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Why Behavioral Data Matters (2018 Updated)

How can behavioral data help you?

By Kevin Novak

Behavioral data is the capture of interaction, click, engagement, movement through a website, actions taken via email marketing across the buyer journey and user movement through digital content. The evolution and growth of digital and technology havegiven businesses and organizations a great opportunity to record, collect and gain a higher level of intelligence from behavioral data.

Behavioral data can be amended by third-party data and other data you may have in your organization.

Tracking and collecting the data can aid an organization in producing new insights and prioritizing actions, product development and fixes. It can also enable effective and authoritative segmentation and persona development to ensure an organization understands the personas 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 sales (conversion) at the end of the customer journey funnel.

Transactional data is impactful and important to understand who has converted, the frequency of conversion across products and services and for forecasting.It is anecdotal and historical 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 has a higher value given that it reflects overall behavior and the relationship you have with that customer, member or subscriber. Additionally, it is data that exists without bias.

Behavioral data reveals what we really do, not what we say.

How Is Behavioral Data Valuable?

  • It 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 specific customer or prospect by name. You don’t have to guess who the customer or prospect is and what segment they fall into.
  • It allows migration away from taking action on survey data,which is often only based on a sampling of a few respondents and may not be reflective of all of your audiences.
  • If you have survey data, behavioral data allows you to rationalize and compare survey findings with real-time actionable behavioral data.
  • It provides the opportunity to move beyond transactional (conversion) data and reveal who is getting lost in the sales, relationship and engagement funnel process.
  • It generates real-time objective data of challenges and problems with digital experiences and products and suggests prioritization of fixes and iterations that produce high customer satisfaction — and of course more revenue.
  • It enables the creation of personas (personal profiles) to classify users into segments. Segments can be used to target and hyper-target messages and information reaching those who have particular needs and wants.
  • It enables an organization to identify any problem your audiences have and target personal solutions. Resolutions generate higher loyalty and promote a longer-term relationship. Brand loyalty and equity are critical in a hyper-competitive market.
  • It lays the foundation for effective and targeted use of an organization’s limited personnel and financial resources for maximal profit.
  • It creates the edge an organization needs to compete against those stealing market shareby offering similar content, services or products.

Where Does Behavioral Data Come From?

Behavioral data is collected through marketing automation and digital analytics platforms and tools and it can incorporate behaviors observed in a physical setting.

In a digital world it is preferable to find a platform that aggregates all your data. Marketing automation platforms that include the 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 lead to an isolated collection of elements of a customer’s, member’s or subscriber’s behavior. Oftentimes this data is hard to extract and difficult to correlate to data collected by other systems.

If you don’t have a holistic solution, single-focused systems can be connected via services like Zapier. This connective tissue is cloud based and enables quick sharing of transactional and behavioral data.

For those seeking more complex systems and outputs, Customer Data Management Platforms (CDP) and Data Management Platforms (DMP) are also available.

Marketing Advantage

Audience preferences for purchasing, engagement and interaction have shifted as a result of digital and technology.

Mass marketing approaches like “spray and pray” aren’t working–particularly given the amount of electronic communications everyone receives. We only have so much attention and time 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 only with marketing, communication and brands that are relevant.

We are more selective in how we spend our time; communication must be customized and seamless.

Segmentation and Personas

An organization can use behavioral data to create segments of its audiences.

Segmentation describes the many different types of people with their interests, challenges and needs that comprise your audiences.

Personas describe each personality set and can then be grouped into segments.

  • 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 relevant.
  • Matching your audiences’ problems to solutions leads to more frequent conversions which, of course, increases 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 works across segments or within a particular segment.
  • Segmentation also ensures you are spending limited resources effectively and can defend the use of marketing dollars by directly correlating 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 challenges institutional knowledge and opinion. It is real and actionable data that proves how members, customers and subscribers interact and engage with you.

Transactional data and biased survey-based information can only tell part of the story.

In this hyper-competitive market, you need to have your finger on the pulse of your customers. And behavioral data reflect real-time trends and shifts in customer preferences. Gut instinct is relegated to the past. Take advantage of the sophisticated intelligence tools at hand.

Your competitors may already be two steps ahead of you.

As always, 2040 Digital stands at the ready to serve you and help you on your digital, marketing, communication and business journey.

Contact us today.

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