How Are We Using Data for Online Customer Acquisition?

How Are We Using Data for Online Customer Acquisition?

Even in this heavily competitive landscape, where customer switching is more hassle-free than ever, 67% of marketers agree that acquisition is still more challenging than retention, while 64% believe they need better data for prospecting.

Long gone are the days of targeting audiences on a “hunch”, and hoping it will pay off - data, and relevant analysis thereof, breeds broader and deeper customer intelligence, even if they’re not quite your customer yet, and a strong data strategy sets a company apart from their competition.

Let’s explore some ways that data can, in turn, be used to develop a population for whom to launch exceptional campaigns:

Identifying and Using Customer Intent

Not all visitors to your site are created equal. Oftentimes, demographics are relied upon as a segmentation tool, when in reality, they’re just a group of people who may possibly be interested in a given product or service. Demographics don’t provide valuable information like what an individual is looking for at a given time, so customer intent will always beat customer identity and meeting a given person’s needs in the very moment that they themselves realise that need is key.

Take for instance video or computer games. Common wisdom would say that their target market is males in their late teens, twenties and early thirties. However, only about 30% of customers searching online for information on video games fell within this demographic.

So to target only males between 18 and 34 would be missing out on the other 70% who intend to buy. So how do we use data to attract this intent-driven group?

Capturing search data across various e-commerce, product comparison and review sites offer information on customers showing the strongest intent, and who are thus the best sources for new customer acquisition. So to target and attract the grandmother hoping to buy the latest video game for her teenage grandson, it makes sense to monitor the trail of intent data she left when searching for Dark Souls III.


Developing Potential Customers’ DNA

Much like our own DNA, customer DNA is a collection of thousands of metrics (already decided by the marketer) that are gathered in real time and are unique to that customer. Defining an existing customers’ DNA is easy, and most decent marketing teams do this every day, but using data to gather and document potential customer’s DNA adds the real value when developing campaigns to grow your market.

To define a particular customer (or type of customer)’s DNA, data is gathered about their behaviour on a granular level, but also within context; location, time, demographic. It should be high-frequency, with information added to a customers’ profile as an event happens (e.g. inputting a search for that video game).

It’s also not enough to log your potential customers’ generic interaction data, but also within a particular situation; winter, summer, daytime, evening, weekday, weekend, location, channel and device used, in order to gain real-time visibility and a 360-degree view.

This information gives the business an edge in terms of delivering campaigns offering the customer the experience, and product selection they need in the now, drastically increasing engagement and conversion.


In an independent survey by Econsultancy on The Realities of Online Personalization, marketers reported an increase in sales of about 20% when delivering personalized web experiences, with 74% of customers reporting frustration with seeing website content that doesn’t relate to their interests, according to an Online Personal Experience Study by Janrain. With an unprecedented amount of content and number of campaigns hitting us at every opportunity, the need for more personalized messages is growing.

A robust and targeted data strategy is the key to personalizing content to the customers to whom you have the best chance of selling, rather than bombarding an overly- broad group with generic, irrelevant content.

To personalise effectively, it’s key to capture all data about the potential buyer, beyond the basics like age profile, location and channel; every touchpoint you have with the customer, across all channels and devices should be tracked, logged and analysed to pick up on lifestyle factors, preferences and (seemingly) unrelated purchases.

Social data is another key component of building an effective customer personalization strategy in order to deliver relevant campaigns, but with so much noise, it’s easy for marketers to shy away from this channel. However, comments, likes and shares around a particular activity are real-time data that reveal a lot about a customer’s preferences, how they shop and who they consider a thought leader in an area-a factor that could make a campaign a success or failure.

To sell a particular line of nutritional supplements, for instance, is going to be much more effective to target those who regularly engage with bodybuilding topics, rather than anyone who’s ever set foot in a gym, allowing for a campaign with the right audience.

To sum up...

Using this data to develop more effective, relevant and targeted campaigns, reaching ever more intent-driven customers, at the right time, will give any e-commerce business an edge over their competitors, and grow your customer base exponentially.

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