Data is always being collected from consumers, whether they’re shopping online or in person, but what is customer data used for?
In this article, we’ll give you the answer.
Let’s get started.
What is customer data?
Customer data is information about customers, but not all data is the same. It can be described in 4 different ways.
Personal data is basic information about customers. This data can be used to recognize an individual’s identity.
Examples of personal data
- Full name
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Phone number
Engagement data is collected through customers interacting with businesses, usually through a brand channel. Any time a customer is engaging with a business, it is classified as engagement data.
Example of engagement data
- Email engagement – click-throughs, bounce rate, open rate
- Social media engagement – post like post shares, post replies
- Website engagement – website visits, traffic sources, user flow
- Paid ads – impressions, click-throughs, cost per clicks
Behavioural data is examining customer patterns. It can be related to engagement data as behavioural information could be inferred from the same data.
Examples of behavioural data
- Customer lifetime value
- Customer loyalty programs
- Cart abandonment data
- Purchase details
Attitudinal data focuses on the feelings and emotions of customers. It could be how your brand is perceived. Attindual data is about qualitative and subjective data.
It has to be paired with other data points to make full conclusions.
Examples of attitudinal data
- Customer satisfaction
What do companies use customer data for?
Companies use customer data in a number of ways. Here are some of the most common.
Improve customer experience
Data can help companies offer a better experience through the information being collected about them. One of the ways, they could offer this is through personalization.
Without data, it creates a generalized experience, but with personalization, they can tailor the experience to you.
Personalization goes further than just using a customer name. For example, businesses that can track purchasing behavior can offer coupons or promotions based on the data.
They could also recommend products to help customers throughout their journey.
To learn more about personalization, read our article “Define personalization: How to use it in marketing“.
Targeted marketing strategy
Companies spend 1000s of dollars on marketing campaigns – sometimes a lot more. They want to use every resource and data point available to them to make sure these marketing strategies are successful.
Collecting data allows them to see who is buying their products or visiting their website and create a marketing campaign that directly relates to those customers.
The more data they have on customers, the better.
It may seem counterintuitive, but companies asking for more data can often be trying to prevent security issues.
Multifactor authentication has become more popular, but with this companies need to gain more information about customers whether it’s a phone number or personal questions.
Companies need this extra layer of data to safely limit the security issues to their account.
If you have to answer personal questions, there’s a likely chance that only you know the answers to those questions.
Data is the key to better customer experiences and marketing campaigns. This means it’s also valuable information for other businesses.
Companies can sell this data to other businesses.
Not every company will sell customer data, but they may share it within their own networks. Companies like Google would share data across all their other platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
*For information about data privacy rules click here.
Wrap up for customer data
So what can customer data be used for? The main reasons businesses need customer data are to improve customer experiences, target marketing campaigns, have better security and make more revenue.
Overall, customer data is here to stay. It’s become a valuable tool businesses can use to their advantage.