15 for 15: SiteCatalyst Segmentation

With SiteCatalyst version 15 you now have access to more advanced segmentation that was previously only available in other tools such as Data Warehouse or Discover. This is extremely exciting because you will now be able to mold the data in ways that you were never able to before and you will be more agile in your analysis. When you log into v15 you will now see a second dropdown next to the report suite dropdown:

This dropdown allows you to choose a segment that will filter any report or dashboard by other attributes, classifications, and events. Segmented reports generate instantly. When you click on the dropdown you will see something similar to the image on the right. Let’s walk through what is available here…

Add Segment (red arrow): When you open the segment dropdown the first option is to add a segment. When you click on this option you will then receive a popup that allows you to construct your own custom segment. Check out the Using Segmentation section below in this post for an example of how you would use a custom segment. For the basics on building segments you can read this post. (Note, though, that the Tips & Tricks section of that post are for Data Warehouse and do not apply to v15…yet.)

All Visits (No Segment): By selecting this option you are removing any segment that you have and your report will include all data for the report suite.

Suite Segments (orange arrow): This group of segments is shared across SiteCatalyst, Discover, and Test & Target. This will allow you to analyze and test based on the same definition. Notice that when you hover over these segments that a help icon appears. You can click this icon to see how the segment is built. Allow me to provide a short description of the segments in this section:

Data Warehouse (green arrow): this collection of segments includes segments that have been created in SiteCatalyst and Data Warehouse. As you use the “Add Segment” option in SiteCatalyst your segments will begin to appear here for use in SiteCatalyst, Data Warehouse, and Discover. Being that these are custom segments you will notice a pencil icon appear next to the help icon when you hover over the segment. Select this icon to edit the segment. As you create segments they will automatically add to the list. You may quickly find that you have collected a lot of segments. To delete a segment navigate to Data Warehouse, select the segment, and press the delete button. As of now there is not a way to delete segments directly from SC.

Favorites (Discover) (light blue arrow): These are segments that were created in Discover. In SiteCatalyst these segments are read only. These would need to be edited in Discover. As you create additional segments and folders for segments in Discover they will appear in a similar fashion.

Pre-Configured (purple arrow): These are standard SiteCatalyst segments that are provided by default.

Using Segmentation: Campaign Pathing
An easy way that you can start segmenting now with v15 is with campaign pathing. We frequently receive requests for this type of analysis where a marketer wants to know where visitors are going after they click through a campaign. We have created solutions in the past that work for this. Typically it involves concatenating the tracking code with the page name on the landing page and then enabling pathing to see what pages follow the tracking code/landing page value. Now you can do this easily by using v15 segmentation.

As an example, I have a Facebook campaign called “soc:101” that sends people to the home page. Being that the home page receives traffic from all sorts of sources I will want to segment my pathing reports to insure that I am viewing just the behavior of the campaign I am interested in. To create this type of report I start by running a Next Page Flow or a Next Page report. Under a standard menu this is found under Paths and then Pages:

Once this report has generated you will see a flow that represents the pathing of all visits from the home page to other pages:

The report will automatically load with your most popular page as the starting page. If you need to look at a different page, select the link next to “Selected Page” in the report settings at the top of the page. You can then search and select your desired page:

Now you can turn to your new segment dropdown and select Add Segment. Create a segment that looks for visits that enter on the home page and have a campaign of “soc:101”. Do this by dragging a visit container over to the Include canvas and then drag a page view container over and place it inside the visit container. Click on the Page View link in the container to add the criteria where Page equals Home Page, Tracking Code equals “soc:101”, and Total Campaign Click-throughs is greater than zero. Notice that while it is called the Campaign report in the main SiteCatalyst menu it is sometimes referred to as Tracking Code in the segment builder. You should end up with a segment that looks like this:

By creating the segment this way you are insuring that this is a segment for visits where a clickthrough of the right campaign that landed on the Home Page all happened at once. If you did not use the “Total Campaign Click-throughs is greater than zero” and if your tracking code was set to expire after 30 days, then you may bring in subsequent visits that were not a direct clickthrough from the campaign. This approach also helps to control those funky edge cases such as visitors that interact with multiple campaigns and multiple landing pages during the visits.

With this segment in place you can now see that I have a Next Page Flow report (below) that has been reduced down to reflect what has happened for my specific campaign. It is interesting to compare this segmented report to the un-segmented report. Notice that Exited Site is not in the top three next paths. “Children & Toys” remains the top next page but the second page is “Mens”. This indicates that the users of this campaign are more interested in men’s items than the typical home page visitor. If the copy of our ad was gender-neutral then this may indicate that there are more men interacting with the site via Facebook. If I had some sort of content on my home page (the landing page for this campaign) that was targeted towards Facebook referrals then I may wonder why my promotional page was not a popular next page. With this information I could then adjust the content to produce better results.

Watch Your Reporting Dates when Segmenting:
This great new capability applies to data processed with the v15 platform. Best practice is to only use segmentation from the time you make the switch and moving forward (keep in mind you can still use Data Warehouse historically). Below is an example of what you would see if you span the date where you switched platforms. Notice that you receive an alert at the top of the report and you can see that only data from my switch date forward has been segmented. Here is my report before I applied my segment:

And here it is after I applied my segment:

All of the numbers are lower because I applied a segment but the data before the switch-over date is completely excluded. The date of the change is very noticeable in this report because of the flat line before the switch date. If you are applying a segment to a ranked report then the change won’t be as noticeable without the trend. Fortunately, you have the alert at the top of the report to warn you of the date range you are using. If you see this alert while you are segmenting, adjust your date range to start after the switch date.

We will create additional posts that address segmentation and v15 functionality. Please use the comment section below or shoot me a tweet (@willeitner) with your questions.