Connecting with customers is vital — and if you are here, we bet this idea is already ingrained in your head.
But have you ever wondered how some sales teams manage to do this on such a deep level? It almost seems like they know leads’ and clients’ most personal feelings, desires, and challenges.
Well, guess what? In a way, those teams really do possess that kind of strategic information.
And it all comes down to customer data and how companies use it to succeed.
In this context, data-driven marketing is an incredibly powerful way to meet your target market in a manner that best suits their needs, lifestyle, and buying habits.
In fact, it is the easiest method to always understand what potential clients are looking for and when they want it.
So, let’s dig a little deeper?
Keep reading to learn about customer data analysis and how your sales team can use it to their advantage.
What Is Customer Data?
Simply put, customer data is the information you collect about your clients and leads.
It can be something as basic as their name and email address or as detailed as behavioral or transactional information.
A few basic examples to consider include:
- Full Name.
- Mailing Address.
- Email Address.
- Telephone Number.
- Date of Birth.
- Login Details.
- Driver’s License Number.
- Social Security Number.
- Credit Card Information.
- Marital Status.
- IP Address.
- Device IDs.
Besides that, engagement data, such as the number of times people visited your website or engaged with your customer service team, is worth tracking.
Marketing information like social media likes/shares, email marketing open rates, and other similar factors should also be part of your customer data strategy.
And then there is attitudinal data.
This type of information covers everything from the way a customer feels about a product to their general impression of your niche, industry, or brand.
Pretty important, right?
That is why you should take steps to compile all of this useful information for your sales and marketing teams.
Tracking customer data is important in that it drives how your business operates.
The more you know about the needs of your target market, the better you can work to optimize to that level in your sales and advertising campaigns.
Benefits Of Customer Data Analysis
When it comes to tracking and analyzing customer data, there are numerous benefits to keep in mind.
While the most obvious is that doing so gives your sales teams the ability to understand your overall target market in a more comprehensive fashion, there are other factors, too.
Your consumers become more satisfied
Knowing customer preferences and habits allows you to improve the overall user experience of your website and all aspects of your branding.
It can also aid you in product selection, inventory expansion, service offerings, and other different facets that directly impact your overall bottom line.
Your ability to adapt improves
Companies that take the additional steps to track and review customer data are able to pivot more successfully when trends change or industries have major influential factors that are outside your brand’s control.
Customer insights are about far more than just how to get in touch with people who have purchased from you in the past.
They’re a comprehensive method for getting consistent data regarding the health of your business, industry, and overall marketing efforts.
What Are The Different Types Of Customer Data?
When it comes to tracking customer data, it is important to pay attention to the various categories involved.
As we touched on above, this often includes many different aspects other than basic contact details.
In terms of customer data, general information is the basic stuff you would use to identify a particular client, shopper, or lead.
This is often broken down into two categories: personally identifiable information (PII) and non-personally identifiable information (Non-PII).
➜ PII encompasses elements that could come back to a specific individual’s identity. For example, their name, email address, mailing address, financial details, date of birth, and other highly specific data.
➜ Non-PII is things like IP addresses, cookies, or device IDs. While these factors do allow you to trace a general electronic footprint, they’re not as easily traced back to one single individual.
This information covers how an individual interacts with your particular brand or business.
Elements to consider within customer engagement data include:
- The number of times they’ve liked or shared a post on your social media channels.
- How many times they’ve visited your website.
- Any click-through details, email open rates, and other similar pieces of marketing information.
The difference between engagement and behavioral data is that the latter is far more detailed than the first.
Behavioral data includes elements such as subscription details, purchase history, website heatmaps, product usage, and other similar factors pertinent to your particular industry.
This is where you really get down to the nitty-gritty and learn how your customers are working with your brand, using your product, and what actions they’re taking along the way.
As the name suggests, this is how people feel about your company and product.
Or even what they think of your industry as a whole.
In contrast to behavioral data that centers around the actions people are taking, attitudinal data is all about their feelings and why they’re making the choices they are.
Using this type of customer data is a good way to see whether or not your marketing and positioning are working, plus the reasoning behind consumer actions.
How To Collect Customer Data?
Now that you know that your business needs this information to grow, it is time to learn the various ways to collect customer data.
