Personalization: Data to Use and Ways to Put Them in Action
Personalizing your marketing messages can be a great way to connect with prospects. But to be truly effective, personalization must go beyond a person’s name. It must address an individual’s needs, interests and desires. In addition to basic geographic and demographic data, there are myriad other types of data you can use to make your messages more relevant. Here, three experts explain the types of data that can be used to personalize marketing messages and a few ways to use these data to your advantage.
Types of Data
1. Attitudinal or behavior-based data. Mark Graham, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Yankelovich, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based consumer research company, suggests combining traditional demographic and geographic data with social consciousness measures. This type of data might include a consumer’s beliefs about environmentalism, health care or exercise. “If this person is socially conscious and recycles and considers themselves an environmentalist, then by all means, we need to communicate with [him] as if [he is] an environmentalist,” he says.
Stephanie Laud, director of database marketing solutions at Merkle, a Landham, Md.-based database marketing agency, asserts that attitudinal data “can also offer value by helping marketers understand what drives customer behavior—which, in turn, can also help determine targeting strategy.”
2. Transactional data. According to Laud, this is a rich source of information for enhancing prospecting data. “These transactional data—including purchase behavior and general online activity—can make direct mail and e-mail targeting even more relevant,” she says. “It can also enable trigger-based targeting, which would affect not only the timing and frequency of contact, but also the message and even the offer.”
3. Aggregated data. Laud explains, “If you are selling a product targeted to individuals with age-related health concerns, understanding individual age and life stage is valuable,” she says. “However, knowing the average age of people within a particular county or ZIP code could be a more accessible solution, and one that can be provided by aggregated data.”