different content can be shown to users with a specific set of attributes.

So, what is the best way to extract that value? The answer is to create a set of attributes that will drive those learnings. The first thing you will want to consider are the variables that are the most likely to influence user behavior on the site. If users on different devices see varying experiences, it might be beneficial to create a “Device” attribute to determine the differences in user behavior.

Similarly, if users are coming to the site from a variety of different display ad campaigns with different value propositions, you could set up a “DisplayCampaign” attribute to identify which campaigns and banners are driving users to complete the most desirable actions. It's important to set up attributes you know for sure will influence user behavior, as these will serve as the foundation for the remainder of your findings.

However, it is also good to have some balance in your custom attributes, meaning you might want to pick a few that you think or hypothesize have some influence on user behavior on the site but don't know for sure. For example: You might not be certain that a user who has requested an insurance quote in the past will be more likely to take another certain action later, but the only way to discover this is to include "PreviousRequest" in your custom attributes. These kinds of attributes can will drive the completely new and “a-ha” insights.

Thus, when choosing custom attributes to include in testing campaigns, it is integral to have a nice mix of variables. Including attributes that are sure to influence user behavior serve the purpose of measuring the actual impact of those variables. On the other hand, including variables that may or may not influence user behavior quite as much will drive new learnings and unexpected findings that add a great deal of value. All in all, there are a lot of factors to consider when setting up custom attributes, but when developed with care they can be highly beneficial to a business.

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