ConnectWithCauseway, Acquisition Analytics, Probabilistic Modeling
September 20, 2023
Attracting new customers is art and science combined. Listen in as we describe the secrets of probabilistic modeling and Acquisition Analytics. By defining Audiences, marketing messages are personable, personalized and more cost-effective. Find out what drives decisions for healthcare, car buying and more. Listen to the full episode:
Our modeling for drivers of healthcare choice came down to three different things.
One group was based on Convenience. How close is an office to their home, how easy it is to schedule an appointment? Do they provide things like telehealth that are truly focused on convenience? The second audience focused on Quality providers that have significant experience. Providers or physicians that have won awards, have accolades, hospital systems that have advanced technologies. And then lastly, Compassion or Connection, your classic bedside manner. There’s a group that prefers seeing the same provider, knowing the staff, having the staff know them.
Another important business category is Automotive Marketing, our modeling uncovered four unique Vehicle Buying profiles.
One is the Conscious Consumer. This is the group that a vehicle is a bit of a need. They're willing to wait because they know exactly what they want. Second is the Impulse Buyer. A vehicle is a bit of an extravagance. They want the bells and whistles, but they're going to buy what's right there at the moment. They're willing to change maybe a color, other factors to leave with the car they want because it's an impulse buy for them. Third is the largest group we call the Need It Now group. This was about 28% of the country and they want what's on the lot, an immediate transaction. They may have driven in with a car that was barely holding itself together, and they're going to drive out with something that finally works. But interestingly, this group is more likely to be female, more likely to have a lower income and lower education, and more likely to be 50 to 69 years old. Maybe they've gotten past the point where the car has to be shiny, and they just want something that's going to get them around. The fourth group, which we titled Just For Me. The car isn't extravagant, but they're willing to wait. This was the youngest group, much more likely to be a well-educated millennial with a pretty good income of $100,000+. For a millennial, it’s likely that this vehicle is the first major purchase they're going to make independently, and therefore they want it to be special, just right, and exactly to their specifications. Although they're willing to wait, you have to keep them engaged because this is a purchase out of excitement.
In other areas, we are working on two groups of Audiences based on social media and streaming platforms, as well as video games and eSports:
Social media use and streaming platform use. If you are on the platform, Facebook and Netflix teams, etc., have more than enough information on their users, but they tend to keep most of that close to the vest and don't share it. At Causeway, we're working on some ways to look at that, not only who subscribes to certain services, but who's a high-frequency versus lower-frequency user so that we can help cross-reference that with other different audiences. Another Audience is video games and eSports. We're looking to see what they do offline when they're not playing the game or watching the game, because there's really not a lot known about the overall consumerism for this group.
Thérèse Mulvey, Vice President of Strategy: Welcome to Connect with Causeway. I am your host, Thérèse Mulvey, Vice President of Strategy and Insights at Causeway Solutions. Joining me today is Lauren Kornick, our manager of strategic Partnerships.
Today we’re excited to welcome Tim Duer, our VP of Healthcare and Enterprise Insights.
Tim has been with Causeway for over a year but has been consulting with us for even longer. He brings expertise from the world of medicine, which is a great perk for all of us. Tim, why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and how you got here.
Tim Duer, VP Healthcare & Enterprise Insights: Sure, Therese. I definitely have a different path to getting to the wonderful world of data analytics. I graduated school in 2003 as a physical therapist and practiced for 15 years as a hands-on clinician, first in a small practice, and then eventually with a large pediatric health system. During that time, I switched over from a hands-on clinician to becoming an administrator and getting a lot of different perspectives on the healthcare industry. That came to a head during covid shutdown of 2020, 2021, where I started helping out some friends at Causeway with different insights into the healthcare space. Eventually in the middle of 2021, that turned into a full-time role and you guys have been stuck with me ever since.
Thérèse: Thank you, Tim. We’re happy to be stuck with you.
In our first two episodes, we talked about the results of recent surveys we’ve done, but today we’re going to change that because surveys are only a part of what we do at Causeway. The heart of our business is Acquisition Analytics where we’re able to create the best targeted audiences based on quality data and thorough analysis.
Lauren Kornick, Manager, Strategic Partnerships: Yeah, the stories and groups and observations we found in the surveys and in episodes one and two are really just step one of what we do for all of our projects and all of our clients. So now that we’ve done that in the previous episodes, we can dig a little deeper and get into step two.