Of course, don’t feel like you have to overthink this part too much!
In fact, you’re probably already doing a lot of these methods on your own without realizing the information you’re getting or how to truly use it to your advantage.
For example, the most common methods of customer information gathering are:
You already know what your customers are buying and how they’re doing it.
Customer service data
When people call, text, or email for additional service information.
Feedback and surveys
If you’re regularly sending out requests for testimonials, feedback, or even fillable surveys, then you’re already collecting this information.
Obtaining basic information and permission to get in touch with previous customers and potential leads.
These behind-the-scenes bits of data are handy for determining what customers are doing online and when they’re interacting with your website and/or brand.
Social media information
Keeping tabs on likes, followers, and paid advertising can be an excellent way to determine the needs of your customer base.
Google Analytics is still one of the best digital marketing tools out there to find out how your customers are interacting with your website.
Once you have an abundance of this type of information, it becomes crucial to validate it.
After all, you don’t want to be sending direct mail to someplace a person doesn’t really live or an email address that will just bounce back, right?
To do this, you can classify the information and compare it from various sources. Any areas where there are discrepancies might be determined as less than accurate and marked as such.
There are tons of guidelines and laws that clearly explain how companies are allowed to keep personal data from consumers, and it is highly important to always follow those regulations.
In this day and age where hacking and data leaks are unfortunately all too common, businesses cannot work hard enough to ensure the details they collect from their audiences are secure.
Having to explain why someone’s credit card information or personal details weren’t protected can be extremely bad for your business reputation, plus the financial ramifications of this type of incident are often great.
What Is A Customer Data Platform?
Having a ton of customer data is an excellent way to ensure your business stays on track and that you’re meeting the needs of your target market.
But compiling and analyzing it?
Well, that requires a robust software solution, and a customer data platform can help you with exactly that.
The only problem is the multitude of different options on the market for you to choose from.
After all, what are the best solutions out there?
This intuitive platform can help sales teams create quizzes and questionnaires to get feedback from leads, past customers, and future clients.
And when you have a customer data platform that not only creates content that your ideal buyer enjoys but tracks everything in one place, you’re able to more effectively use that information to fine-tune your campaigns.
How Can Marketing And Sales Use Customer Data?
By this point, you’re probably wondering how marketing and sales teams can use customer data to improve digital advertising campaigns.
While every niche has a way that works best, there are some basic methods that always seem to provide solid results.
Here are a few examples.
Define ideal customer personas for paid advertising
If you know the age, gender, location, or other specific data on customers who regularly engage with your brand, you can use this information to create very targeted marketing campaigns.
Create content that best resonates with your ideal audience
Using quizzes and other methods to find out various pain points is essential to connecting with your target market. From there, you can use this information to create content that best resonates with these groups.
Send multiple messages
Remember that customer data includes basic things like email addresses and postal addresses. By creating cohesive advertising campaigns that include digital messaging in conjunction with direct mail, sales teams can see more effective results.
Really understand your target customer
Sometimes, marketing teams think they’re on the right path to getting in touch with an ideal customer. The truth? They’re actually pretty far from the mark. Customer data can help educate sales staff on whether the message is being understood or if changes need to be made.
Understand feelings about your brand and the competition
If you’re using surveys to get in touch with your target market, you can tailor them to find out how your customers feel about your company and their thoughts on your competition.
Of course, this is just a small sample of the various ways your marketing and sales teams can use customer data to improve advertising results.
Basically, the more information you have about the group you’re selling to, the easier it becomes to tailor your message to show how your product or service fulfills all their needs.
Wrap Up: Using Customer Data Is Paramount To Your Brand
Especially as consumers become increasingly easy to reach via online platforms.
Marketing and sales teams must have a plan for collecting, storing, and using various points of customer data to increase the effectiveness of digital advertising campaigns.
Furthermore, the more information your company can obtain, the easier it becomes to use it to show how your solution is better than the competition.
While customer data comes in numerous forms, the basics of using it are absolutely the same: get the most important information and use it to make your marketing campaigns more streamlined and direct to those in your target customer group.
Ready to try a customer data platform?
Then check out this awesome article about using interactive content and tools like Ion to gather customer data!