Customer Data – Shaping Your Marketing Strategy
Traditionally, smaller businesses have been at a disadvantage in many ways compared to their larger and better-established competitors.
For example, a larger company may have a more substantial marketing budget as well as a long list of loyal customers. Because of this and other factors, a smaller and newer company may have struggled in the past because it could not generate as many leads through marketing efforts.
Its marketing efforts may have been less effective overall, and the company may have had fewer loyal customers to generate relatively stable or recurring revenue from.
Technology has dramatically improved the way small businesses reach out to consumers, and the use of this technology has therefore become essential in many markets. Through the collection, analysis and intelligent use of customer data, your own small business may be able to take its marketing efforts and results to new heights.
The Benefits of Collecting Customer Data
Previously, the primary methods that businesses used to collect data about customers may have been to conduct surveys or even to manually jot down notes. However, there are now many improved methods available to capture and analyze data about your customers. This data may include their demographic information, preferences, service requests and more.
With this information about your customers, you can better learn who your customers are and how they use your products and services. You may be able to make strategic decisions about how to improve your products and services going forward so that your offerings are more appealing or beneficial to your unique set of customers.
Through the collection and analysis of customer data, you can also potentially improve your marketing efforts. You must know demographics, motivations and more about your target audience so that you can communicate with them in effective ways.
Your analysis of customer data may tell you which marketing methods are most effective and how to craft a targeted message that produces results.
Smart Ways to Collect Customer Data
As important as it is for you to collect and use customer data, you may not know the most effective ways gather data about your customers.
The good news is that there are multiple strategies that small businesses may use. Depending on your budget, infrastructure and type of business, you may be able to use one or several of these excellent ideas:
- Send a survey to your customers in the mail or through email. You can also offer customers a discount on a future purchase by asking them to participate in a short phone survey.
- Collect data from an application. This is particularly beneficial for companies that offer memberships, such as a gym or a tanning club. A financial application may also provide important information about customers.
- Capture information about your customers through social media. Gathering information from social media on your own can seem fragmented and time-consuming, but there are some tools and programs that are specifically designed for this purpose.
- Analyze your website traffic. For example, pay attention to the pages that generate the greatest exit traffic versus the pages that lead to sales.
- Be more direct about your efforts to collect data. For example, you can directly ask your customers for feedback so that you can improve their experiences in the future. When your customers call your office directly, such as when they need customer service support, you can capture data by asking them a few questions. It can be stressful and inconvenient to your customers to answer more than a few questions, so choose your questions carefully.
These are only some of the many ways to collect customer data. Look for natural opportunities in your regular business activities to gather information, and set up a system for documenting and analyzing the information that you obtain.
The Importance of Automating Marketing Efforts
You can see that gathering information about your customers can be challenging, and it may be even more time-consuming to try to keep your data about your customers updated.
You may need to regularly update data so that it is as effective as possible for your various needs. This means that you may need to continuously analyze the data and determine the best ways to use it.
Technology has evolved so that it is now easier and faster than ever to collect important data that you need about your customers and to analyze it effectively.
In addition to automating data collection, your analysis of the data may also be automated for simplicity. Marketing software programs also allow you to create and execute marketing campaigns easily so that you can reach out to your segmented target audiences.
Essentially, automation enables your small business to enjoy the incredible benefits of more focused marketing efforts. This technology can even the playing field with your larger competitors because it enables more cost-effective and direct marketing that previously was unavailable.
Data collection, analysis and usage is increasingly advantageous in relation to small business marketing. If your company is not currently collecting and using data about your customers or if you are not as effective in this area as you could be, now is an excellent time to explore some of the excellent marketing automation tools that are available today. Because each automation tool or program works in different ways, it is important that you find the tool that works best for your unique needs.
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88.