The Art of Gathering Data, Incrementally and Responsibly, for an Enjoyable Customer Journey Experience
In today's data-driven world, businesses rely heavily on customer data to gain insights and make informed decisions. However, collecting customer data should not be a one-time event, it must be an ongoing process that evolves with the customer journey. Whether a company is managing the data directly or utilizing a data platform, by gathering data incrementally as the customer relationship builds, businesses can not only gain valuable insights but also foster customer loyalty. In this blog, we will explore effective strategies to gather data throughout the customer journey, ethically and responsibly, and create an enjoyable customer experience which leads to customer loyalty and long-term relationships.
Note: April will be leading a discussion on this blog post during the OI-members-only Live Zoom on Thursday, August 10, 2023. OI members -- see you there!
Start with the Basics
At the initial stages of the customer's journey, the focus should be on gathering basic information such as name, contact details (including email address), and basic preferences. This data provides a foundation for personalized communication and segmentation.
It’s important to get the data needed to run a buttoned-up marketing campaign but not at the cost of making it painful for the customer to provide data at every turn. If data is being shared company wide, and only a question or two is being asked per channel, then it won’t feel so daunting or intrusive to the end customer.
Then there is the question of when to gather the data. Meaning when in the customer journey, and when in each channel, should the data be gathered? If your customer data is being shared across channels and each channel has specific data to gather, the customer’s complete profile can be built and used for many departments to meet goals.
But what is a marketer to do if there is a lot of old customer data and/or holes in your data that can’t be gathered given your current process? With email addresses being a key identifier of a customer’s digital identity, there is a lot of information that can be gleaned without additional information requests, if you have original opt ins from your customer.
For example, adding just one field to a customer record can have a significant impact on ROI. By including a field that captures customer preferences or interests, companies can gain valuable insights into their target market, enabling a company to tailor their products or services more effectively. This information can be used to segment customer data and create personalized marketing campaigns, resulting in higher customer engagement and conversion rates. Furthermore, having additional demographic or behavioral fields on any customer record enables businesses to track customer behavior and analyze patterns leading to data-driven decisions that drive revenue growth.
AtData worked with Springbot to do just that. In adding just one field, age, to Springbot’s clients’ customer records they were able to create appropriate messaging which increased their ROI dramatically.
This is just one of the many fields that can be added to customer records to assist with making the customer experience/journey become more targeted and personalized. Here are some examples:
Marital Status combined with Age
Differentiate messaging, images, and approaches based on marital status per age group
Target income groups that are known ideal customers for your specific product or service
Target messaging differentiating homeowner vs renter
Target messaging that would appeal to each life stage
Utilizing Data Platforms to Manage Customer Data
Many businesses are increasingly relying on data platforms to handle and manage customer data effectively. These platforms play a crucial role in storing, organizing, and analyzing vast amounts of information, enabling companies to make data-driven decisions and provide personalized experiences to their customers. A well-designed data platform ensures the security and privacy of customer data by implementing robust encryption and access control measures. It also enables seamless integration with various data sources, allowing businesses to gather data from multiple touchpoints, such as websites, mobile apps, social media, and customer relationship management systems. Again, as long as the customer has opted in and agreed to this data use.
These platforms also often employ advanced analytics capabilities, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover valuable insights from customer data, empowering businesses to enhance their marketing strategies, improve customer service, and optimize product development. Another key benefit is that they offer scalable infrastructure, enabling businesses to handle rapidly growing data volumes efficiently. With the right data platform in place, companies can unlock the full potential of their customer data and gain a competitive edge in the market. AtData provides data to many of the top data platforms to do just that.
For example, an AtData Data Platform Partner utilizes their client company’s customer purchase database, (which includes site behavior, purchases made and location) to append age, gender, marital status, presence of children, homeowner states and income fields to each customer record utilizing AtData’s database. Within the Data Platform, their clients can then utilize their own customer data to develop strategies, develop targeted campaigns, and provide departments with the data they need to foster a positive customer relationship.
Whether you manage your customer data or utilize a data platform, the collection and activation of customer data has become an integral aspect of modern business practices. The ability to gather and analyze data allows companies to better understand their customers, their preferences, and their behaviors. By leveraging this information, businesses can tailor their products, services, and marketing efforts to meet the specific needs of their customers, thereby fostering loyalty and long-term relationships. However, it is essential for companies to handle customer data ethically and responsibly, ensuring the privacy and security of this sensitive information. By doing so, businesses can not only gain the trust and loyalty of their customers but also demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding their personal information. Ultimately, the effective use of customer data can drive customer loyalty, boost customer satisfaction, and contribute to the overall success of a business in today's data-driven world.