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7 Ways to Use Customer Data for More Efficient Marketing

Not sure how to use customer data to improve your marketing? Check out these 7 tips coming straight from the pros.

Masooma Memon Masooma Memon on November 23, 2021 (last modified on November 15, 2021) • 14 minute read

Wondering how to use customer data to improve your marketing?

Admittedly, the insights that customer data delivers help not just improve your marketing but also your product and customer experience. This, in turn, assists in growing revenue.

For example, SaaS companies can retain more users (therefore, grow their revenue) by providing features that they learn their customers need based on the gathered data.

Similarly, the improved customer experience can help more people to buy from you and refer others to you too. In fact, 73% of customers say a good customer experience assists them in making their buying decision.

The key, however, is not to only gather useful data but also to analyze it thoroughly so you’ve actionable insights to execute.

Ready to learn more? We’ve got your back as we dive into this guide that details how to use customer data to improve your business and grow revenue.

Let’s get on with it. Briefly, you’ll the learn following:

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How to Gather Customer Data for Marketing Purposes

From using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to surveying customers and hosting one-on-one interviews, there are various ways to learn about your customers.

Half of our respondents use a CRM tool to gather customer data. In fact, when asked which tool they find to be irreplaceable when it comes to customer data, the most frequent answers were CRM platforms and Google Analytics.

Of the remaining half of our contributors, 10% use a Customer Data Platform (CDP) but 40% use both a CRM and CDP.

Which tools do you use to gather customer data?

We also asked about the methods they use to source customer data and learned that online tracking is the most widely used method followed closely by leveraging online marketing analytics.

Surveys and transactional tracking are two more methods used – both sharing their popularity.

Other than these four methods, our contributors share they collect customer data using social media monitoring and gathering information from subscription and registration data.

Which methods of collecting customer data online are most useful to your business?

At Edoxi Training Institute, for example, Sharafudhin Mangalad shares they use surveys.

Mangalad writes: “We prefer using surveys to get customers’ data because it is the best and easy way to ask customers for information directly. We collect quantitative and qualitative data by using surveys.”

To add, “online surveys are easy to conduct and provide the proper details of the customers,” Mangalad says. “We create a survey on our website and share links to that survey on social media, over email, and pop-ups on the site.”

Over at Rockstar Marketing though, the team uses a company to source customer data reveals Ravi Davda.

“We use a company that tracks businesses that visit the Rockstar Marketing website,” Davda comments. “It gives us valuable information such as website name, email address, and sometimes the LinkedIn profiles of the people who work for the company.”

“We can also see the pages they were looking at. Were they reading the blog just for information? Or were they looking at a specific service? For us, this is priceless,” elaborates Davda.

“Using this, we can enhance the customer journey. Let’s say they were looking at the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) section of our services page. We can now look at their SEO and before we reach out to them, we already have an idea where we can add value.”

The same data can be a tremendous help to the sales team in other ways. For example, knowing which page(s) a user is visiting and for how long can help the team determine how interested a lead is. For instance, someone visiting your pricing page is almost ready to convert than a lead reading your blog.

You don’t need to stick to using one method of gathering data though. Take a page from what VIVIPINS team. Robin Brown says. “We use a number of different methods to gather data about customer activity such as web analytics, cookies, and browser history. We also crawl the internet or purchase other software feeds.”

“The quality and reliability of each data source vary widely,” Brown warns. “Some sources provide trustworthy information while others do not. But we don’t want any company to control our customer data — only Google knows it all because their business model is based on harvesting personal data from its users.”

7 Ways to Use Customer Data for Better Marketing

Now for your question on how to use customer data, here are 7 ways how experts are using it to grow their business:

  1. Optimize your product for users
  2. Improve customer experience
  3. Make personalized offers
  4. Run personalized marketing campaigns
  5. Use it to predict the future
  6. Fine-tune your loyalty program to grow sales
  7. Improve your content marketing

1. Optimize your product for users

“Customer data is the key to building a great customer experience,” observes CocoDoc’s Alina Clark.

