I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- the future of web marketing is all about automated behavioral marketing. In other words, the future of web marketing is all about triggering marketing sequences and marketing campaigns based around what your individual customers do and who your individual customers are. But in order to pull that off, you need DATA. You need to know a lot about each and every person on your list, and you need to be actively capturing data and storing that data in a CRM like Infusionsoft in order to make it all work. In this post, I want to focus specifically on the "data capture" part of this whole strategy...
Why You Need Customer Data
Before you can start tracking your customers, you need to capture information about each of them. This does not mean you need to gather up every type of demographic data from every single person. You only need to capture the data that's relevant and relative to your business and your sales objectives. Plus, you also need to make this data capture meaningful to your customers as well. You can't just start asking for volumes of information unless it seems important to them as well.
The Golden Rule I try to follow is this: Only capture data that you can actually USE to trigger a marketing campaign or make a decision about a "next step" within a marketing sequence. The one thing I would add to the golden rule is sometimes it's necessary to capture data that you're not going to use right away but you have a strong intuition you may need later on in your marketing development.
How To Capture More Customer Data
So how do you go about the awkward process of capturing all of this data? It's actually a lot easier than you might think. Here are some suggestions for how you can capture more data without overwhelming your prospects and customers:
Add Questions & Steps To Your Lead Generation
When new contacts join your list (usually via your website), you're already asking them for name & email and perhaps a few other pieces of contact data. Why not also ask a few essential questions about who they are at this early stage? I would suggest adding a second or third step to your Lead Forms so that you can learn more about your new prospects when they sign-up. Once people are in "sign up mode" they tend to be more accepting of submitting information about themselves.
Add Questions To Your Video Landing Pages
Do you use video in your marketing funnels? If not, you should consider adding some educational videos to your marketing sequences. Videos are a great way to increase engagement with your list, but they also make it super easy to capture data. You can ask questions of your prospects & customers while they consume the video. This comes across really well if the questions are strongly connected to the videos. People tend to get a bit "bored" while watching videos so adding this interactive element can actually increase video page-view times and engagement too.
Capture More Data During Phone Calls
Is your staff making connections with your prospects & customers over the phone? This is a great time to capture little pieces of data or to "fill-in the blanks" on Contact Records in your CRM system. Customers tend to feel more open to providing information about themselves over the phone to a real human being when they feel the information is important to the relationship they're building with your company. Besides, it's always easier and more comfortable to convey information to another human being rather than to a website or web form.
Capture More Data Based Around Customer Behavior
Finally, and perhaps most important, you should be "listening" to each person's behavior within your web marketing system and then automating data capture based around that behavior. For example, suppose you're running an E-commerce retail store that sells clothing and accessories. if someone views the "sunglasses" section of your website more than 5 times or for longer than 5 minutes (just as an example) you should be tagging that person automatically and then storing that information for use in your automated marketing.
How To Make Your Data Actionable
Now that you've got more data capture in place, it's time to start using that data to drive your marketing. I strongly suggest approaching this whole process with a "reverse engineering" mindset. Think first about what you want to achieve (for example: get more customers to buy product X) and then start putting data capture in place that can help you sort out the "product X" buyers from everyone else.
Then, using a system like Infusionsoft to manage all of this, you can setup automated marketing campaigns. These campaigns would automatically start on contacts who behaved a certain way.
I also recommend checking out my post on building an "Initial Marketing Sequence" to have a set process that ALL new contacts go through before you start triggering specific marketing campaigns based on the data you've captured.
This is a pretty complex topic, I know, but once you start taking the ideas and implementing them into your own marketing system you can make it work for your type of business.