Making Data Relevant

By Brian Jungmann
Automotive Communications Manager
SKF USA Inc

How tired are you of reading endless headlines or having your inbox fill up with topics regarding how much data is driving sales? Or if you aren’t using data your business could fail? It seems everything we do or touch these days is tracked and that data is driving the next move marketers want us to make. And if you don’t figure this out right now you will be left in the dust by your competition. Well, somewhere in the midst of all this information are methods that can be beneficial.

Here are few tactics to point you in the right direction:

Learn More About Your Contacts
Ask the right questions, but not too much at ounce. Initially the form should just be first name, last name and email address. This is in a “prospect” situation when they are signing up for e-news or for a specific piece of content. As you nurture the relationship the information you ask should start to drill down to their interests. The goal here is to collect specific data over a period of time in order to build a profile so you can communicate with your contacts with information that is important to them, not what is important to you. Over time this builds a one-to-one relationship, and you have earned a long-term customer.

Browsing Habits
Through the use of marketing automation software marketers can use tracking kernels to learn the behaviors of contacts as they browse websites. Gaining this insight enables you to follow up with targeted messages about products they have shown interests in by spending time on specific pages. You can also learn from pages they left quickly. This accumulated data can help you learn how contacts interact with your brand. It can also help inform the development of future content.

Social Media
On a broader scope, through social listening tools you can learn what people are saying about your brand, be it positive or negative. Harvesting this information makes it possible to build targeted campaigns by acting on what you hear. This is often called attitudinal data and can be very helpful understanding how customers feel about your brand.

There are many tools available that collect data, but if you don’t have an action plan in place for using the information it all goes to waste. Start small, build on your current database, and results will begin to fall in place.