In today’s digital business landscape, the reality is that customers talk about brands, and brands listen in on many different digital platforms. One of your goals as a digital strategist is to create a brand environment that invites customer and brand interactions, and through these interactions collect demographic and preference information. With this customer information you can better understand who they are and what they are looking for.
Image credit to Affinity Digital
An effective approach for collecting your customer information is by setting up a demand generating (rich media) digital environment, such as a webcast, video, or podcast; another good digital option is a website resource center. While there is a lot of attention placed on the popular big three social platforms, such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, rich media strategies can provide you with more engagement control and customer information (data), for sales leads, digital and e mail campaign strategies.
A company resource center gives your customers an opportunity to research your product or service, and as important, provides you with an opportunity to capture user information. This information can be converted into sales leads (where customers are in the buying cycle). Your resource center should include not only white papers, but more importantly embedded rich media and events.
In the digital world, customer demographic and preference information typically comes from e mail correspondences, social media, web site interactions, and transactions. This data can be collected by using forms, which provide the customer with a digital space to put their personal (preference) and business (demographic) information into.
Now this is where good data management skills come into play, why, because the data you upload to your marketing automation system or CRM should be error free; the ease in which data can be pull out from its database system, will also affect your campaign strategies effectiveness.
As a digital strategist, you should have an understanding about how to use automated forms (sometimes called short forms) as part of your strategy, and also have a data-plan. A data-plan requires information to be standardized, which ensures that customer information is entered correctly; this process is called normalizing your data. Your automated data forms, where customers input their demographic and preference information, will also encourage customers to provide valuable intelligence information and enter it correctly.
Data entry forms can be effective in capturing anywhere from 16 to 20 fields of information from a customer. Generally speaking, a barometer for how much information customer will provide, depends on how many questions they initially complete. If they answer 7 or 8 questions (demographic and/or preference), there is a good chance they will answer a total of 10 to 15 additional ones. Remember, receiving sufficient demographic and preference information is critical to the next stage of your collection process; knowing if your leads are strong or weak (warm or cold). This information will also help you achieve a greater return (sales conversion rate) on your leads.