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Using Customer Data to Fine-Tune and Personalize Your Marketing Efforts


The key to successful marketing is having an in-depth understanding of your target audience. Experienced marketers understand that the more you know about a potential customer, the more efficiently products and services can be customized to meet consumer needs. Naturally, the needs, interests, and expectations of the average consumer change constantly. Fortunately, user data can be utilized to make this process easier. 


What is Consumer or User Data? 

Simply put, consumer or user data is information provided by customers when interacting with businesses through platforms including social media, email, company website, and more. Whether it be a name, email address, mailing address, answer to a survey, or comment on a company post, this information can be collected and used to develop a stronger customer profile. Once a customer profile is generated, companies can use the data to personalize marketing, improve customer experience, and fine-tune business processes over time. 


Types of User Data

Businesses collect a ton of consumer data on a regular basis. Though it can all prove important, here’s a look at the four most important types of user data to collect for a more personalized marketing campaign: 



  • Identity or Personal Data  - The first category is personal data. This is any information provided to a business that would help brands to personally identify an individual customer. This includes your full name, address, phone number, date of birth, age, gender, email account, social media account, and employment information.  
  • Quantitative Data  - The next category of data is quantitative. It is the information that gives businesses a better understanding of a customer’s behavior, transactions, and reactions with their brands. Examples of quantitative data include transaction history, communication information (i.e. information collected during inbound or outbound phone calls), online activity (website visits, subscriptions, product views, etc), and social network activity. 
  • Descriptive Data - Descriptive data is any information that helps to better describe your target customers. This can include family details (relationship status, number of children, etc), career details (Profession, years of experience, educational background, etc), and lifestyle details (House, a car, pets, etc.). 
  • Qualitative Data -  Generally collected through a series of questions (survey), qualitative data provides more personalized information on an individual’s opinions, motivations, and attitudes as it pertains to the products or services. 



Collecting Customer Data

Businesses have a number of digital resources at their fingertips that can be utilized to collect the above-mentioned customer data. With solutions like a customer data platform, they can review data collected from multiple sources in one place for more efficient personalized marketing. Here are some of the most common mediums used to collect, store, and analyze customer data: 



  • Website Analytics - websites have analytic plug-ins that can be used to collect user information in real-time. Every time a user visits the site their page visits, product searches, transactions, customer inquiries, and more are logged for future use. 
  • Social Media - Social media has become a popular medium for businesses to build a stronger connection with their target customers. From comments, likes, and shares, to surveys, email lists, customer feedback, when implemented accurately, businesses can utilize social media platforms to acquire data in all four categories (Personal, descriptive, quantitative, and qualitative data). 
  • Customer Surveys- If you want to get to know your target audience, you’ll have to ask specific questions. Customer surveys are an efficient way to learn more about their personal interests, opinions, tastes, and preferences. 
  • Customer Service Software - If you want to know how satisfied a customer is with your products or services, customer service software is a necessity. It records information including customer contact information, transactional history, inbound calls for assistance, number and severity of issues reported, and even how long it took for the customer’s issue to be resolved. 
  • Point of Sale Systems - While eCommerce businesses can ascertain transactional data from website analytics, brands that operate in brick and mortar shops rely on point of sale systems to collect customer transaction information. This includes the types of products purchased, the number of times purchased, and even the preferred method of payment. 


No wonder businesses go to great lengths to protect company data. These “digital breadcrumbs” provided by online users are essentially the puzzle pieces to more effective personalized marketing. While gathering all of this data would have been time-consuming and tedious, today’s digital platforms and tools make it easier than ever for businesses to collect the data necessary to create a trusting relationship with their ideal customers.


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