Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

Automatic Personas Labelings in Online Marketing

Shadi Saleh, PhD
May 28, 2020 · 5 min read

In this article, we showed how we employed millions of web pages to better understand personas, and let data decide what defines each one, and what keywords we should use when we want to include/exclude this persona from our ads campaign. I hope you found it useful and interesting, do not hesitate to tell us your opinion in the comments.

How can Personas be used in digital marketing?

A useful personas labeling can be used mainly in two contexts, as follows:

The e-Marketing campaigns are one of the essential tools for business owners to tell customers about their stories, added-values and the products they provide. However, there are thousands, maybe millions of businesses today conducting such campaigns every day; thus, the competition on obtaining a placeholder for your ad is rising significantly and becoming more expensive every single day.

Conducting an online marketing campaign without precisely targeting interested customers can be massively expensive. To remedy this, advertisers aim at describing their personas using a set of specific keywords.

This procedure is not sufficient for the following reasons:

  1. A massive set of keywords can target a very narrow audience which leads to a limited impression of the ad performance.
  2. A small set of keywords might describe a very general audience, leading to very low CTR (Click-Through Rate)
  3. Sometimes, even domain-experts can not be aware of all the related keywords, because of some hidden correlation between interests. This correlation changes every day, because of new trends in the culture, lifestyle, news, etc. The good news is that this correlation always appears in the online web data.

Sometimes it is essential for the advertisers to avoid displaying their ads in some content that can hurt their brand, to define this unwanted content, our tool can be used to obtain a rich set of unwanted keywords and inject them into their e-marketing agent.

Our Method

Our method for personas labeling is 100% automated, it does not need any human expertise, and it can be easily adapted to any new market in the world.

We use a considerable corpus that is developed at DataSentics; this corpus contains millions of web articles crawled from a very diverse and huge set of websites in the Czech market, we keep this corpus updated to guarantee a perfect coverage and to catch new trends.

We extract from each page, its title, keywords, and the main body text, we apply statistical methods to remove noise from the main content such as header, footer, navigation menu etc.

Then, we apply information extraction methods on each base to extract its keywords. This is done by first attempting to extract the keywords from the meta-data if they exist; if not, we use another tool developed by DataSentics that automatically extracts keywords from long plain text. These keywords are enriched by word2vec model trained by us on the Czech corpus.

At the end of this process, we have a set of keywords for each URL.

Tokenization is done based on common separators that content creators use such as comma or dash or underscore. So if the input is “operating system, os”, then the tokens are [‘operating system’, ‘os’].

After tokenizing the keywords and calculating their counts in the corpus, the most 15 frequent keywords are shown in the following pie plot:

We can see from the plot that the coverage is diverse. The corpus covers pages in movies, news, sport, housing, cooking recipes, gardening, product reviews, accessories, transport and videos.

These keywords can be personas (main interest but general ones). However, we are not only interested in these keywords, but interested in what keywords appear together with them.

For example, if we think about the keyword (bydlení, or housing in English), we can imagine other keywords such as accommodation, rental, hotels, apartment etc. And we want our model to help us capture these keywords.

Our goal is to define each interest and link it with a set of keywords based on their co-occurrences together in the dataset.

First, we find the most frequent words in the corpus by calculating their unigram model, which is the ratio between their count in the entire corpus to the total number of words.

We then calculate the conditional probabilities to build the bigram model:

After calculating these two models, we take the top 1000 keywords according to their score from the unigram model, and then we find the most frequent words that appear together with each one.

The minor difference between these two formulas in language modelling (NLP) and in our case, is that in our case they appear together as keywords in the same page, but in language modelling, they appear next to each other (word1 followed by word2), which is not necessary in our case.

This group shows a correlation between people who visit websites and articles that contain house prices and building reconstruction, saving for housing, broker consulting, etc..

ceny bytů = ['bydlení v praze','nájemní bydlení','ceny bytů v praze','airbnb','bydlení v česku','družstevní byty','pražská koalice','privatizace bytů','pronájem bytu','náklady na bydlení','raiffesen stavební spořitelna','stavební spořitelna české spořitelny','broker consulting']

Another interesting example shows how the algorithm was able to link lots of keywords (around 300 ones) to the main interest (bank) such as loans, ATM, current and saving accounts, Apple pay, Google pay and almost all the famous bank names in the Czech republic.

banky =['bankovnictví','hypotéky','česká národní banka','česká spořitelna','komerční banka',......,'google pay', 'apple pay']

In this article, we showed how we employed millions of web pages to better understand personas, let data decide what defines each one, and what keywords we should use when we want to include/exclude a persona from our ads campaign. I hope you found it useful and interesting, do not hesitate to tell us your opinion in the comments.

DataSentics

An agile machine learning and cloud data engineering boutique

DataSentics

Make data science and machine learning have a real impact on organizations across the world — demystify the hype and black magic surrounding AI/ML and bring to life transparent production-level data science solutions and products delivering tangible impact and innovation.

Shadi Saleh, PhD

Written by

Senior Data Scientist at Datasentics, PhD holder in Cross-lingual Information retrieval in the Medical domain from UFAL-Charles University. I blog to chill.

DataSentics

Make data science and machine learning have a real impact on organizations across the world — demystify the hype and black magic surrounding AI/ML and bring to life transparent production-level data science solutions and products delivering tangible impact and innovation.

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