Tim: And I think that’s really where I come in as part of Causeway as well. Timing is probably good here because while the data is incredibly important to help us learn more about the consumers, it’s really when we start turning those into actionable insights that things change. Everybody’s heard about data-driven decision-making and marketing especially. But a lot is focused much more on retention and satisfaction, of knowing more about the customer someone has when Thérèse says Acquisition Analytics. That’s what we try to focus on, using insights that go well beyond customers who are already clients and trying to do a bit more. That involves important aspects of segmentation. And segmentation usually means taking some demographics and trying to narrow it down. An audience based on what you think you’re going to find.
What we do is probabilistic modeling, which says, let’s find out some possibilities. What is their likelihood to take a certain action or feel a certain way? Lauren, as you said, surveying really is essential, and it helps figure out a larger perspective and how many people feel a certain way. But modeling goes one step further and finds out who are these people, what are the probabilities they’re going to take action or feel a certain way? This used to be mostly a hundred percent custom work. But now we’re starting to move into a new world where we can do this ahead of time, really for anybody at any time. That’s what I do. Figuring out how we take all these modeling and complex machine learning tasks and make them actionable audiences. There are other Causeway Solutions team members who can talk about machine learning and algorithms much better than I can, but once we turn the data into audience, that’s where I get to kick in.
Thérèse: I think that’s great in terms of making it relatable because when people talk about modeling, it’s sometimes confusing. But what we’re really talking about is audiences. And they’re actual people our customers can interact with directly.
Tim: Yeah, exactly. Because the data collection and the surveying and the model constructions are truly essential pieces of what we do. But once data gets turned into audiences, our clients are able to identify exactly who it is they should reach out to. An audience is something that can be defined. It’s not just about the number of people in this group, but starting to figure out what’s their makeup, what are their demographics, what’s their geography, what are their consumer traits? We can build an audience model rather even using multiple models stacked on top of each other to get things into a different space for our clients.
Thérèse: So they can be adjusted and refined over time as things change. Correct?
Tim: Yeah, absolutely. Some of our models we’re going to redo multiple times, usually on an annual basis. As people’s opinions or thoughts change, we want to make sure we stay on top of that as well. So that’s one ways to refine them by redoing and recapturing the data piece. The other way we refine them is by adding extra layers or extra pieces to that filtering. An audience, because they’re individuals, we can say, we just want to see a certain geography or maybe a certain gender or income level. We can also overlap multiple models to get down to a narrower segmentation and a narrower group to reach out to.
Lauren: Yeah, it’s not only about getting more specific targets, but it’s also being able to work with what the client wants or what the client needs. It’s about being affordable and adjustable to them. You can target the whole world, but obviously can’t afford to target the whole world. But you can target this little region or this state or this county, and it might end up being better for you, not just for your wallet, but also for your targeting in general.
Tim: Lauren, I saw a billboard the other day that said billboards reach everyone. And I decided in our head we’re the exact opposite because you don’t want to reach everyone. Our job is to figure out how to reach a smaller, narrower group.
Thérèse: You know what I always like is a good example. So let’s segue over to some of the ways that we’ve used models and audiences here at Causeway.
Tim: I’m going to start off with the healthcare world. One of the most exciting is figuring out the driver of healthcare choice in this new world of healthcare. Healthcare patients are consumers first or consumers as well. What drives them to choose between multiple providers. It’s easy to say insurance made them go here because they were going to save some money with their copay. But the reality is if everything else is equal, people do have a choice about where they go.
So our drivers of healthcare choice came down to three different things. One group was based on convenience. How close is an office to their home, how easy it is to schedule an appointment? Do they provide things like telehealth that are truly focused on convenience? The second audience focused on quality providers that have significant experience. Providers or physicians that have won awards, have accolades, hospital systems that have advanced technologies. That’s a quality first approach. And then lastly would be compassion or connection, and this is your classic bedside manner. There’s a group that prefers seeing the same provider, knowing the staff, having the staff know them. Based on those three things, although everybody has a little mix of everything, we were able to generate audiences using those modeled results.
Lauren: I think that’s pretty cool because normally things would be based on demographics. But with healthcare demographics, people get a little bit scared of data privacy issues. People don’t like their healthcare information being out there and with this way of targeting using motivations. Instead of healthcare information of who’s more likely to need this procedure, it’s more personable and less intrusive. So it’s nice to target on that because you get people who are more likely going to register with the message, but also going to likely register with the fact that you’re targeting on what they want rather than these personable or personal characteristics.
Tim: Absolutely. I think that’s really essential when it comes to healthcare. That’s one of the reasons why so many healthcare marketing teams have stayed away from anything that felt personalized. First, it’s important to note everything we’re doing is completely HIPAA compliant, and we use no healthcare information. We’re using our own data collection to get down to what people are interested in. But as you said, people really do expect a personalized message. Multiple studies have proven that out, but now when we connect on what they’re seeking from their care as opposed to certain diagnosis, it feels much safer. One of the groups that came out the most was the group that sought compassion. Maybe this is a surprise, maybe it’s not. But when you think about how healthcare has changed in the last 20 or 30 years, it's really gotten away from that.
