It has never been easier for marketers to compile massive amounts of data about their customers. Properly mined, this information can provide you with a wealth of new opportunities. However, if you have bad data, you will have poor results. At best, you will obtain low conversion rates. At worst, you can destroy existing relationships or anger potential customers.
Modern consumers are barraged with messages every time they venture online. They must wade through emails that are sent daily, ads that block the page view until the visitor clicks on them, pop-ups that demand attention and banner ads that can sometimes take longer to load than the content the visitor wants to see. They are receiving automated texts on their cell phones and posts from companies on their personal Facebook pages.
As a result of this "marketing overload," consumers have become extremely adept at ignoring your messages. They have also become more demanding. They insist on interacting with you on their own terms. They want to be contacted where, how and when they want rather than at your convenience. They want a personalized experience that is so relevant to them that they feel that you are speaking directly to them.
If you are trying to conduct digital marketing efforts with poor quality data, you will not get the results you want. You cannot provide a relevant and personal experience for your customers. You cannot know their preferred method of contact. You cannot be sure your message is reaching the audience that needs to see it. You cannot build strong relationships with your customers. In other words, you can only achieve the results you want if you start with quality data.
Your data must be derived from reliable sources and verified across multiple databases. Duplicates must be purged and information updated at regular intervals. Once you have "squeaky clean" data, you can leverage it to give you a variety of competitive advantages.
- You will be well on the path to micro-targeting your customers. Consumers increasingly expect precision, relevance and personalization from your marketing efforts. To engage them in a meaningful manner, you will need to know and understand their habits, preferences and personalities. With quality data, you can gain the insights you need to succeed in your efforts to target customers with a pin instead of a brush.
- You will have the ability to develop predictive analytics that can help you identify potentially profitable customers. You can predict how to engage customers in a meaningful manner and how they will react to various marketing techniques. Perhaps most importantly, you can make decisions that are based on data rather than guesswork and instinct.
- Automation can be used in the most effective manner. Whether you are nurturing potential buyers or attempting to reach a new market, automation can help you deliver real-time, on-time and relevant messages. Automation lets you devote your attention and resources to the "big picture" and the analysis of current trends. However, if you attempt automation without quality data, you could undermine your efforts to establish relationships and promote your brand.
The age of data-driven marketing has arrived. The online and offline activities of your customers can give you the ability to truly get to know them, whether they are currently buying from you, have bought from you in the past or might possibly buy from you in the future. It is data that is driving more meaningful analytics, enhanced customer personas and targeted, intelligent marketing. Once you master an understanding of your customers' motivations and habits, you can then tailor personalized campaigns that will pleasantly surprise your customers while enhancing your bottom line.