Marketers have always used data points like where customers live, how old they are or whether they like pets and gardening. This is static data. It's captured once and rarely changes. And it works. However, the power of static data is limited.
The most predictive data—and traditionally the hardest to capture and organize—is how customers behave. This is dynamic data. It changes every week, day, hour and even minute. Behavioral data is the perfect fit for targeting. It also offers many more pieces to the puzzle than just online behavior.
Here's a roadmap for how to capture and use dynamic data:
1. Know Your Customers and Segment Them Religiously. This Is Your Baseline.
Everything starts with your current customers. You need all of them for this first step—the best, the worst and everything in between. The way to know and benchmark best behavior is to create a baseline for comparison. Some customers are loyal; they want your next product the minute you release it, pay their bills on time and refer you to friends. This is knowledge that only you hold about their behavior.
Most customers are in the middle. They bought your first product, called customer service to complain, you solved the issue and they went on to buy a minor product, but never interacted again. And some customers are thorns. They bought your product, returned it and complained loudly on Facebook and Twitter—and cost you some valuable new business. Segmentation algorithms are abundant; using a statistical software package and selecting a clustering algorithm is a great start. Grouping customers into segments is the first step in creating a customer contact strategy.
2. Know Where Customers Came From and Their Preferred Channel of Communication. (Did You Ask?)
A tremendous challenge today is the "opt out," and sadly it even comes from our existing customers. Email is cheap to send, but inboxes are full. Not all marketing touches require a response: however, increasing "unsubscribes" are likely a flag that the communication is too frequent or irrelevant.