An integral part of customer data management is learning how to get customer data. Read on for 5 actionable data collection tactics.
Getting to know more about an organization’s customers is the key pursuit of every marketing department. Marketers have consistently been coming up with innovative ways to collect customer dataOpens a new window . The process usually starts with defining buyer personas and ends with customer satisfaction surveys.
You need to start collecting data at every step of the way even before a casual visitor reading your latest article becomes your customer. This is especially crucial in a B2B marketing context.
So, if you’re looking for slightly different ways to collect data in your pursuit of building a solid database, you will learn 5 smart ways to capture B2B customer data.
1. Track Website Activities
One of the biggest resources to capture customer data is your website itself. You might already be tracking key metrics such as sessions, unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, conversion rate, goal completions and goal value. How can you take it a step ahead to know more about your customers?
Start by analyzing landing and exit pages in your analytics tool. Also track your most visited pages and the time spent on these pages to see what content type is working best. Visualizing the conversion funnel/path will help you find more opportunities to optimize it. When you check these metrics with dimensions such as age, location, referral sources, browser, OS, etc., you will garner customer data on a more granular level.
2. Implement Lead Magnet Tools
We all know the good old lead generation tactics such as gated content, free trials or sign-ups to collect identity data that includes name, address, phone, email address, social media usernames, designation, company and so on. We have been using landing pages to generate leads, but now, with the introduction of lead magnet tools, you can use pop-ups, floating bars, exit intent pop-ups, sidebar forms and slider boxes on your website that reduce the need to redirect the user to a dedicated landing page.
You can further add scarcity elements like a countdown timer or limited availability to encourage the user to submit their details readily.
3. Leverage Social Media
After the corporate website, organizations give preference to social media platforms to communicate with their audience. The trend is for companies to focus upon vanity metrics such as likes, comments and shares, but to ignore the goldmine that lies in other insights. Native analytics features for the big four of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) can provide you with information like when are your visitors most active, what type of content garners positive engagement, how many impressions did your posts receive, etc. These data points can help you tweak your content strategy to improve audience engagement.
Investing in a social listening tool will help you track tweets, posts, hashtags and mentions relevant to your company. You can also keep tabs on your competitors to see what people are saying about them. Tracking customer sentiment lets you gauge if the general opinion about your brand is positive or negative.
4. Conduct Customer Surveys (A Bit Differently)
Customer surveys are a great way to gather qualitative data about your customers. Qualitative data such as their purchase motivations, the value they see in the product, the quality of your customer service and how likely they would be to purchase from you again. Since we are talking about smart ways, let’s explore some other ways than the traditional customer interviews, focus groups or emails.
Instead of starting off with lengthy surveys, you can integrate small surveys into your website that incorporate various targeting capabilities like behavioral, metadata, cookie, identity targeting, etc. that will serve the survey to the user based on the targeting of your choice. Start by asking just one question. If they answer it then move them to the full length feedback. Keeping surveys briefs will greatly reduce customers skipping them and will help you collect more data.
Also keep an eye on online reviews and discussions on relevant niche forums and websites, social media interactions and blog comments to see what your B2B customers are saying about your brand products.
5. Conduct Research
Most of the tactics we’ve seen so far in this article collect first-party data i.e. data collected by you through websites or other channels. To get an overall picture of the B2B market, data collected by these tactics will not be sufficient due to their obvious limitations. In such cases, you need to collect second and third party data to know more about consumer behavior, their buying habits and other demographic details. You can get these details from industry reports, research reports and other publications pertaining to your industry.
Working with a third party agency is also a good option to get to know more about your customers.
Customer data managementOpens a new window is not a set and forget task. Managing existing data is as important as collecting new data. Therefore, whenever you’re collecting customer data, make sure that it is consistent with your existing records. Also, when you’re running lead generation programs through gated content, webinars or any such activities, there’s a high possibility that duplication might happen. To avoid this, make necessary changes in the system and purge the database periodically to remove unwanted contacts.