That connection with your patient has become secondary to having fancier technology or frankly seeing more patients. So 20% of adults felt like compassion was what they wanted. They wanted a connection with their provider. This group of all of the groups was most likely to be older and retired, and therefore were higher frequency users as well. They wanted to be there often, but they wanted to see the same person each time. The second largest group really focused on quality, and interestingly, this was the youngest group. They were younger, but also with a higher income level. These were the groups that sought other scientific interests. They were most likely to buy high-end appliances, two and a half times more likely than anyone else to spend big money when it came to new refrigerators.
Thérèse: New refrigerators. You’re right, Tim, at first, this may seem like an odd inclusion, but this really resonates in terms of the idea that somebody could actually sit down and talk to you rather than just trying to get you out of their office in less than 30 seconds. If they’re more likely to be motivated by quality and medical care, why wouldn’t it translate to other purchases as well, like refrigerators.
Tim: Yeah, if you want a high-end refrigerator, you also expect quality from your doctor. I think that would make sense.
And I think it’s important to note too that it is when we’re moving away from demographics, some of the things these people care about do cross over boundaries between purchase habits or feelings and beliefs. Unfortunately, it also translates to the last group, which is “convenience”. This is a group that really doesn’t seem to have much of a choice. Unfortunately, while the oldest group can seek compassion and connection, the younger group can seek quality. The convenience group were dominated by parents and older students that didn’t have much of a choice. Time is of the essence for this group, and it also included many people that were multi-generational households, people taking care of both their children and their parents. They don’t have the time or the luxury of choosing quality or compassion. It really is convenience that has to be their first thought when it comes to healthcare.
Lauren: And it’s interesting that you’re saying it’s “convenience”, and this makes sense for the category you listed, but convenience isn’t necessarily stuck with just income. It’s time or income or even some other thing. It’s just working with your schedule for these parents, adults, multi-gen household. It’s just about finding that thing that they have in common, which is convenience.
Tim: Exactly. I mean, both my wife and I work in healthcare, and I would say we would love to say we were compassionate and quality as our primary drivers, but I’ll tell you with three younger kids, convenience is what I would probably check the box. Who’s got after hours, who can I schedule online? Those are the things that right now would dominate my choice of a healthcare provider. While I can keep going back and forth with healthcare stuff all day, and I’ve made many, many conversations go that direction, I think maybe we can switch over if you want to hear about some other models, we’ve had lately that are focusing on one of the most commercial brands there are of the automobile world and vehicle purchases.
Thérèse: I love vehicle purchases. They’re always so connected to personality
Tim: Or at least how everyone wants you to believe
Tim: For this group, it's not so much about simply trying to pick the car or the truck that really fits who you are. We spent a lot more time focusing on why people buy a vehicle or what they expect from that experience. Historically, it was focused more on the local dealership that wants to tell you why you're going to get the best deal when you come into their lot. They're going to be there, they'll have everything you need, and it's sell, sell, sell. On the flip side, you had manufacturers that wanted to make the vehicle the ideal choice for you and tell you all the rock-climbing tours, you're going to go on with it or you're going to drive the Autobahn, things that make you really desire the car. But very few times do you see anything talking about, well, why does a consumer actually want to purchase any vehicle? And so that's where we started looking at that idea of coming out of Covid where there was a vehicle shortage and supply chain issues. It really has changed the dynamics of what's expected from a vehicle purchase.
Lauren: And again, looking at motivations instead of demographics, which is probably smart because pretty much every adult drives or has bought a car. So, motivations are a more interesting way to break it down. But this time we're looking at motivations on not just one factor of why they want to buy a vehicle, but two this time. Right?
Tim: Yeah. We asked: Why do you purchase a vehicle at all? Is a vehicle an extravagance that you want to be shiny and special? Or is the vehicle need, a necessary transaction, getting you from point A to point B? On the flip side, when we're talking about vehicle sales, what's their process? Does somebody want to buy what's on the lot right here, right now as an immediate transaction because they just want to hit the road and go? Or are they willing to wait? In the new age of vehicle purchases, there's much more ability to make customized options. There's an ability to order online, but you're going to wait a bit, so it's not an immediate transaction, and that changes the game.
