In the now-classic 1986 Oliver Stone film “Wall Street” Michael Douglas’ infamous character Gordon Gecko shares a very important life lesson with a young Charlie Sheen when he tells him that “information is the most valuable commodity there is in life.” When you think about it, this is a valid and valuable maxim to follow in just about every avenue of business and life. Along with this “truism” is the fact that the information we have has to be USEFUL intel. Knowing something is wrong with your car is just information; know WHAT is wrong with your car and how to fix it is USEFUL information.
Earlier this week, we discussed the importance of empowering your marketing with a data-driven approach and gave you some real-world examples of how brands are using that data to inform and launch precision marketing efforts. These examples demonstrate the power that great data marketing can have on your overall ROI. But all successful data-driven endeavors start with ensuring you’re collecting the RIGHT information on your current and future customers. You need to ensure that your data is accurate, current, and most of all, insightful. Your data collection and deployment will mean little if you aren’t capturing the right information on your target audience.
With this in mind, here is a little background information on data collection, and some key data areas to focus on as you begin ramping up your precision marketing strategies.
Customer Data is Nothing New
The use of data to inform key performance indicators and customer engagement is by no means a new strategy. In fact, the popularization of data-driven marketing is commonly tied to the introduction of CRMs in the 1990s. These humble beginnings, however, were often used more as a mailing list and some basic client information rather than the data-driven powerhouse that today’s CDMPs can offer.
Thanks to advancements in technology and the diversification and widespread availability of data, marketers now rely on more than just the “name, title, and email address” basics of past CRMs to achieve success. Today’s focus has shifted from a standard CRM to CDMP (Customer Data Marketing Platform.)True CDMP’s capture data that give a holistic, three-dimensional view and understanding of your target audience, allowing you to fully know your customers and what they want before they even know they want it. Let’s look at the different types of data you need to execute a successful data-powered precision marketing effort.
Let’s start with the basics. Demographic data is the most used marketing data, and it includes data points related to the biographical, anatomical, and socioeconomic attributes of a particular population. These data points include characteristics like average household income, marital status, gender, religion, age, education level, and more.
This classification has long been used to make targeted marketing decisions because it provides a broad look into the defining characteristics of any given audience. Although demographic data isn’t the most sophisticated or detailed of datasets, it provides an excellent starting point for brands that are just beginning to understand their audience. Having bad demographic intel on your target market can be a disaster not just for the marketing department, but for many different stakeholders in your organization. Ensuring your demographic data is clean and up-to-date is ALWAYS the starting point for any data-driven strategy.
Behavioral data refers to the intel collected when a customer or prospect interacts with a business in some way. Common types of behavioral data include metrics related to website activity, advertisement interactions, content downloads, email clicks, and purchase history.
Behavioral data is often collected in several different systems or platforms – CRM, website analytics platforms, different campaign tracking interfaces, etc. This brings up a crucial area of data collection where many businesses reach a big bump in their data-driven road: if your behavioral data is scattered all over your organization, – with your CRM housed in marketing and your billing data housed in accounting and your social media and website metrics captured in IT, – you’re not getting a FULL picture of your audience, and therefore, your precision marketing efforts will fall short of the goal.
The key to leveraging this type of data is to compile it into a singular platform, like Group FiO’s, so you can truly derive the overarching behavioral patterns of your customers and prospects.
Technographic data is a relatively new addition to the marketing data landscape. Technographic data is made up of information regarding the essential tools and technologies a company uses to conduct business. This includes everything from payroll software to auto-dialers to marketing automation tools.
If you work in the world of B2B marketing, technographic data is especially valuable. The most useful applications of this data include targeting those who work with your competitors, or who those who use products that integrate with your product line. It can also be deployed to market to those who are using a different solution or product than yours but might be in the market for a change due to poor performance or scalability issues. It can also give you some important insight into their prospects and buyers.
A significant component of data-driven marketing is analyzing campaign results to optimize and tweak different initiatives. Because of this, it’s vital to have access to performance data and analytics surrounding individual campaigns.
Let’s look at a quick example. Say you work at a company selling compliance solutions to several different industries. After running an email drip campaign and analyzing your results, you realize that the initial numbers indicate this campaign performed worse than any other you’ve released this year. Your first inclination might be to assume the campaign was a complete bust, but if you’re using a CDMP resource to look at your campaign analytics, you can dig deeper. Once you dig into the numbers, you might realize the email performed exceptionally well with recipients from a single industry. Using this deeper data, you can start segmenting your email lists into sends based on industry, which ultimately generates much better results across the board.
Psychographic data provides a more qualitative look at an audience or persona than other types of marketing data. Personal values, character traits, interests, and attitudes are all considered psychographic data points. Psychographic data often provides context for a person or group of people who seem similar on paper, but witch access to the deep analytic dive available on a CDMP, might be vastly different.
Here’s an example: Two mothers, both 32 years old, live in the same neighborhood and have roughly the same household income. On paper, these two women may seem virtually identical. However, a deeper look shows they have different spending habits, political views, online and social media behaviors. This is a perfect example of how psychographic data can tell you more about these two people than basic demographic information.
Industry Benchmarking Data
Industry benchmarking is external data, and while most of your efforts will be based on internal data, this type of intel can provide businesses with the ability to compare their performance to other businesses operating in the same sector.
Although it’s important not to place too much stock in industry numbers, benchmarking data can be a good way to monitor progress – especially for new companies. This type of data relies on outside companies disclosing financial and strategic information, an because of this, it can be slightly more difficult to gain access for a business who is not utilizing a CDMP solution.
Intent data might be our final category, but when it comes to propelling true predictive analytic strategy, it is one of the most important. Intent data is essentially a combination of several different KPIs and is one of the greatest benefits of enlisting a CDMP solution, because it allows a business to create and utilize predictive analytic models to know what their customers will want in the future. Intent data considers a customers’ past and current behaviors and uses that information to determine services and products they will need in the near and even distant future. It is an incredibly valuable resource for marketing strategy and for your organization, as it can inform not just future marketing segmentation and overall efforts, but also supply chain modeling, release dates, and more.
Using these data categories will give you some useful, transactional knowledge of your customers and help you start capturing the information you need to build a data-driven marketing strategy that works. At Group FiO, we know that delving into data analytics and predictive modeling can seem overwhelming and complex, particularly when you’re first starting out. We are here to help! Contact us today to find out more and set up a demo!