3 Ways to Overcome Customer Data Inaccuracies to Truly Reach your Target Market

According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, it’s estimated that a retailer using big data to its full potential can increase its operating margin by more than 60%. Additionally, Harvard Business Review maintains that data-driven businesses are 6% more profitable than other companies.

It’s clear that data-driven companies are outperforming companies that don’t utilize big data. But, capturing big data is only half the battle when it comes to achieving sizeable marketing wins.

To truly reach your target market, it’s vital to not only gather big data, but also to gather the right data. While big data is understandably one of the largest marketing trends of 2014, it was recently reported that 41% of retailers struggle with maintaining accurate data. To help you win with big data, consider these three pointers.

1. Leverage 1st party data

Rather than using cookies, web beacons, and e-tags, for example, first-party data gathers permission-based access to consumers’ social data, including media preferences, likes, relationships, interests, and more. Since your customers provide you with access to data points themselves, this means the data you collect paints a more accurate picture of who your customers are, and how they will interact with your website.

One of the most effective ways to gather first-party data includes implementing a social login where users can register with their existing social media accounts. In fact, a recent study that examined thousands of websites and mobile apps that used social login yielded a few important findings ,including the following:

  • social login increases user acquisition by an average of 33%

  • socially logged in customers view 67% more pages

  • socially logged in customers spend 56% more time interacting with the site (Gigya)

Simply put, the findings suggest that utilizing this first-party information is a promising way of not only understanding your customers, but also capturing and maintaining their attention.

2. Find the right tools to help you

While big data certainly holds the key to unleashing the perfect marketing campaign, it doesn’t do much good if you can’t understand the data, and/or don’t wisely implement it into your marketing strategy.

Interestingly enough, many CMOs are new to big data (and that’s okay). In fact, according to digital technology expert M. Eric Johnson in an interview with CMO.com about the challenges of the big data boom, “There is still a lot of naivety and inexperience; a lot of companies are clueless about how to unlock the value that’s tucked away in their data.”

The answer lies in having the right tools to help you connect the dots. Specifically, you’ll want to invest in a database that has the flexibility to aggregate data from across consumer devices and channels and manage large volumes of structured and unstructured data points securely. In addition to investing in a single repository for user data, you also want to make sure your solution is equipped to help you leverage this data by plugging it into the marketing platforms and systems you already use.

3. Continually focus on real analytics

Another integral piece of the overcoming consumer data inaccuracies puzzle is to make sure you are paying close attention to the right analytics. In other words, it’s important that you are capitalizing on actionable metrics, rather than vanity metrics.

It’s easy to get excited about metrics that indicate some type of improvement, such as an increase in page views of social shares. But the key is to tie these metrics and customer actions directly to KPIs that reflect conversions and customer loyalty, and figure out how to influence the behaviors driving value for your business. These types of actionable metrics can be different for each company, depending on your goals, but they often include genuine engagement, active users, and profits, for example.

In addition to focusing on real analytics, it’s important to review your data frequently. As your company grows, you may experience significant shifts in data that reflect critical changes in your customer base. As a marketer, it’s important to stay on top of the game and remain adaptable.

In order to overcome big data inaccuracies and to really get to know your target market, it’s vital to make some adaptations to how you collect, read, and use data. In short, use first-party data to elicit more accurate information about your customer base. Additionally, take the time to invest in a database that can help you collect and manage large chunks of data. Once you have a way to efficiently gather large data chunks, continually and closely monitor KPIs that are in line with your goals for growth.

By Ashley Cummings