“Businesses can only learn of customer pain points when they analyze the user feedback and data from the customer experience system. This can help them improve not only the product but also how they approach customers in general.”

Clark shares exactly how they use the data to improve their SaaS app. “Our experience with customer data highly revolves around improving our customer experience. For instance, we onboarded new features on our platform because most of our churn data pointed to the lack of certain features as the main reason for high churn rates.”

Not only can you add more features to your tool but you can also improve your onboarding experience using customer data. For example, ask your customers how easy was it to set up your app. Improvise your process based on the answers you get from the majority of your customers.

Related: How to Find, Prioritize, and Turn More Product Qualified Leads into Paying Customers

“To make the most of customer data, businesses need to identify the right sources of customer data, and ways to improve their business processes in order to conform with the conclusions from the data analysis,” summarizes Clark.

Clark isn’t alone in using customer data this way. 70.6%, the majority of our respondents study customer data to identify areas for improvement of expansion.

58.8% also use to it personalize their content and messaging, whereas, 55.6% use it to enhance their understanding of their target audience. 47.1% also tap into the data to predict future patterns – read on to learn how they achieve all this and more.

What do you use customer data for?

2. Improve customer experience

This applies to both B2B and B2C companies. Simply asking customers what is something they like about your business/service can give you a list of things to double down on.

Here’s how a B2C company does this. “Feedback and reviews are our biggest form of customer data,” highlights Patti Naiser from Senior Home Transitions.

Related: 12 Proven Ways to Encourage Customers to Write Reviews (According to 100+ Marketers)

“After finding our clients’ care homes, we check up on them after a set amount of time to see how they are doing. We assess their personality and needs and recommend care homes based on those.

When we do check-ups, we make sure to ask what they like and dislike the most about the community. We then make statistics taking in factors such as age, illnesses, personality, and much more,” explains Naiser.

“This data is then utilized for future clients as well. We optimize their experience so that they can find the best home for them,” Naiser notes.

“Our mission is to provide the best service so our clients can live the rest of their lives happily. This data helps reduce the time spent finding homes while also making sure we find the best possible facilities for them.”

Similarly, PeopleFinderFree uses customer data to improve customer experience. Eden Cheng explains, “at PeopleFinderFree, we only have access to a little information about our customers to ensure their privacy. For example, we can see how many searches were performed by a person, for which places were these searches, how much time one spent on our site, account idle time for non-active users, and so on.”

Despite the lack of in-depth data, the team’s experts use the available fodder to “predict which PeopleFinderFree users are trying to run checks for corporate reasons and which ones for their personal causes. This helps us assist our users better and deliver a good user experience.”

“Besides this, we use our customers’ feedback, comment, and query data to understand their concerns and revert to them accordingly,” writes Cheng. “We try to be fast, precise, and helpful.”

Related: 12 Customer Support Tools for an Unstoppable Service Desk

3. Make personalized offers

Having customer data means you can tailor your services based on what your prospect is looking for.

That’s what Stephen Keighery at Home Buyer Louisiana does. Keighery explains, “Here’s what I do to make the most out of customer data — study the client and send special offers and promotions according to their preferences.”

“For example, having a website with an opt-in and short survey on the homepage allows you to get an idea of their preferences,” highlights Keighery. “My company, Home Buyer Louisiana has witnessed a 36% rise in conversion rate once we made use of an algorithm to send promotions customized for them.”

4. Run personalized marketing campaigns

Use customer data to not just make a customized offer but also to run audience-relevant campaigns to make them more successful.

“I am a huge advocate of using customer data to run personalized marketing campaigns,” says Rohan Kadam of Biking Know How.

Here’s how it works for Kadam: “I mainly rely on using customer email ID. I collect customer emails through lead magnets on my website. Once I develop my email list, I use this customer data to run targeted email campaigns to promote affiliate products.”

