In theory, the digital world we live in should make it easier than ever for marketers to gather data about the online activities of customers and use it to their advantage to make more sales. The reality is often quite different because most people don’t go out of their way to improve the efficiency in which marketers target them.
At the same time, they expect personalized service and experiences rather than sales transactions and will go elsewhere if they don’t get it. What’s an online marketer to do?
Take Advantage of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that provides marketers with multiple data sources. This in turn allows them to understand their customers better. Here are some of the specific pieces of information that anyone with a free account can see:
- Whether the website visitor shared content on any social media accounts
- The keywords used or advertisement clicked to find the website
- Pages the visitor viewed on the website
- Actions take on the website such as viewing a specific product or requesting more information
This information is especially valuable because it provides a level of details that customers themselves will not provide to marketers. Anyone serious about making a profit online should sign up for Google Analytics if they haven’t already.
Determine Which Questions to Ask and Resolve After Collecting Customer Data
The sheer amount of data available to online marketers can appear so overwhelming at first that they don’t know what to do with it. One way to weed through the data and figure out what’s most important is to apply these questions:
- What do website visitors expect to see when arriving at the site?
- Which actions affected engagement rate most positively?
- What are some of the unique challenges of visitors to our website?
- Are there functions the company hasn’t used yet but could or is it possible to improve existing functions for a better user experience?
Answering these questions completely and honestly will help online marketers better meet customer needs that they have not yet expressed.
How to Bring Data Together in the Most Meaningful Way
As author and entrepreneur, Seth Goodin states there’s nothing useful about data until people turn it into information they can use. He also likens taking action without analyzing data as a reckless gamble that could result in financial loss. However, that can be challenging when marketers must comb through an average of 15 data sources per customer, a number that has increased by one-third in just the past three years.
While marketers understand the importance of responding to customers in real time, only 43 percent state they do this during the pre-purchase phase. That could be because only 12 percent have usable data about individual customers that could help them through the transaction.
Reaching these goals requires marketing teams to have access to customer data across all channels, something that Salesforce is making possible by connecting their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with Google Analytics. Salesforce feels this is the future of work, and the numbers bear this out.