Your quality of engagement with customers hinges on how useful your customer data is. With deep insight into customer behaviors and thinking processes, you can make an impact on your core consumer base. However, getting this customer data isn't as easy as it initially seems. The accuracy of data depends on how the business intends to collect it. The methodology shouldn't be invasive and should encourage the consumer to trust the company with their data. That trust is built on a rapport that the brand needs to establish with its customers over time.
With better customer data, the insights that you generate to connect with your consumers would be more substantial. You'll find that your marketing efforts have more direction and engagement with the audience. However, the success of these efforts still depends heavily on the quality of data used to obtain those insights. The principle of "Garbage In, Garbage Out" is as true for data analysis as it is for any other technical field.
The entrepreneurs from Ad Age Collective are well-versed in how good customer data can impact their business's efforts in marketing, so we asked them their secrets when it comes to wrangling higher quality data from their consumers.
1. Start with the source.
More accurate customer data needs to start with the source. Assign the individual or the demographic cluster a unique customer ID. You can then input various strategies across different platforms, changing the creative, media and messaging, but targeting the same customer or demographic to see which elements of the campaign strategy are more effective and deliver the highest ROI. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
2. Go after the ‘why,’ not just the ‘what.’
Tons of data is available on what customers do, both at your brand and away. That data does not tell us why they do it. Accurate data comes from identifying insights into the core of a customer and unlocking the drivers of behavior. That insight makes it easy to connect with customers and make action inevitable. - Arjun Sen, ZenMango
3. Seek noninvasive, regular feedback.
The key to gaining new customers is understanding your existing ones. Tools like Retently allow regular customer data to be gathered without overburdening clients. Doing this will allow you to pick up on trends -- similar pain points that caused clients to choose your business or best aspects of working with your business, all of which can be used for more targeted campaigns to attract new leads. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
4. Set up loyalty programs.
They are not new, but they have the strong benefit of being "opt-in" in a privacy-sensitive world. They also offer an explicit exchange of value, i.e. your company provides loyalty currency in exchange for certain actions or information from your customers. Sometimes, tried and true is just that. If you are seeking passive data collection, talk to companies that aggregate mobile data. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)
5. Connect data with other digital and offline points.
Brands rely on first-party data to understand customers, but it only tells half the story. It’s important for brands to connect data with other digital and offline data points. If brands can take the data available to them and connect it using innovative technology, such as AI and ML, they can achieve the elusive single customer view. That leads to more relevant messages and effective campaigns. - Kevin Dean, Experian
6. Say goodbye to siloed point solutions.
Today, the challenge is that each function of the revenue team has its own suite of applications. With disparate data, integration gaps and lack of tight coordination, you can kiss your dreams of accurate insights goodbye. To uncover, orchestrate and utilize valuable buyer data, the entire revenue team needs to utilize one cohesive account-based platform with AI and big data built into the core. - Latane Conant, 6sense
7. Be careful how you define your competitive arena.
Marketers tend to envision zero-sum games within product categories, and design research to report within that arena; meanwhile, customers may be shifting behavior to buy outside your defined arena. Design research that lets you discover if your true competition is entirely off your radar. Who gets a bigger slice of the pie doesn't mean much if your customers have switched to cake. - Scott Montgomery, Bradley and Montgomery (BaM)