Understanding what your customers want | Dotdigital

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Understanding what your customers want

At the core of every B2B and B2C brand is a customer need. All the products and services we create and supply meet this need. Understanding customers’ needs is what drives innovation. Whether you’re a B2B tech company or a B2C fashion brand, if you don’t understand what your customers want, you’ll find engagements dropping and sales diminishing.   

The first step in understanding what your customers want is to find out who your customers are. Once you know that, you’ll have a clearer picture of what drives them, and what they expect of you as a brand. Once you know that, you’ll be able to refine your email marketing and customer experiences with data-driven tactics. 

What is customer data? 

Customer data is the information you collect on your customer base throughout your relationship with them.  

Most customer data you collect will fall into one of three categories:  

  1. Personal data, e.g.: 

  • First name 
  • Last name 
  • Email address  
  • Phone number  

  1. Demographic data, e.g.: 

  • Age  
  • Location 
  • Job title  
  • Interests  

  1. Behavioral data, e.g.:  

  • Browsing history 
  • Past purchases 
  • Abandoned cart or browses  
  • Average order value (AOV) 

Why is collecting customer data important? 

Collecting customer data will enable you to build full and comprehensive customer profiles.   

Armed with a complete customer profile, you can target and refine your email marketing tactics. Personalization and segmentation are essential for successful email marketing campaigns. The more you collect, the smarter your tactic will become. Never miss a chance to cross or up-sell your offering using intelligent product recommendations. Or drive customers into action with intelligent dynamic content based on physical locations.   

The possibilities are endless.   

What can you do with customer data? 

We say the possibilities are endless, but what are they? Let’s break it down. 

Personal data  

Collecting personal data is essential for personalization.   

Segmented, targeted, and personalized emails generate 58% of all revenue for brands who adopt those tactics. So why are 70% of brands still not sending personalized emails? It doesn’t make sense.   

By collecting something as simple as a name, you’ll be able to deliver personalized content on every channel. Personalized subject lines and messages lead to higher open rates. Personalized landing pages create consistent experiences for your customers.   

Customers today are savvy about marketers’ tactics. They also know that personalization is possible. When brands fail to meet their expectations, you’re risking your brand’s reputation. The number one benefit of personalized experiences is that they delight the customer. As a result, they return to your website because you have provided them with a superior experience.   

First name personalized email from Monica Vinader with dynamic images
Jewelry brand, Monica Vinader, team basic first name personalization with intelligent dynamic images to deliver a simple message with impact.

Demographic data 

You need demographic data such as location, job title, and interests to segment your audiences.   

In some ways, segmentation is another form of personalization. It allows you to target large groups at once while delivering specific content that’ll engage readers.   

For instance, if you’re a jewelry brand that sells rings, necklaces, and earrings, specify your message by asking for a product preference. B2B brands can target budget holders and decision-makers by collecting job titles.   

Once you have segments identified, you can create specific campaigns targeting individual preferences. Or you can create a single campaign and use dynamic content blocks to personalize for each segment.   

Shoppers generally discover new brands as the result of a search query. Understanding what drove them to your site will give you extra insight. It can also reveal preferences that can inspire new product and service innovation.   

The bigger and more diverse your offering is, the more vital demographic data gathering is. Large businesses such as department stores need to be driving customers to update their preference centers. Doing this regularly will ensure customer demands are being met. 

Example of segmented email from fashion brand uniqlo.
We love this example from fashion brand, Uniqlo. They use subscriber location to drive them toward new weather essentials.

It could be improved if the brand also segmented its audience based on gender preference, so there would be one above-the-fold CTA.

Dollar Shave Club data collection on signup.
Men’s grooming brand, Dollar Shaving Club, collect all the relevant information they need to deliver customer the perfect product at the point of signup.

Behavioral data  

Behavioral data is customer data generated by a customer’s engagement with your brand. Unlike personal and demographic data, you’re unlikely to gather this information from your customers. Instead, this data will be sourced website, CRM and ecommerce systems, and marketing automation platforms.   

Behavioral data provides you with a wealth of insight into your customers. From past purchases to link tracking, you can discover who are your high-spenders, and reveal content that drives clicks.  AOV can help you create RFM segments. Tracking page visits can trigger abandoned browse campaigns. Customers’ shopping history can help you create engaging product recommendation blocks.   

Tarte cosmetics browse abandonment email with product recommendations
Cosmetics brand, Tarte, add smart product recommendations as part of its abandoned browse campaign. By teaming a recommendation block with its trigger recovery campaign, Tarte are increasing the chances of shoppers’ adding more items to their shopping carts.

Keeping a close eye on your customers’ behavior will reveal untapped data that can power-up your marketing campaigns.   

Using data to understand customers 

Collecting data isn’t the only way to discover what drives your customers. By adopting a data-driven you will witness a significant improvement. But, to understand what your customers want, you need to be keeping a close eye on your results.   

If you adopt a strategy and see your result improve, think about ways to optimize and improve. If you discover a tactic that doesn’t work, it’s important to highlight what part of it didn’t land well with your audience.   

Always keep an eye on your open rate, CTR, and conversions to make sure you’re meeting your customers’ needs.   

How to collect customer data  

To discover how to collect the customer data you need to create a data-driven email marketing campaign, check out our latest email essentials cheatsheet: How to collect customer data.  

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