How to Use Customer Data for Business Impact

By Stephanie Ross, Interactive Business Strategist

Published: February 13, 2019

Stop guessing what your customers want. By leveraging data, you can know.

Data is one of the most powerful elements of a marketer’s toolbox. It can help you ensure your content resonates with your audience and maximizes the use of your marketing dollars. Are you using it to your advantage?

Help Yourself, Help Your Customers

If you’re not using customer data appropriately, then you’re likely marketing based on what you believe the consumer wants, which may or may not be correct. It’s perfectly acceptable (and even encouraged) to make some assumptions about your customer. However, these assumptions should always be tested and compared to data to determine if they are accurate (using a process like ‘Gut, Data, Gut’). Ignoring data altogether isn’t a smart move and can be detrimental to your marketing efforts. It can lead to ineffective messaging or wasting money on platforms where your audience simply isn’t present. Leveraging customer data makes your marketing budget and initiatives significantly more effective because your efforts are better targeted. You’re much more apt to reach the right people, in the right place at the right time when you have these valuable insights.

Believe it or not, consumers actually prefer to be marketed to with personalized messaging. You can only accomplish this by analyzing and understanding their data. In doing so, not only will you improve your return on investment (ROI), but you will also have happier customers whose needs are better met.

Picture this; you’re a company that specializes in easy meal options. Now, think of a busy mom — she’s short on time and values convenient options when planning meals, such as going online for recipes. This mom is probably within your target audience, but you need data to understand and appropriately serve her the right content at the right time in the right place. If you don’t, you just missed out on an opportunity — an opportunity to help her, begin forming a relationship with her and ultimately convert her to a sale.

Digging into the Data

You might find yourself wanting to use customer data but are unsure of where to start. After all, in today’s world, customer data is everywhere.

You can find a great deal of insight by diving into your website’s analytics. Look into the sources of your website traffic and where most users are coming from. This will help you better understand where you can reach your customer so you can target them and bring them to your website. Once they get to your site, how long are they staying there? What content has the most traffic? What links are they clicking on?

You can also look at your social media channels. What types of content are seeing the most engagement? Are customers more apt to share certain content types? Even if they aren’t engaging with your brand directly, what are potential customers saying about your brand? This data can help you better understand what matters most to your customers. It can also unveil opportunities for improvement.

Maintain a Competitive Edge

The bottom line is, consumers have come to expect a more personalized and seamless brand experience. You will most certainly fall behind if you’re not using customer data because it’s very likely your competitors already are.

Using consumer data gives you the opportunity to gain a more holistic view of your customers, which allows you to then hone in on their unique interests, preferences, wants and needs. Once you become comfortable with collecting insights, humanize your data by developing buyer personas. Your competitors may already be using customer data, but taking this data to the next level using personas can help you get ahead because you will be able to truly stand in the shoes of your customer.

Need a hand sifting through your customer data? Fill out our contact form, and let’s chat!

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