How well do you know your target audience?

In the world of magazine subscription marketing understanding your target consumer’s likes, interests and hobbies is crucial. Not only does it influence the type of content you publish, but it also helps dictate your marketing strategy and planning. If you have a good understanding of your customer’s interests, you can use this knowledge to attract new subscribers of a similar ilk.

This might sound obvious and we know most publishers have plenty of insight on their customer base. But do you really know everything that defines your subscribers and the things they are interested in?


New: Google Analytics’ Affinity Categories

You would be hard pressed to find a publisher not operating online in some form or another nowadays. And the vast majority track their online activity using Google Analytics, looking at how many visitors they receive, which online channels perform the best and how users interact with the site.

However, there is a new feature in Google Analytics that many publishers aren’t yet aware of. The feature I am talking about is the new, more detailed demographic section of Google Analytics - and more specifically the detail on Affinity Categories which is extremely helpful in helping understand what interests new subscribers have.


Update your GA Code

In order to access this new level of data in Google Analytics the code on your site must be updated to include a new line. To do this you need to go to the Admin/Tracking Code section of Google Analytics and turn on the Display Advertiser Support button as shown below:


This will then update your code to include a doubleclick line that will pick up this additional information about your users. Simply update the code on your site with this new version and the data will begin collecting.

Once you have updated your code you will be privy to a plethora of new stats and graphs all found under the Audience section of Google Analytics. This includes more detailed information on visitors to your website, including age, location, the device they are using and the browser they are on etc.

However, the section that is likely to be most informative is the new Affinity Categories, found under the Interests section.


Understanding your new subscriber’s interests

In the Affinity Categories section you can see what interest categories users (who have already become your subscribers) fall into. This will give you great insight into the type of people who are converting into subscribers on your site – and they won’t always be exactly as you might expect.

We looked at data for subscribers to a financial investment magazine expecting to find them falling under categories such as ‘Avid Investors’ and ‘News Junkies’, which some of them did. However, we also found a strong interest in photography, shopping and even home decor. You can see the top ten categories subscribers fell into below:


These additional insights from Google Analytics have helped influence the ‘interests’ Jellyfish CoNNect target
in the Google Adwords activities we run for our clients. But it can also be useful in shaping publisher’s other marketing activities such as email campaigns and helping marketing teams decide which magazines are appropriate to include in insert or label carrier campaigns or similar cross sell activities.