Looking for the best way to know your user? Take a dive into data. Consumer data is generated in such large amounts every day, we won’t even bother you with the number, but suffice to say, your users are providing loads of information for your business to build on. If you’re not grabbing all the goods you can and using that data to your advantage, your company is working with one arm tied behind its back. Here are some tips for using audience data.
What Kind of User Data Are You Looking For?
Before you start diving into all the user data at your fingertips, it’s best to narrow down that information to select points. What matters to you and your company? Certain data leads you down different paths and can help you improve varying aspects of your business.
Personal Data – A lot of this data is already available through registration or checkout forms, but think details like zip codes, emails, phone numbers, addresses, and general demographic details.
Behavioral Data – This is the kind of information that can help you with your website’s user experience. Dig into users who are leaving abandoned online carts, choosing certain kinds of products, and even mouse tracking throughout the website. It’s information on how your user interacts with your product or service.
Attitudinal Data – Think of this information as results from polls, surveys, direct questions, and third-party market data. You want this information if you’re interested in people’s ideas, beliefs, and attitudes towards brands and industries.
The lines between these personal information data are often blurred and can feed into each other. What’s important to know is that this information can be used in a variety of ways to help maximize your business. But first, how do you find these hidden treasures?
Where Do You Get This Data?
There are so many ways to get user data and some of it is actually very straightforward, while more granular data can be a bit more complex to obtain. Much of this data you can access yourself, while other user information requires hiring a user data access service.
A lot of information can be gleaned simply through your user making an online purchase and interacting with your website. Grabbing emails, zip codes, gender, and product preference right off the bat is pretty standard when someone checks out online. It’s free for you and extremely useful for getting a better understanding of who’s using your products. Additionally, user surveys and customer conversations can also gather less hard, attitudinal data like which of your customers are more likely to try new products (aka early adopters) and what kind of A/B testing to administer.
Of course, there’s free, third-party information at your fingertips. The US Census has incredible amounts of information on very specific areas. If your product or service is located in a specific region or if you’re working in a niche industry, this could be an essential resource. The US government also provides plenty of information on economic trends and forecasts, all paid for by the American taxpayer. You can also check out the work of any relevant industry associations to focus your search.
For more granular information and direct tracking, you can hire a third-party to give you insight into data your brand simply cannot gather. Think data miners like Nielsen and Gartner. They give, for a fee, invaluable insight into global market shares, trends, pricing, merchandising and more, with information which can be broken down to an almost cellular level.
There’s so much you can do with the data you retrieve both on your customers and the market in general. Of course, you should try and improve your customer’s experience and your brand’s UX. If you’re seeing a trend in the way your users are interacting with your website with negative results, change it. It could be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. Track your users’ path through your service and dive into the takeaways.
Your online marketing strategy stands to gain from information garnered through your efforts as well as through data access services. Nielsen, the US Census, and your own breakdown of customer demographics can seriously increase the effectiveness of your brand’s marketing outreach. Who’s more likely to open an email about new products? Who’s more likely to take a survey? Who is actually living in your market? Using this information to your brand’s benefit will have your conversions increase.
Most importantly, you can give customers what they want. At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about. Information on your users’ actions, demographics, wants, and frustrations all lead towards being more able to get your customer the product or service they’re looking for. Iterating on your product based on customer feedback and data is at the core of creating a more successful business.