How Digital Footprints Are More Telling Than Big Data: 5 Tips

Getting personal with consumers online requires brands to know their existing and potential customers. Unfortunately, not all brands do. Consumers continually adjust preferences as tastes change. If marketers want to hyper-target potential and existing customers, they also need to evolve. A couple of studies released this week suggest Big Data is out and a brand's data is in.

There's a shift in thinking when it comes to consumer data that stems from search to other types of online media, both earned and paid. It stems from generating services based on data about what consumer want, not what you think they need. "Consumers don’t go to the store to buy products. They go to the store to buy something that will enable them to get some important job done in their lives," per the Harvard Business Review (HBR). Fernando Bazan Athie, emarketing supervisor in LATAM at 3M, said something very similar during his keynote at the most recent MediaPost Search Insider Summit.



Find Data Based On What Consumers Want To Accomplish

A brand should know what consumers want and create what HBR calls a consumer's jobs-to-be-done list. The article suggests that "disruptive innovation practitioners" have found that brands will generate data that more reliably predicts what consumers will buy and why they will make the purchase when they focus on the data that describes how they get things done, rather than what they need to do.

Follow The Footprints

The best data resides in a brand's enterprise, CRM, Web and ecommerce platforms. Consumers -- especially Millennials -- know companies collect information about them, but they expect a fair exchange of content in return. In fact, more than 40% of U.S.-based Millennials -- a savvy group of consumers growing up in the digital age -- can identify the data brands use to track their behavior, per a SDL Consumer Experience Research Report.

Finding Valuable Data In Brand Platforms

Sorry -- the brands ranking third-party data more important than their own need to rethink how to use data. The digital footprint across brand Web sites tell so much more about more about customers, compared with other types. Some 52% of the 1,800 Millennials ages 18 to 36 from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands do not have issues with brands using their data to provide a better customer experience. Small data becomes most telling and provides much more accurate hyper targeting.

Earn Trust and Don't Waste Their Time

Respondents to the SDL survey are seven times more likely to provide personal information to a trusted brand, a company they have purchased from before, but they want value in return. In fact, 60% of U.S. Millennials will provide more personal data to a company they trust. Some 46% are willing to provide more data to businesses if it means the brand doesn't waste their time.

Some Marketers View Consumer Behavior A Bit Differently

Marketers rely on consumer behavior data about 69% when making decisions on how to allocate media budgets. Purchase behavior ranks as most proximate. Some 79% of marketers said they use consumer purchase behavior when determining how to influence the selection of a target audience, per a study from ThinkVine that estimates more than half of senior-level marketers expect to spend more on digital marketing within the next two years.

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