Advances in digital technology and the growing influence of the Internet have given businesses the means to capture key data about their customers.

By staying updated on who your customers are; what they do, where they come from, and how they make purchasing decisions, you will be able to fine-tune your marketing efforts.

Consequently, you will have empirical bases for evaluating your current menu of products and services.

However, not all data will have value for your business. Some forms of data will carry more weight than others. They have greater significance for your type of business and industry.

When data is collected, it is still raw. You will have to make heads-or-tails of it; come up with a sense of understanding to determine if it is relevant to your business objectives or not.

For example, customer demographics are very important when building a Buyer’s Persona. Likewise, the type of customer demographics data that a business engaged in real estate needs will be different from that of a business involved in health and fitness.

For the reason that it helps businesses keep track of market developments and consumer behaviour, capturing data is an integral function of a business. The question is how do you know which data should be captured?

The Key Data That You Should Be Capturing For Your Business

According to a study by Data Marketing Association, 33% of experienced marketers believe investing in the right technology to capture and analyze data will help businesses develop a better understanding of their customers.

The data that is captured and uploaded on your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will not only provide key information on who the present buyer is. It will also become a valuable reference in anticipating future changes in buying behaviour as well as customer demographics.

With data, your customers are no longer just names in a database. They are given a personality identified by specific preferences, tastes, wants, and demands. You will have an idea of who they are and where they came from.

These types of data are valuable reference points when preparing content for web copy, email, and social media marketing. You will be able to customize or personalize content that is in line with the interests and concerns of your customer.

In a way, you are creating a channel for constant communication in a language that your customer will understand. The end result is a stronger, more enduring, and nurturing relationship with your customer.

A study conducted by DemandGen revealed that 53% of marketers believe there is a direct correlation between revenue growth and strong customer relationships.

So how do you know which data you should be capturing?

As mentioned, there are many types of data that you can capture from your website, social media pages, and other avenues where interaction with your customers takes place.

In order to make sense of these types of data an extract their optimum value, you have to categorize them into 3 groups: Customer Attributes, Behavioural Attributes, and Predictive Attributes.

  • Customer Attributes

Customer Attributes are data that refer to the general characteristics and precise descriptions of the customer as a person. The data that should be collected should provide accurate information on the customer’s demographics. Examples of data that fall under Customer Attributes are as follows:

  • Contact Name
  • Age
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Status: Married/ Single
  • Number of Children
  • Residential Address
  • Office Address
  • Company Name
  • Designation/ Job Position or Title
  • Number of employees (if business owner)
  • Financial data on company
  • Salary (Salary range will suffice)
  • Car ownership
  • Number of cars owned
  • Club memberships
  • Professional Organizations/ Associations
  • Office Number
  • Email Address
  • Website

Data on Customer Attributes are particularly valuable when customizing content. You can segment your customers based on available data and have a good basis for delivering usable and relevant content. This is crucial for the success of an e-mail marketing campaign. Segmentation has been shown to result in higher open rates for email content.

  • Behavioural Attributes

Behavioural Attributes are data that best describe the online behaviour of your customer or key demographic. These types of data can easily be captured whenever a customer interacts with your website or engages on your social media pages. Examples of data that can be categorized under Behavioural Attributes are as follows:

  • Number of times the customer has visited your website
  • Level of engagement
  • Number of clicks, likes, and shares
  • Open rate
  • Types of products bought
  • Types of services patronized
  • Frequency of purchases
  • The average cost of purchases

Another category of data under Behavioural Attributes that you should capture involves the customer’s deeper interactions or reactions to your business, its products, and services.

This type of Behavioural Attribute data should be more detailed in content. The responses will give you better insights into the motivations and considerations that influence a customer’s decision Examples include:

  • Customer’s responses to promotions – How did the customer react to a promotion? Was there an immediate response? Was the promotion ignored?
  • Common enquiries that are relayed by the customer – What are the common issues made by a customer? Is there a product that generates more interest than others? Are there concerns that are frequently relayed by the customer?
  • Purchasing challenges – These are the factors that make the customer “second guess” or hesitate in finalizing the purchase such as when abandoning a transaction at the checkout counter.

Data on Behavioural Attributes can be effectively captured using channels that allow more open and direct interaction. E-mail marketing is a good example of an online marketing process that can get you more detailed behavioural data.

However, the best approach would be through direct interactions with your customer service personnel. This can be done through standard customer service channels such as chat support, e-mail, inbound calling, and social media engagement.

Another effective process to capture data on Behavioural Attributes is via outbound calling services. You can outsource this task to a Virtual Assistant or a third party telemarketing services provider.

The VA or an agent can contact your customers and ask them to spend a few minutes answering a survey. Make sure the phone call is recorded.

  • Predictive Attributes

Predictive Attributes are data that can be used to forecast behavioural activity. There are customers who make purchases on certain dates or occasions of the year. They also tend to buy specific items from your list of products. Examples of data that can be categorized under Predictive Attributes include:

  • Dates of purchase
  • Day(s) of the week an item is usually purchased
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Types of recreational activity
  • Types of products purchased
  • Price range
  • Religion
  • Professional Organization/ Association
  • Favourite Sports Teams
  • Favourite Television Shows
  • Favourite Movies/ Genre
  • Favourite Vacation spot
  • Favourite Food
  • Favourite Beverages
  • Ideal vacation

Data on Predictive Attributes enable you to stay one step ahead of the competition. It will help you establish a more enduring relationship with your customers. Good examples of promotions that you can launch using data on Behavioural Attributes include the following:

  • Send greetings, special discounts, and free merchandise on a customer’s birthday.
  • Inform customers of new products or merchandise related to their favourite personalities from the world of sports, music, and entertainment.
  • Invite customers to special events that cater to high-level interests such as vacations, new property developments, and restaurant launchings.

Conclusion

By capturing the right data for your business, you take away the guesswork. You have a clear idea on your customer’s wants and needs. The data will provide you with the information that will be used as the bases for strategy design, planning, and the improvement of products and services.