Customer data collection is the first step in setting up your marketing campaigns. Once you have collected essential information, enrich your file periodically to better know your customers. Discover 4 techniques for collecting and enriching customer data: registrations and forms on your website, direct contacts in a physical location, contests, and database purchase or rental.
Collecting and enriching marketing data online
Your website is a powerful channel to collect data about your customers. First, ask your customers or prospects to enter their contact information (email address, first and last names). Over time, refine your customer data using surveys or purchase history, for example.
Here are a few ways to collect data online:
- Newsletter registration - You can obtain the email address and, if possible, the name of the Internet user.
- Downloading white papers - Again, only ask for essential information, primarily their email address.
- Contact form - Only use necessary fields: Last name, first name, email address, and message.
- Account creation - At this stage of the customer journey, it makes sense to ask for additional information such as postal address and phone number.
- Satisfaction survey - To learn more about your audience, solicit your customers’ feedback on your products and services.
Collecting customer data in a physical location
Do you have a store? Do you meet your clients at your office? Ask them directly for their information. As for online data collection: Only ask for information necessary for your goals. You will be able to enrich your file later.
There are 3 main sources for B2B and B2C data collection:
- Loyalty program - Offer your customer to sign up for your loyalty program. Save their contact information in your system.
- Registering to an event - If you organize workshops or conferences, encourage your clients to register using a tablet or a paper form.
- Business card - Is your activity in B2B ? Take advantage of trade shows to collect business cards from your prospects.
Organize a contest to expand your customer base
An online or off-line contest is an excellent way to obtain contact information from your prospects and customers. It is also a great way to enhance your existing data.
In the hope of winning a free gift, people are more willing to share their contact and socio-demographic information (age, date of birth, gender, marital status, etc.). A well-designed game contest allows for subtle data collection on consumer interests.
Buying or renting a database
Database purchase or rental is a quick solution to enrich your prospecting file. Each of these two methods has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Choosing between buying and renting a database depends on your objectives :
- Are you launching one single campaign? Rent reliable and current data. You will not own them. You cannot add them into your customer file. Your campaign should encourage recipients to send their contact information directly to you.
- Are you planning to launch periodic actions? Purchase the data. You will own them. You can enter them into your database. However, these data could become obsolete over time. It is your responsibility to update them using various methods.
In the course of your actions to enrich your database, please ensure that you comply with the GDPR. If you work with partners, for instance for database purchase or rental, you should ask them about their data protection policy.
Successful marketing requires a clean customer database: Remember to standardize and update your data periodically.