As marketers, your goal is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. To achieve this, you must understand what motivates existing and potential customers. This allows you to provide more relevant offers to customers and drive higher revenue.
Due to privacy concerns and the ease with which potential customers can use technology to limit exposure to marketing messages, securing customer information can be a challenge. To overcome it, you must rethink not only the way you gather customer information, but how you leverage it.
The key is to engage potential customers—to motivate them and to explain that sharing information will lead to better and more relevant communications and offers. The best way to accomplish this is to turn a one-way communication into a two-way conversation.
To start the conversation, you need to learn more about current and potential customers than just basic demographics. You need to know things like lifestyles, desires and preferences. However, it's crucial to do so in a non-intrusive fashion.
In gathering this important personal data, you must also protect customer privacy, not only from a legal standpoint, but also because it is the right thing to do. Put yourself in your prospective customers' shoes: Would you feel comfortable telling a total stranger your annual income?
Customers generally are comfortable with questions about their income, age, interests and family status when they can select an answer from a range. They are also much more likely to share crucial, non-threatening insights if you motivate them to respond by offering a small token of thanks.
Once you have this valuable, self-reported customer data, the magic is in how you utilize it to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. The objective is to generate net incremental revenue while eliminating or significantly reducing revenue dilution.