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Site Owners and Developers Gain Deep Insight Into Visitor Demographics with Quantcast

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Quantcast: How Deep Insights Into Visitor Demographics Help Drive Decisions for Website Owners and App Developers


Website analytics only tell you what browsers do on your website. They don’t tell you about the people who visit your website. Analytics tell you what device they use and from what country. Quantcast Measure and Audience Grid can tell you who your visitors are, what they buy, what television shows they watch, and what they do online outside of your website. Smart business owners can turn that who-they-are and what-they-do data into what-they-want and what-will-sell-them. That’s exactly what BuzzFeed did to become one the U.S.’s top 10 websites.

In the Western world it’s nearly impossible for the average Internet user to have never visited, or at least heard of, BuzzFeed.com. A handful of years ago that wasn’t the case. BuzzFeed was just another obscure publisher of read-quick, forget-quicker celebrity posts, quirky quizzes, and #fail-tag photos. Now, thanks in large part to its use of Quantcast, BuzzFeed is one the top 10 websites in the U.S.

BuzzFeed’s goal was to publish and monetize content people wanted to read and share. The problem was that BuzzFeed didn’t know what people wanted to read and share. Standard website analytics—number of visitors, what browsers they used, what countries they were in—provided very little genuinely audience insight and actionable intelligence.

Quantcast Measure collects data from numerous sources not limited to websites. It collects, collates, and connects web usage behavior, to be sure, but it also culls demographic and behavioral data from hundreds of other sources that aren’t websites. Quantcast Measure, using Audience Grid, also collects shopping data, television viewing data, deep demographics, automobile purchasing and usage data, political affiliations, and just about any other recordable data about the activities of connected humans. That comprehensive data set, once aggregated and cross-referenced, quantifies people’s activities. That gives a publisher like BuzzFeed a deep understanding of its people’s interests. More importantly, that understanding can be extrapolated to predict people’s behaviors and future interests.

The Quantcast audience data can be segmented into groups and labels that help define and identify different groups of visitors and would-be customers, however such a breakdown best benefits each business using Quantcast Measure.

Quantcast Measure Lets You Understand Your Visitors

Quantcast Measure provides detailed visitor demographics including their interests, purchase behavior, occupations, and other deep visitor insight data. With it, businesses can truly understand their visitors.

Smart companies collect information from visitors to their websites. Some of that information is automatically handed over without visitor interaction. The user’s browser and screen resolution, for instance, are automatically transmitted to websites and recorded by a basic analytics system to provide insight into where and how visitors access the site—from desktop or mobile devices and even which mobile devices.

Then there’s basic visitor response information that can be obtained from some visitors. Given an incentive, many visitors will furnish information such as email address, physical address, age, education level, income, and other foundational demographics. Most of that data they provide will be correct and not intentionally false, but separating true from false is difficult. Depending on the types of visitors targeted, the true-to-false ratio is difficult to predict, thus skewing the results an indeterminate amount. And, of course, barring exceptional incentives, those that provide any data, accurate or erroneous, are always a minority of actual visitors. Something is better than nothing, though.

Unfortunately, that’s the attitude adopted by businesses seeking to understand visitors to their sites when the businesses don’t realize better tools area available. Even less information is available to understand who looks at their ads on other websites. For most businesses, the window into their audiences might as well be opaque.

Quantcast Measure draws back the blackout curtains and lets you gaze in at your audience’s lives. Far beyond income and education level, Quantcast Measure present’s deep demographics such as gender, ethnicity, and political affiliations and engagement. By collecting data and monitoring from thousands of sources, demographics are given meaning with data on audience interests and purchase behavior. It profiles people’s online activities beyond nebulous “spent X minutes on Facebook” analytics; Quantcast Measure identifies, categorizes, and makes available to businesses online behaviors such as the number of times audience members have posted something new to Pinterest versus when they simply repin, taxonomies for their Instagram content, and what times of day they post what tags, in new or re-shared content, to Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else.

Content publishers like CNN, the Onion, BuzzFeed, of course, and many others can use Quantcast Measure to completely understand and profile their visitors based on visitor activity outside the publisher’s own sites. That data is golden, forming hard numbers and audience profiles the sales team can use to lure advertisers.

Quantcast Measure aggregates the visitor data from thousands of sites and systems, seeing the average U.S. online user more than 600 times per month. Everything that average user does online is recorded, categorized, and aggregated to provide the massive and deep-search, cross-reference capable Quantcast Measure for the benefit of all of Quantcast’s publisher clients and more.

Quantcast Audience Grid Provides Constantly Fresh Consumer Behavior Data-Free

Audience Grid is the data set that drives Quantcast Measure, and its free. Publishers and advertisers can connect to Audience Grid and integrate it into their own systems. That means everything Quantcast collects about online users, wherever they go, whatever they do, is available to any developer’s app. Lifestyle data, shopping history, television viewing habits, and more can be filtered, cross-referenced with other data points, and pulled in real-time to target the center of the bullseye of a market even as that bullseye changes position from minute to minute.

A game developer, for example, may use Audience Grid to understand the best market segments for initial sales, but also perform per-user, in-app customizations of upsell and micro-sale opportunities. Audience Grid can pull TiVo Research data to identify the television shows people watch. That data set can be filtered to include only users who watch Game of Thrones, Versailles, and Vikings, viewers of which are most likely to be interested in the new period game from the developer. The qualifying-viewer set can now be further refined by wealth indicators such as income, car models owned, how often new cars are purchased, and investment data to build tiers of micro-sale campaigns. Language, ethnicity, gender, and other factors can further divide the audience and inform the creation and refinement of sales tiers and campaigns. If the game developer is careful in using the data available from Audience Grid, no money should be wasted delivering sales messages to audiences who respond to different sales messages.

Publishers Thrive with Quantcast Data Powering Their Efforts

BuzzFeed skyrocketed to popularity because Quantcast Measure gave the publisher the audience insight it couldn’t get from website analytics. With all that data collected by Quancast from publishers, etailers, social media, and virtually every other kind of publishing, broadcasting, and retail entity, BuzzFeed was able to get inside the heads of its visitors and potential visitors. BuzzFeed learned about people far beyond what they did on BuzzFeed.com itself, and it used that information to figure out, and provide, what people wanted, what would get them clicking, sharing, and talking.

With the site’s data-driven rise to the top 10 websites in the United States, BuzzFeed turned Quantcast data into a revenue-maker. It used its now deep insight into BuzzFeed readers to create a valuable platform of sponsored content that lets advertisers hone in on their ideal demographics without blinding throwing darts at the wall, hoping to hit the occasional desired prospect.

Tami Dalley, BuzzFeed’s Senior Director of Research put it best: “We use Quantcast to measure audiences for individual posts on BuzzFeed. Getting audience insight at the post level helps us demonstrate to advertisers how sponsored content can deliver their specific target audiences.”

And BuzzFeed isn’t the only publisher to have benefited from Quantcast’s massive and meticulously categorized data set. Sprint, AccuWeather, American Express, the Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, and the rest of the Who’s Who of content and app publishers also peer into and learn about their audiences and customers with Quancast Measure and Audience Grid.