So, when we put those two together of want versus need and on the lot versus willing to wait, now we can come up with four really unique buying profiles. One is the Conscious Consumer. This is the group that a vehicle is a bit of a need. They're willing to wait because they know exactly what they want. I think this is actually a group I'd probably put myself in. I just had to wait an incredibly long time for a vehicle, so much so that we gave up and decided to just stay with what we had. So the opposite is an Impulse Buyer. This is somebody who buys a vehicle as a want. A vehicle is a bit of an extravagance. They want the bells and whistles, but they're going to buy what's right there at the moment. They're willing to change maybe a color, other factors to leave with the car they want because it's an impulse buy for them, which sounds crazy when you're talking about $60,000.
Thérèse: I am an impulse buyer, but I'm not sure I could settle on a color I don't like. But yeah, I talk to the people who do all the research and then I go and buy the car once I've decided that I can deal with the process of buying it.
Tim: The largest group we found was actually what we call the Need It Now group, and this was about 28% of the country and need it now is the purchase is based on need and they want what's on the lot. So, this is, they want that immediate transaction. They may have driven in with a car that was barely holding itself together, and they're going to drive out with something that finally works for 'em again. But interestingly, this group is more likely to be female, more likely to have a lower income and lower education, and more likely to be of the older group. So 50 to 69 years old, maybe they've gotten past the point where the car has to be shiny and they just want something that's going to get them around.
Lauren: And with those demographic breakdowns, it'd be interesting to see, and this is also normally what we do behind the scenes is the demographics on the other need profile, which is the conscious consumer and see if there's this crossover, if they're similar. It's interesting enough that even though these two groups may look the same or have the same background, they're still an extra motivational difference. That's important to note when you're trying to either market to these people or sell these people, the Conscious Consumer, even though they need the vehicle, is going to resonate with a different message than the Need it Now group, even if they look the same.
Tim: Exactly. Both of them are not going to be turned on by the extravagances of the car, but they want the functionality. But you're right, the Conscious Consumer versus the need now both have two different willingness of how long they'll hang out there to get what they want. So yeah, it is interesting when we cross over those groups.
Thérèse: It's so important to understand - what are the features, what are the pieces of the car buying process that they really care about, so you're not wasting their time and you're really honing in on what's most important to them.
Tim: Yeah, exactly. And that goes even further when we talk about the fourth group, which we titled Just For Me. For this group, the car isn't extravagant, but they're willing to wait. So, Therese, unlike you, the Impulse Buyer who wants something shiny but wants to make sure she drives home with it today, this is a group that's willing to wait for their exact specifications compared to the other groups. This was the youngest group, much more likely to be a well-educated millennial with a pretty good income of a hundred thousand dollars plus. This is a millennial that we're pretty likely that this vehicle is the first major purchase they're going to make independently, and therefore they want it to be just special, just right, and exactly to their specifications. But although they're willing to wait, you have to keep them engaged because this is a purchase out of excitement. It's a little different than that Impulse Buyer who just wants to go home right now.
Thérèse: They probably want to talk about it a lot.
Tim: And probably share it in social media, and these are the things we'll do. We can cross-reference with all the other things they do.
Lauren: Yeah, because normally this would be my group, demographically. But I would be in your fifth category of 0.01% of people out there who have inherited their car.
Tim: Lauren, you could be your own special group, but maybe you're trying to nudge family members to fall into another category so you can get the car they want. That's a whole different approach.
Thérèse: You just have to wait 10 years. Well, what other kinds of audiences are we looking into? What are our next priorities?
Tim: Two groups that are in the works are based on social media use and streaming platform use. If you are on the platform, Facebook and Netflix teams, etc., have more than enough information on their users, but they tend to keep most of that close to the vest and don't share it. At Causeway, we're working on some ways to look at that, not only who subscribes to certain services, but who's a high frequency versus lower frequency user so that we can help cross-reference that with other different audiences. Another Audience is video games and eSports. This is a growing market that there's not a lot known about. We're looking to see what they do offline when they're not playing the game or watching the game, because there's really not a lot known about the overall consumerism for this group.
Lauren: And a portion of them are from Causeway Solutions. I think that much we know.
Tim: Yes, as I've talked through that audience internally with the team, there’ve been many, many hands put up to volunteer to work that project for us and put all their time into research as necessary.
Thérèse: Thank you, Lauren and Tim. And thank you to all of our listeners for joining us. Please subscribe to the podcast and tune in again for our next episode.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Connect with Causeway and we want to remind you that if you have questions you'd like to suggest for our monthly survey, please reach out to us at [email protected]. And please subscribe to the podcast and tune in again for our next episode. Thanks everybody!
To learn more, visit Causeway Solutions to get started!