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What is Behavioral Data?

How can behavioral data help You?

Goal Attainment Step by Step

The evolution and growth of digital and technology has afforded organizations a great opportunity to record, collect and gain intelligence from what is called behavioral data.

Behavioral data is the capture of interaction, click, engagement, movement through a website, actions taken via email marketing across the buyer journey, user movement through digital content and more.

In short, it is data that is recorded and collected about the customer/prospect customer and how they move and the actions they take (or don’t) though and via your digital sites, communications and properties to include mobile. Behavioral data can be amended by third party data and other data you may have in your organization.

The tracking and collection of the resulting data can aid an organization in producing new and unknown insights and aid in prioritizing actions, product development and fixes. It can also enable effective and authoritative segmentation and persona development to ensure an organization understands the variety of customers, members or subscribers and how to tailor messages and services to each.

Behavioral data differs significantly from the traditionally collected and managed transactional data most organizations have. Transactional data focuses on the end of funnel sales (conversion) and engagement reflecting the set of customers, members or subscribers that have some form of relationship with you and purchase your products.

360 Degree View of Customers through Data

Transactional data is impactful and important to understand who has converted, the frequency of conversion across product and service types and in to aid forecasting of that set of engaged customers, members and subscribers. It is descriptive and historical oriented data about one aspect of a customer and one aspect of their relationship with you.

Behavioral data can also be defined as historical and descriptive but it should be considered to have a higher value given it reflects overall behavior and the relationship you have with that customer, member or subscriber and not just the focus on transaction. Additionally, it is data that exists without bias.

As I shared in a previous post, we often say one thing and do another. Behavioral data demonstrates and reveals what really we do.

In what ways is behavioral data valuable?

  • Informs decision making and priority setting by giving an organization a view into how all of its current and prospective customers, members or subscribers behave across digital properties, sites, mobile, communications and platforms (including learning management solutions (LMS).
  • Collected data is applied against a customer or prospect name when the identity is known by the organization. You are not having to guess who the customer or prospect is and what segment they fall into.
  • Allows migration away from taking action on survey data which is often only based on a sampling of respondents and which may not be reflective of all of your current or prospective customers, members or subscribers.
  • If you have survey data, behavioral data allows you to rationalize and compare survey findings with real time actionable behavioral data.
  • Provides the opportunity to move beyond transactional (conversion) data and reveal who is getting lost in the top or middle of the funnel (sales, relationship and engagement).
  • Generates real time objective data of challenges and problems with digital experiences and products and allows for prioritization of fixes and iterations that produce high customer satisfaction (and of course more revenue).
  • Gives the ability to create personas (profiles) and classify users into segments. Segments can be used to target and hyper-target messages and information reaching those who have particular needs and wants.
  • Enables an organization to identify the problem current or prospect customers, members or subscribers have and target solutions to help them resolve their problems. The ability to help solve problems creates higher loyalty and promotes a longer term relationship. Brand loyalty and equity are critical in a hyper competitive market.
  • Lays the foundation for effective and targeted use of an organizations limited personnel and financial resources for maximal revenue (profit) gain.
  • Creates the edge an organization needs to compete against those stealing market share, customers, members and subscribers by offering similar content, services or products.

Where does behavioral data come from?

Behavioral data is collected via marketing automation platforms, digital analytics platforms and tools and can include incorporating behaviors observed in a physical setting.

Data, Analytics and Knowledge
Data, Analytics and Knowledge

As the world is now really all digital, it is best to find a platform that brings all of the data together. The current marketing automation platforms that include integration of email marketing, customer information and profiles, sales, digital analytics and general capture of all “user” activity will lead to the most fruitful results and gains in intelligence.

Single focused platforms like email marketing platforms lead to isolated collection of only certain elements of a customer, member or subscribers’ behavior. At times this data is hard to extract and hard to correlate to data collected by other systems.

If you don’t have a holistic solution, new single focused systems can be connected via services like Zapier. The connective tissue offered is cloud based and enables quick connection and sharing of both transactional and behavioral data elements captured.

Marketing Use and Approach

Customer, member and subscriber preferences with purchasing, engagement and the interaction have greatly changed as digital and technology has created and changed many former learned behaviors.

Mass marketing approaches like “spray and pray” aren’t working particularly given the amount of electronic communication everyone receives. We only have so much attention to give to all of the communications and opportunities presented to us to interact or take some action.

As such, users (customers, members or subscribers) are seeking to interact with marketing and communications (and even digital sites and properties) that appear or are presented as relevant to them.

We are being more selective in how and what we spend our time on and are becoming highly specialized.

Creating Brand Equity

An organization collecting and analyzing behavioral data can use the data to create segments of its current and prospect customer, member and subscriber base.

Segmentation and Personas

Segmentation recognizes that an organization’s market reflects many different types of people with different interest, challenges and needs.

The different types of customers, members or subscribers can be first grouped into personas which seek to describe each grouping. Those grouped into different personas can then be related to a segment.

  • The segmentation and definition of different types of people can be used to customize and target messages and communications.
  • The segmentation and definitions can be used to create digital and mobile personalization that is more relevant that a generalized bucket created by an organization.
  • The results of targeting and matching problems your customers or prospects are trying to solve most often lead to more frequent conversions which of course increase your revenue.

Segmentation using personas and behavioral data enables improved validation from A/B testing and allows for defining and executing multi-variant tests against different customer types. The results produce a greater understanding of what is or can work across segments or within a particular segment.

It also ensures you are spending limited resources effectively and can well defend the spend of scant marketing dollars by directly tying the spend to resulting sales.

The Importance of Behavioral Data to a CEO

If you are a CEO or C level executive, behavioral data can give you action oriented insights and intelligence that breaks the impact and cycle of institutional knowledge and opinion. It is real and actionable data to know how members, customers and subscribers interact, move and engage with you.

Don’t continue to act and make decisions on transactional and survey based (biased) information when it can only tell part of the story.

In this hyper competitive market where customers, members and subscribers’ preferences are ever and quickly changing, you need to have your finger on the pulse in the immediate.

It is your imperative to take advantage of the tools and platforms now available and begin collecting and analyzing behavioral data.

Your competitors may already be on their way.

Don’t get left behind.

If you want to read more about human behavior and its impact on digital. Please read my Cycles of Human Behavior blog post or Conscious and Subconscious Decision Making (the first in the behavioral data series).

Download 10 Inbound Marketing Data Charts to see how Inbound Marketing and Behavioral Data helps you create ROI.

As always, we stand at the ready to serve you and help you on your digital, marketing and business journey. Contact us today.

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