To add, Kadam points out: “I also use the customer data to run targeted remarketing campaigns. I have seen good results in my conversion by using a combination of personalized marketing campaigns and remarketing. In terms of numbers, my conversions grew from 3% to 11%. All of this has been possible as a result of using customer data.”

5. Use it to predict the future

When we inquired about how to use customer data from Kamyar Shah, they revealed they use it for predictive analysis.

“We have a team of data scientists who are constantly working on improving our data model. We have worked on building a predictive analytics model based on the data sets we have,” Shah shares.

“Our model helps us identify patterns in user behavior and target them accordingly,” Shah outlines. “We implement the data we gather in various ways. For example, we use it to improve engagement with our users and to improve the products. Our products help us gather data such as who’s using the product, what they’re doing, and how they’re using it. This helps us improve our services.”

Using data for predictive analysis helps the sales team understand the best time and tactic to reach out to and follow-up with leads too. So it’s helpful not only for marketing but also for sales.

In short, Shah observes, “it’s not just about having a lot of data but being able to leverage the data to improve the business.”

6. Fine-tune your loyalty program to grow sales

“The data we have gathered from customer usage has been particularly useful in guiding us towards the information in relation to our loyalty program,” comments Kathryn McDavid of Editor’s Pick.

“We are able to see which products and services are enticing the customers to join the program. As the loyalty rewards program accounts for over 30% of repeat business, this data is vital in ensuring continued success,” says McDavid.

“Combined with the results from the loyalty program, we are presented with a statistical breakdown of the demographics of our customer base.

This allows us to offer products targeted directly to areas of specific interest to our customers, removing the need for overstock of rarely bought items and ensuring a continuous flow of new and relevant products.”

7. Improve your content marketing

Another way to use customer data is by leveraging it to understand your audience’s pain points to create content that’s truly valuable to them.

By getting to know your customers in-depth, you can also understand their language preferences and the way they prefer to consume content (in audio or video format, for example). This data, in turn, will help you create content that resonates with your audience better.

“For example, we used customer data to figure out what content would be great at attracting more traffic and potential clients,” writes Milkwhale’s Andre Oentoro.

“The data can also be analyzed and used for forecasting other things. This will help us with social media content creation, targeted marketing, and even onboarding new clients. In conclusion, it can be useful for fine-tuning our marketing efforts and how we communicate with our prospects.”

8. Develop a better understanding of how your audience buys from you

Lastly, study the data to understand what motivates your target buyers to move them through your sales funnel. To this end, Matt Weber of Weber & Co. suggests looking at your customer data holistically.

“It’s rare to have the luxury of being able to slice your data so thin that it can’t be sliced any thinner,” Weber observes. “Most companies are divided into departmental silos, which leads to limited perspectives in particular areas of your business that may obscure or distort what is happening across the whole enterprise.”

“Instead of looking at fine-grained customer behavior, consider aggregates and averages,” recommend Weber. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t use segments — of course, you should! Determining important segments for specific products or business challenges is a great way to structure your thinking around how customers interact with various parts of your product line.”

Related: 9 Customer Segmentation Tips to Personalize Ecommerce Marketing and Drive More Sales

“But by also taking an overall view,” Weber opines “you can step back from any sub-segmentation and gain a fuller understanding of what is actually happening.”

“For example, if you think all product A customers behave the same, but it turns out that they don’t, you might miss an opportunity to capture more value from them because different segments may require different messaging and targeting.

But by looking at the overall patterns across the entire customer population — not just those who purchase product A — you can derive deeper insight into their behavior and find ways to make your whole business more efficient,” says Weber.

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Summing up, use customer data to fine-tune your marketing campaigns and loyalty programs, determine areas of expansion or new features to create, and get a better grip on who your audience is and their pain points.

But, remember: don’t rely on one source for gathering all customer data. Instead, diversity your sources so you can get a better picture of exactly what the data is saying.

About the author
Masooma Memon
Masooma Memon Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.
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