Digital marketing has changed a lot in recent years. Connecting to the online world meant a whole new world of marketing for both companies and consumers. Today, there's an entire ecosystem within the online world.
Marketers tend to use every advantage they can get to perfect their strategies and marketing campaigns. That includes analyzing consumer behavior down to the smallest of details.
Behavioral data helps numerous companies personalize their marketing tactics.
This allows them to be a step closer to potential customers, as well as one step closer to encouraging potential customers to convert.
But what exactly is behavioral data? Simply put, it's the information that companies gather about their customers and their purchasing habits based on customers' previous actions.
For example, your company recommends products to customers based on which items they've purchased in the past. This type of personalized marketing uses behavioral data to make recommendations to consumers. But behavioral data goes further than just helping companies personalize their marketing efforts.
As a matter of fact, it can show companies how consumers approach online shopping, what their buyer's journey looks like, what content they prefer and what their purchasing habits are, among other things, of course.
With that in mind, here are a few ways to use behavioral data in personalized marketing.
How is behavioral data collected?
Many companies monitor how consumers interact with their business. Companies collect any data that will help them understand consumers better. That includes keeping an eye on metrics, such as monitoring page visits, time spent on-page, social mentions, newsletter signups, and so on.
Companies also monitor product purchases, social media behavior, shopping cart abandonment, consumer feedback, and many other sources of information.
Once data is collected, it's also being thoroughly analyzed so that companies can extract useful insights. Companies can use other sources to gather data as well.
For example, your company can hire a social media agency to help you create a social media marketing campaign. The agency will also monitor how your target audience reacts to content, product promotions and other offers.
You may even get insights into which trends your target audience follows, which can indicate a shift in their behavior or purchasing habits.
This data will tell you how to personalize marketing so that you reach your business goals more effectively.
Whether you're aiming for higher sales or better brand awareness, behavioral data will tell you how to best approach your target audience with your personalized marketing efforts. This will help you ensure the best results. But you have to monitor what your audience is doing before you can understand their preferences or their needs.
1. Creating loyalty programs
One of the best examples of using behavioral data to personalize marketing is loyalty programs. As you might already know, it costs a business 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it costs to retain an existing customer.
Moreover, retained customers often spend up to 67% more than new customers. Therefore, a loyalty program is quite a direct approach that takes customers' wants, needs and preferences to create an environment that will encourage customers to buy more and make purchases more frequently.
Loyalty programs leverage behavioral data to create a personalized shopping experience that rewards customers for their loyalty. You can't create an efficient loyalty program if you don't know your customers well.
Using behavioral data for personalized customer retention strategies is, therefore, essential for companies. The main reason is that in most cases, around 80% of a company's revenue comes from just 20% of their customers who repeat purchases.
When you meet customer needs and expectations, they are likely to respond well to your actions. Companies usually first gather data from customers before deciding what type of loyalty program to create.
Asking customers what they'd prefer is just part of the picture. You must also understand what customers find valuable and meaningful so that you can reward them with it through your loyalty program.
2. Omnichannel marketing
Another way that companies leverage behavioral data to personalize marketing efforts is omnichannel marketing. Since the online market is highly competitive, it's very important for companies to be alongside their leads at every step of the buyer's journey.
Each step of the journey requires a specific approach and specific messages that will encourage leads further down the sales funnel. That approach and messages, however, must be highly relevant to your potential customers.
Otherwise, your leads will lose interest soon enough. Omnichannel marketing involves targeting consumers across different marketing channels, such as email, social media, websites, blogs and so on. In some cases, omnichannel marketing targets offline channels as well. But the key to success in personalized marketing is behavioral data.
In other words, you must know how your leads behave at each step of their journey. Moreover, you must know which content to provide them with and how to create personalized offers that will encourage leads to take the necessary action.
Behavioral data can help you understand the entire consumer experience while they proceed through every stage of the buyer's journey.
More importantly, the data will help you understand the most common pain points consumers come across while on their journey. Provide them with an answer or a solution and you'll be able to guide them towards conversion seamlessly.
3. Email marketing
Email is one of the best mediums for personalized marketing. It's even more effective at driving results than social media. The main reason is that email provides an environment where businesses can directly communicate with potential customers alone.
Therefore, there's no outside influence that can affect consumer behavior. It's just you and your lead. Of course, companies use email to nurture multiple leads at once.
However, what makes email marketing stand out from the rest of the channels is that you can personalize messages to specific groups of consumers based on their current interest and willingness to convert. Companies do this by segmenting their email lists.
They divide leads into groups based on how far they are down the sales funnel. Each group receives a different personalized offer or promotion to encourage them to proceed down the funnel. What's more interesting is that email is also a source of behavioral data on its own.
You can clearly see how your leads behave and what interests them from the moment they visit your website to the moment they subscribe to your email list and onwards.
In addition, consumers are willing to provide some personal information about themselves when they subscribe, such as giving you their name, for instance. Addressing people by their first name when you message them means that the massage is already personalized to some degree.
4. Mobile applications
Many companies, especially big brands, have mobile apps so that their customers can interact with those brands whenever they feel like it.
Mobile apps gather behavioral data and feed the information to the company.
Consumers know this, but they choose to download and use the app regardless. The main reason is that they prefer personalization.
You see, the in-app experience is not the same for every customer. Brands gather information about individuals so that they can create personalized offers, messages and promotions.
They send out these messages through push notifications on their mobile apps. Therefore, each customer can expect a personalized offer, discount or coupon for the products they're interested in every once in a while.
This brings customer experience to a whole new level. The fact that customers know how their personal information and preference is being used doesn't bother them one bit. If it improves the service, then so be it.
Therefore, it's not so difficult to obtain the necessary behavioral data that you need for personalization, as long as you put it to good use. Many consumers will give this information freely, knowing that the company they're doing business with will improve their experience, service and support.
That proves the point that 86% of consumers are willing to pay 25% more for a better customer experience. This is why behavioral data and personalized marketing complement each other so well, to begin with.
It's no secret that companies use different means to acquire data about consumers and their preferences. Some companies spend a fortune on analyzing big data so that they can extract viable insights.
On the other hand, others use a more direct approach and collect data from the customers themselves, as well as from customer interactions on company websites. Whichever method you use, the data you gather is invaluable to your marketing efforts.
Personalization is something that differentiates some businesses from the rest of the competition.
Using behavioral data to create efficient and personalized marketing strategies paves the way to business success.
Moreover, consumers want and expect more personalization from their favorite stores or brands. Therefore, it's only logical to seek out as much information about your customers as you can so that you can use that data to enhance their experience and improve your marketing efforts.
AuthorRick Seidl is a digital marketing specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and communications, based in Portland, Oregon. He carries a burning passion for digital marketing, social media, small business development, and establishing its presence in a digital world, and is currently quenching his thirst through writing about digital marketing and business strategies for Find Digital Agency.