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3 Ways to Build More Robust Marketing Profiles Using Behaviors

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by: Todd McCormick (@TMcCormick2011)
19 December 2012

If your company is using outdated marketing techniques to motivate customers to act, you might actually be motivating them to not act. Too many organizations still rely heavily on broad email segmentation and mass advertising to target buyers, even though both deliver diminishing returns for engagement. In fact, it somewhat surprises me that online advertising is still so popular — especially when it’s so costly. But, eMarketer predicts spending on ad purchases will rise to $44.5 billion by 2015, up from $28.5 billion in 2011.

But you don’t have to spend billions of dollars to target buyers online. With the right strategies and tools, you can successfully build out buyer profiles that already exist within your database and then easily market to those future customers. That’s what I’ll discuss in today’s blog — three ways you can enrich your company database with complete and accurate buyer information that reflects real-time, relevant behavior and spurs action.

Implement a non-keyed database
What if I told you that you could begin creating robust profiles of potential customers even without having individual email addresses? New technology such as the non-keyed database system allows marketers to create customer profiles and “listen” for behaviors, which are then added to the user’s profile.

For example, let’s say a customer is on your website and searches for outdoor desert camping equipment. He clicks on relevant search results and then adds these items to his cart. Simply by “listening” to his behavior, you know he is interested in desert camping, and can store this insight into his customer profile.

Once you record a few customer behaviors in the prospect’s record, you can use dynamic content blocks to customize that shopper’s website experience. For example, the next time the above shopper visits your website, you can configure the content blocks to feature guidebooks for successful desert camping. You personalize engagement and build a more robust marketing profile — without having to wait until you snag an email address.

Gather profile information through social login
The world is getting more social by the second, and offering visitors to your site the option of registering via their social network login has two benefits: first, it reduces form abandonment; secondly, it enables you to collect more data — and more accurate data — without having to ask too many questions.

For example, a retailer who was looking to initiate a potentially lucrative “happy birthday” program might be hesitant to do so because of uncertainty about how to collect the necessary data during the regular course of business. By offering social login, that retailer would have access to birthday information for anyone who, for example, registered with his or her Facebook login.

Likewise, B2B companies could enhance their databases via social login. Consider the challenge of prospects providing false contact information in an effort to avoid contact with salespeople. If a business offered social login and a visitor registered via LinkedIn, for example, the company would have access to a verified email address that skews heavily to work-related, helping the company solve the falsified data dilemma.

Use data from email responses
So far, we’ve discussed ways you can build robust marketing profiles with or without a single email address. But let’s assume you do have the buyer’s email and have been actively communicating with him. Now’s your opportunity to better target your email communications, particularly by tracking useful behaviors in his profile, such as:

  • Messages opened
  • Clicked links
  • What time of day the subscriber opened the email
  • Social sharing

By automatically storing these critical, real-time behavioral actions in unique contact profiles within your database, you can use dynamic content and automated programs to create more strategic communications and increase your ability to generate opens, click-throughs and other desired actions.

Want other ways to continue building more robust customer marketing profiles? Shoot me a tweet @TMcCormick2011.

Related Resources:
1) White Paper: “New Year’s Resolutions Marketers Can Toast To
2) Blog: “The New Sales and Marketing ROI: Return on Relationship
3) Blog: “5 Marketing Changes to Make in 2013

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