Business owners, growth marketers, sales teams, etc., now make decisions based on data. The trend is expected as data is everywhere, with numerous tools to collect them.
On the flip side, there are also several entities to collect data on. For example, businesses can collect data on employees, partners, competition, etc.
However, the most critical data every business need is ‘Customer Data.’ You most likely have heard that your business’ growth heavily depends on data.
Unfortunately, customer data overload can set in because of the sheer number of collection points available.
Hence, the need for this article on how to effectively leverage customer data for business growth.
What is Data?
Data refers to the basic information, statistics, insights, and facts a business collects. Due to the vast concept of data, there are several types and purposes.
For instance, companies looking to understand their employees collect and interpret data relevant to such.
On the other hand, companies collect customer data to build better products.
Data, in its raw format, isn’t beneficial. But when analyzed and appropriately interpreted, it can set your business on a growth path.
The first step towards maximizing data is identifying the type your business needs.
Types of Data
Data grouping is done based on the essence of it. And since business permeates all areas of life, there can be data for everything.
Hence, the name you give a data set in your company depends on your need.
Once a particular data set contributes to growth, decision-making, product development, and strategy, it’s business data.
Below are some examples:
- Supply chain management information
- Warehouse and inventory
- Customer data
- Marketplace data
- Social media campaign data
- Market research data, etc.
For this article, the focus is on customer data. Hence, let’s consider how to gather quality customer data for your business.
How to Gather Customer Data
The various tools available make data collection easy. These tools can, however, either be paid or free.
In addition, these different tools inform different data collection processes. There’s a rule of thumb; always go for what’s best for your business.
That said, here are the data collection methods to consider:
Your business’ website is inherently a data collection tool. Whenever someone visits your site, their footprint features numerous data points.
With the right tools like Google Analytics, Google search console, or other paid customer journey analytics tools, you can better understand your customers and leads.
You can collect customer data by tracking transaction-related information. When your platforms are optimized for the function, you can collect data like purchases, payments, returns, adjacent purchases, etc.
You can also track the keywords such customers used before purchase. You should also track the website pages they visited before purchasing.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of your customer’s purchase journey helps you optimize better for the future.
Sending out surveys is a straightforward data collection process. However, you shouldn’t expect more than a 33% response rate to your business surveys.
Surveys are best positioned after-sales action. You can survey for customer satisfaction, either over phone, text, email, Google forms, etc.
Social Media platforms experience massive engagement and make data accessible to businesses (who can pay).
Your business pages can also house some limited insights for you. Interactions with your page can also breed manual data collection.
It’s, however, vital to note that not all social media pages will work for your business. Find the one that does, and double down.
Data marketplaces are a common trend now, especially if you run a B2B business. These marketplaces make concrete and updated data available to you at a price.
These platforms will provide you with comprehensive data, which you should curate, sort, and clean into a central database.
But beyond acquisition and storage, knowing how to effectively leverage customer data is vital.
How to Leverage Customer Data
As a marketer or business owner, here are four ways to effectively leverage customer data.
Creating a Central Customer Profile
To maximize data company-wide, it’s best to have a central database. Also, the customer profile should be unified. This ensures consistency in decision-making and other aspects of the business.
You get better results when your different teams know the exact audience, what they need, and what makes them buy.
Have a Focus
The primary purpose of data collection and analysis is to identify your business’s focus. You can’t serve everyone as a business.
Focus time and effort on the customer segment with the highest purchase potential.
When you know your target audience, you create quality information, product, marketing, messages, etc., targeting them.
At the start of data collection, you can’t know what will work. So you need to track as many channels as possible.
Sometimes, you may expect social media to work for your business, but email marketing turns out to be the most effective.
You only figure this out when you have a more robust oversight over your audience by tracking all channels.
Everyone wants to feel seen. Customers don’t want to be another one in the number.
So make the customer journey as personal as possible. Also, ensure that your brand is humane.
Customer data makes it easier for marketers to track, understand and communicate better with consumers.
Having a better understanding of the customer positions the business for increased revenue. You must ensure clarity, tracking, and prompt actions to maximize data.