Types of Customer Data and How Marketers Can Use It

Data-driven marketing is more than just a buzzy phrase—it is a great way to get to know your customers better and make sure you are utilizing your advertising budget to its fullest potential.

Determining what data matters is no easy task, however. In the world of pixels, cookies, and trackers, it can be confusing to know what you should really be looking at to make your marketing sing. While the nitty-gritty data points of note will vary based on your business’ industry and overall goals, having an idea of the general categories and how to use them can be extremely helpful in building your own data-driven marketing strategy from scratch. Here are the data buckets to consider:

Identity Related Data Points

What it is: Names, addresses, phone numbers, location and any other data that can help identify a customer.

How to use it: Primarily used for personalization, this data is helpful if you want to customize email subject lines, tailor your communications, and create refined buyer personas so you can better plan your marketing messaging.

Descriptive Data Points

What it is: Details about customers’ careers, lifestyle choices, family dynamics, pets, and any other details that go beyond simple identifiers that can indicate buying habits or intentions.

How to use it: This is extremely helpful for creating customer segments to further personalize your marketing efforts, and can also be helpful in predicting the buying habits of your customers.

Behavioral Data Points

What it is: How your customers interact with your communications, such as CTA clicks, email opens, pages visited, and other patterns in how consumers utilize your website and marketing materials.

How to use it: Helpful for gaining an understanding of how customers react to your content. You can gather information about the buyer’s journey on your website, which emails are bringing the most traffic, and what content that customers are responding to the best.

Qualitative Data Points

What it is: Customers’ motivations, attitudes, opinions, preferences, sentiments, and any of the more personal details about what your customers want.

How to use it: Helpful for gaining an understanding about the way customers feel—often in their own words, as this data is often gained via surveys or feedback forms.

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