What Customer Data Should I Focus On for Marketing?

Collecting customer data is essential for marketing, but what types of customer data should you pay attention to and where do you get it? Let’s find out.

Customer Data

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Customer data comprises a wide range of information regarding businesses and their customers.

In essence, it’s a collection of vital information that could help you determine your customers’ goals and understand them better. It also reveals how your business affects them and vice versa.  

Examples of customer data you can collect are names and designations, their email addresses, sales transactions, online reviews, delivery tickets records, and more. You can even categorize them based on the various devices they use, as it can help with cross-device marketing. 

Types of Customer Data

To give a sense of structure, you can classify data according to type. 

1. Basic data

When you say basic data, you refer to standard information about a customer. For example, you can have a person’s name and address. The data could be the customer’s phone number, email address, and job title. It could also be more detailed and include demographic data, such as income and gender. Sorting them will help you see how many of your customers have similarities.

The primary consumer data is essential. The different categories provide the information to identify a person; therefore, it needs protection. Most companies store customer data in the cloud or their physical servers. Furthermore, many regulations now exist to protect valuable personal information.

One is SOC 2 compliance that the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) developed. It requires companies to establish alerts to unauthorized access to stored customer information. Installing a system for SOC 2 automation can immediately notify a company when an activity results in the following unauthorized practices:

  • Modification or exposure of configurations, controls, or data
  • File transfers
  • Access to device or system logins, accounts, and privileged file systems

2. Interaction data

Interaction data are sometimes called engagement data. It may include email inquiries, a request to see a demo, and sometimes it involves some customers sharing information about your business on social media platforms. For instance, you can gather information regarding the number of people who viewed your website pages or posts on social media. You can also get consumer data when they download e-books from your site. Online marketers use different web analytics platforms to analyze this type of data, and the various interactions can give you insights into your marketing campaign’s effectiveness and ROI. In addition, interaction data helps in monitoring consumer location. 

3. Behavioral data

This type of data refers to the customers’ experience with your service or product. It gives you insights into consumer preferences. For a tech company, it could be from a sign-up for a free trial, user account logins, or the use of a feature. For a manufacturing company, the data can come from purchase orders. A service company will have information from their detailed invoices.

4. Attitudinal data

Attitudinal data helps you understand what the customers think regarding your company and the product or service you offer. You get attitudinal data from satisfaction surveys, comments, and online reviews.

You will need a data management plan to make the different data types useful to your business. Aside from that, you should assign data levels, as it will allow you to determine which information is critical to your operations and which ones can be used for future reference. 

Using Customer Data to Form a Marketing Strategy

Data-driven marketing strategies often require a different mindset compared to what many business owners and marketers have been used to.

Marketers that are driven by data tend to have a stronger focus on understanding the needs and requirements of customers, and are innovative when it comes to selecting and getting the most from the best data management tools at their disposal.

For a data-driven marketing strategy to work well, a data-driven mindset is required. Effective data-driven strategies make use of technology, customer data, and data analysis to find new leads, maintain customer databases, and attract new customers to drive revenue.

Beginning the Marketing Strategy

Many mistakenly believe that the marketing process will only begin after the product or service has been developed. However, this is rarely the case when the marketing strategy is data-driven. The preliminary process of marketing the product should begin long before it is developed by identifying the gap in the market that needs to be filled. These needs are usually identified by gathering data from customer surveys, social media discussions, or paid research, for example. Smartboost provides creative, data-driven marketing services to deliver creative solutions that are designed to solve real problems.

Define Objectives and Goals

Although businesses tend to use a similar set of tools and strategies for gathering, storing and analyzing consumer data, it’s important to consider how your goals, objectives and targets might differ. Spend some time determining your goals and objectives and be clear on what they are all about whether that is driving more sales and leads, launching a new product or service, or improving brand awareness, for example. A solid understanding of your company’s goals and objectives will make it easier for you to put any data that you collect to better use and get the outcome that you want.

Prioritize the Customer Experience

One major advantage of a data-driven marketing strategy is that the customer experience becomes a top priority. Tracking data makes it easier for businesses to determine whether or not customers are satisfied with the experience overall, rather than simply looking at the market share. As you continue to make customers a top priority, everything else will fall into place easier in terms of any other business goals that you have. You can use data to instantly determine which customers are loyal and returning more than others, so that they can be rewarded for it.

Make Necessary Changes

It is impossible to achieve a successful data-driven marketing strategy if you are approaching it with an old-fashioned marketing mindset and outlook. It may be necessary to make some significant changes to your business processes in order to make sure that data is used as effectively as possible when driving your business’s marketing success. How you interact with your customers and the methods that you use to market your product or service may need to be adjusted so that you can collect and utilize data as efficiently as possible.

Learning from the Competition

When utilizing a data-driven marketing approach, keeping track of what your competitors are doing is important. Knowing what your competitors do to get the results that they are getting is not a strategy that allows you to copy them, but rather a way to make sure that you are on top of industry best practices and have a clear idea of which strategies are working well for similar companies in your field rather than conducting trial and error. Gathering and analyzing the data on your main competitors will give you the chance to learn more about the strategies that they use and the kind of results that they see. In the future, you can keep this in mind when developing your own marketing strategies.

Choosing the Right Tools for Gathering Data

The tools that you use to gather the data can make all the difference to how well your marketing strategy plays out. For many businesses, the best tool to consider is a customer relationship management (CRM) system which is designed to keep up with the often-complex business operations of today. A good CRM system will allow your business to track customer movements right from the moment they place an order all the way through to them making a payment or receiving their order. A CRM allows you to get a better idea of your customers and how they behave, collecting important data that can be used for any future marketing campaign.

Choosing Tools for Managing Data

Along with gathering the data, you will also need to consider how you are going to store and manage it. Companies will often gather huge amounts of data on their customers, so it’s important to select a tool that allows you to easily make sense of it and put it to use. Data will often not make a lot of sense unless it is sorted and stored in various classifications and categories. A good database management platform is necessary for any business that plans to use a data-driven marketing strategy. It will be able to manage data from different sources, identify the different sources and provide more direction to marketers.

When to Adopt Data-Driven Marketing

Today, data is becoming increasingly more important for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Gathering data has become something that all businesses do, even if they are not using the data to shape their future marketing plans. In a world that is becoming increasingly reliant on big data, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to stay ahead of the curve and avoid getting left behind. It has been proven that using data in a marketing strategy and all other areas of the business tends to lead to better decisions and results. Data-driven marketing strategies are something that every business can adopt straight away to start seeing various advantages, including better customer relationships and increased revenue.

In Parting

Customer Data is the key to making actionable marketing decisions in order to improve sales, customer retention and ROI. Putting the data that you gather to use when marketing to your customers can provide you with the knowledge that you need to make more informed decisions and get better results.