Focusing Your Data Collection
By Matt Brennan
Focusing your data collection is a crucial step in getting the right information to make important decisions.
It doesn’t matter what type of industry you are in, or how many customers you serve. It doesn’t matter if you’re business operates from your home, or you’re on the Fortune 500. Data collection is crucial for running your business.
The data you collect today can help you make more informed decisions for tomorrow. That data should be relevant to your business operations so that you can put it to the best possible use.
Some examples of consumer data might include:
- IP addresses
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Past searches
- Health information from a phone or wearable
- Location information
- Previous ads that have been clicked on.
But before you go collecting as much consumer information as you can, it helps to understand what you might use it for, because collection for the sake of data collection is a waste of time.
Gaining a Deeper Understanding of the Market
When you understand how consumers behave online, you’re able to better target them with your marketing. This includes understanding their demographics and purchasing behaviors.
Understanding this information can help you better shape your business to fit customer needs. It can help you remain relevant in the marketplace and give you the ability to stay ahead of the industry trends. Collecting the right customer data can allow you to optimize your website and the rest of your marketing to stay ahead. This is an important consideration in focusing your data.
Strengthen Your Database
Maybe you have a new product release coming up. Maybe your company is expanding into a new market. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need a way to communicate the exciting news with your customer base. Your ability to reach out in these circumstances is only as good as the data that you collect.
When you have email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, or other behavioral information, you’re able to reach out to a targeted audience and let them know a bit of news that might interest them. This can help to automate your marketing and maximize the results.
Personalize the Experience
No matter what industry you’re in, consumers likely have a significant amount of choice. If they don’t like what they see from you, they can quickly move on to another option. The data that you collect allows for a more personalized experience.
When you know what type of products a customer is interested in, or a little bit about their online shopping habits, it allows you to personalize the experience and keep their interest in the purchasing process.
This can be done by segmenting your data to people with similar interests, or understanding what devices people are using to access your website. It can help you to shorten the sales process and capitalize on visitors. It can also help make your email marketing more appealing.
Collect Your Data Responsibly
Personal data is valuable to your customer. If that data is lost or stolen, you can break trust with your customers in a way that is difficult to repair. It’s important to understand whether your business is required to meet General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements for managing and protecting consumer data.
The Power of Focusing Your Data
It’s easy to get lost in an overwhelming sea of data. It’s easy to rationalize collection, because that’s what other companies are doing right now. But the data that you collect is only as valuable as what you are doing with it. Make sure that you continue to use it to make decisions that will improve your company.
Focusing your data is an important step in keeping the rest of your business decisions on track. It doesn’t help to collect information that you aren’t going to use.