How to Incorporate Customer Data Into Your Marketing Plan

Data collection has become a priority for strategic marketers. Brands can collect information, as well as contextualize it in a way that allows them to understand what customers want and why. 

By incorporating customer data into your marketing plan, you can deliver highly personalized content to the right customers at the right time. Learn how with the guide below.

Understand Your Buyers

Buyer personas are depictions of your ideal customers. These personas contain biographical information like age, gender, income, education level, and location. For a boutique clothing brand, for example, you might target women in their 20’s to 30’s with a salary of $35,000 or higher. 

This persona can be intricate, including interests and pain points. In the example above, the buyer’s interests might include fashion and makeup. Pain points include not enough clothing selection at local stores and the inability to afford luxury brands. 

In one study, 85% of marketers said they crafted buyer personas, yet only 15% claimed they were effective. However, the majority also admitted they didn’t know how to create influential profiles. Unfortunately, without real data, your buyer personas are likely not accurate reflections of your customers. 

By incorporating data into your buyer personas, you can save time and money. In your Google Analytics account, look at where the majority of your visitors come from, broken down by country and city. If you use customer relationship management (CRM) software, import relevant data. 

Refine Your Strategy

With analytics software, you can map a customer’s entire journey on places like your website, Facebook, Twitter, and more. You can also track engagement data — such as opens, views, clicks, and conversions — on marketing materials. 

“One of the best kinds of data that marketers can leverage are channel preferences,” says Jim Schinella, Chief Business Officer at UJET. “What are the primary channels that your customers are using? How are they interacting with your product and your business? Understanding the channels and journey your customers take can give marketers better insights and actions into not only how, but where to interact with customers.”

Data allows marketers to understand how and why consumers engage with specific content. For example, perhaps an email with high-quality graphics gets more opens and clicks than a text-based message. With this type of information, you know your audience is more interested in visually appealing content. 

Customer data allows brands to predict what people will want based on what they’ve already done. By segmenting data, you can personalize your approach and market to the people most likely to engage. 

Encourage Relationships

A successful marketing strategy is all about fostering long-term relationships. As with any relationship, you need to understand and relate to the other person’s needs. A CRM system not only collects and organizes data, but ties it to customer insights such as engagement, transactions, social media activity, complaints, etc. 

Most CRM solutions are customizable, reliable, and scalable. You can collect key data, such as: 

  • Product interests
  • Past transactions
  • Payment information
  • Financial preferences
  • Preferred devices 

Be sure to integrate your CRM with all relevant data points, including your email host, social media profiles and website. When you track and report data accurately, you can glean more insights into your target audience.

When you link data from various sources, you get a 360-degree view of your customers, allowing you to turn data into actionable objectives. You’ll be able to understand what your audience wants and deliver personalized solutions. With that type of expertise and loyalty, you’ll be able to build relationships, garner referrals and develop a successful marketing strategy. 

Deliver Targeted Messages

With geofencing, you can deliver targeted messages that drive user engagement and increase customer loyalty. This technology allows you to set up a virtual perimeter around a physical location — your store, for example. You can also set a geo-perimeter around a competitor’s site. 

When a customer interacts with your perimeter — whether by crossing it or getting within 10 feet — you can serve up exclusive deals based on their purchase history and product preferences. Marketers also use geolocation data to deliver content about nearby events and store discounts, motivating shoppers to stop in and make an impromptu purchase. 

Geofencing is an essential tool for blending online and offline lives. When you interact with customers via a mobile device, you can direct them to shop at your brick-and-mortar location. Customer data also ensures engagement is personalized and relevant, guaranteeing a high impact. 

Analyze and Improve Loyalty

Client churn refers to the rate at which customers go from regular purchasers to strangers. Customer loyalty is essential for marketers, since gaining a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one. 

To understand your customers’ loyalty, you’ll have to analyze customer data and come up with theories. For example, you may see a dip in customer retention after discontinuing a particular product. Or, perhaps several people unsubscribed from an email after receiving a specific type of content.

Alternatively, you may see a spike in retention rates. Perhaps the improvement came after the implementation of new staff training. Likewise, you may have hired more employees to handle customer relations.

“There’s arguably no one within an organization that interacts with your customers more than your support team,” says Schinella. “Customer support has a wealth of knowledge that can be incorporated into marketing strategies such as product preferences, FAQ’s, both positive and negative feedback and more. Leveraging support data can help marketers find ways to create unique and hyper-personalized experiences for customers, keeping them loyal to your brand.”

Use this data and what you’ve learned to better understand what your customers want and improve retention rates. Increased customer loyalty will lead to sustained profits and growth. 

Consider the Customer Experience

A great way to collect data and improve the customer experience is through surveys. These polls, sent directly to your audience, are an invaluable tool for sourcing information and optimizing campaigns. 

Ask responders what types of content they prefer, whether it’s blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts or something else. To gain a better understanding of competitors and what they offer, ask what other blogs users read and why they like them. 

For example, a customer might like a brand because they share a wide variety of how-to videos on their YouTube page. Another might follow a particular business because they share cute pictures of cats. This information will help you understand what your audience already enjoys and what other types of content they’re looking for. 

The more data you collect from surveys, the better. You can send out polls in emails after a user abandoned their online cart or with transaction confirmation. You can also gather feedback on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Improve Your Marketing Strategy With Customer Data

The goal of incorporating customer data in a marketing plan is to optimize the buying experience, improve loyalty rates and increase ROI. With a CRM system, you can track data from a variety of sources. Later, you can analyze that data to understand not only what customers do, but why they do it. 

Once you have this information, you can develop marketing content customers want to engage with.