Digital marketing has never witnessed such a prominent orientation on customers’ satisfaction: according to the PwC statistics, customers’ experience will be the key brand differentiator by 2020.
To cater to their customers better and to improve their satisfaction, digital marketers have to know their audience perfectly. That’s where customer data comes into play.
High-quality data is one of the keys to personalized offering because it allows marketers to deep dive into their customers’ unique characteristics and behavior. And the stats prove that.
According to Dimension Data’s report, for the next five years, customer analytics is estimated as the most crucial factor of driving customer experience improvement.
What makes customer data so important?
Quality customer data proves to be one of the essential drivers of digital marketers’ efforts.
- Customer data allows digital marketers to create precise customer personas.
Digital marketers pay much attention to customer personas that represent a company’s ideal clients. Personas help digital marketers to define who their customers are, what they like, what they want, as well as to reveal common pain points of a company’s audience.
Relying on precise data, digital marketers can create accurate client personas, thus having a true representation of people they want to see as their customers.
- Customer data helps your digital marketing to be better targeted.
Analyzing customer data lets digital marketers be precise about who their audiences are and, consequently, deliver better-targeted digital marketing campaigns.
When digital marketers really know their clients, without relying on groundless assumptions, they can make thoughtful decisions about content to create and messages to deliver.
As a result, this brings effectiveness to every digital marketing step they take.
- Customer data allows digital marketers to be more flexible.
Living in a digital world, customers are rapidly changing their habits. One day there is no better place for ad campaigns than Facebook, the other day all of your target audience may be on Pinterest.
Customer data analytics helps digital marketers to understand their customers’ main activity platforms and to reorient their campaigns timely.
How bad quality data penetrates digital marketers’ databases?
When customer data is correct, it helps digital marketers get vital insights and perform better. However, digital marketers have to permanently deal with poor quality customer data.
The latter can affect digital marketing efforts dramatically once it enters a company’s database.
There are several ways for poor quality data to appear. Mainly, poor data comes from either human mistakes or technology issues.
Indeed, all people make mistakes. So, simple manual typos in names or emails are very possible. Confusion is also frequent when several people manage the same contact.
Different specialists can have different information about the same customer, which can lead to duplications, contradictions or variations.
At the same time, poor data can have purely technological roots. For example, bad data may appear because of two companies’ merger, when two databases are united into one.
As a result, if two companies previously had common clients, duplicate information may appear. Data migrations, enterprise system updates or integration can also become a headache, as they often end up with customer data jumbles.
What happens when poor customer data steps forward?
Once in marketers’ customer databases, poor quality data starts to affect marketing efforts significantly.
Here are only a few scenarios of how bad data may ruin digital marketers’ plans.
- Affecting marketing forecasts.
Customer data flawed with errors prevents digital marketers from making accurate marketing forecasting. Incomplete knowledge of customers’ characteristics, for example, their age, gender, and occupation translate into unsuccessful digital marketing campaigns with poor targeting.
Digital marketing campaigns based on bad customer data may be responsible for disappointing ROI variables.
The more and the better customer data is at digital marketers’ disposal, the more and the better insights they can get out of it, which elevates digital marketers’ effectiveness.
- Preventing digital marketers from understanding their customer expectations and needs.
As it was mentioned before, a customer persona is a digital model of a real client. While building a digital avatar, marketers should consider a plethora of aspects, including clients’ job title, career path, gender, age, family, income, preferred communication channels, to name a few.
Getting such information requires thorough customer data analysis, which is close to impossible when your raw data is far from ideal.
To add more, a wrong persona won’t let digital marketers identify true expectations and needs of their customers, which ruins their further activities at the very beginning.
- Causing customer churn.
According to the Salesforce research, 62% of customers expect companies to send personalized offers or discounts based on items they’ve already purchased before.
Being a must-have for successful digital marketing, personalization requires marketers to be perfectly tuned into customers’ intentions.
When digital marketers overlook this aspect due to poor data, they risk losing even the most loyal customers.
- Impeding digital marketers to use advanced technologies.
Digital marketers have enough tedious work to do: for example, they have to provide product recommendation and personalize marketing communication.
AI-powered programs allow automating such processes. However, when smart technologies have to tackle with poor source data, the results may be ill-informed.
3 ways to advance customer data quality
As you can see, bad data may bring troubles. Luckily, they are not insurmountable. Here are tips on how to improve the quality of customer data, and to make your digital marketing efforts more effective.
- Clean, add, eliminate the data.
If a customer database contains duplicate or incomplete customer data, for example, twice-entered leads, mistakes in customers’ emails, or absent lead sources, digital marketers should eliminate these errors.
Some prefer cleaning customer data manually, some turn to automation. The second scenario is feasible with the help of an IT company that provides BI development. Going for automated data quality testing will allow digital marketers to check their customers’ data fast along with making it clean and shining.
- Create more personalized digital marketing campaigns
Do you remember the Netflix recommendation system? Famous for its precise recommendations, the most influential media provider takes into account the films users watched, the time and length of watching, as well as a used device.
You don’t necessarily have to be Netflix to make your digital marketing campaigns personalized.
Good understanding of customers allows digital marketers to send emails to those clients that perfectly fit their customer personas, to use transaction history for recommendation management, and to post YouTube videos on topics specifically popular among clients.
- Ask the customers
The good old survey is a traditional audience research method that is still alive today, in the era of online marketing. Surveys are still actual, however, they’ve become more interactive and customer-oriented one.
For example, some companies transform classic surveys into informative tests or deliver whole stories.
The digital era allows information to move fast, which helps marketers to reach to hundreds of people in a second. After a while, marketers can get their feedback.
By sending feedback requests via email or placing one on a prominent spot on a website, digital marketers get the opportunity to gather valuable customer data first hand and later use it for better-tuned marketing campaigns.
Garbage in, garbage out
As you can see, keeping customer data clean is not only about accuracy.
It’s much more about respect to the customers and attention to their preferences and needs. Just think: will a pet-free family be interested in an ad banner depicting dog food?
It’s also about a company’s strive for greater marketing performance: the better data marketers work with, the bigger are their chances to win a long-term loyalty of existing customers and attract new customers, expand their business presence and increase revenue.
All in all, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ law has never stopped working. It’s rather honest to wait for bright results of digital marketing campaigns if a company’s customer data is crystal clear.