Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Tips for Effective Use of Consumer Data

Big Data is the latest marketing buzz word.  Never before have marketers had so much access to information, often requiring no more effort than the click of a button.

Gender, location, salary, and family size are now considered the low-hanging fruit in the data world.  As the result of social media platforms, the real data gems now include details like food allergies, hobbies, shopping preferences, and buying patterns. Marketers today have the ability to build out a 360-degree view of their target market, from broad segments down to specific individuals. All of this data helps to shape campaigns that lead to desired responses.

Here are five tips for effectively using – and proactively managing – consumer data:

1.  Leave your biases behind. Data is often used internally to protect pet projects or support preferred outcomes. It’s important to free yourself from desired results and execute a neutral assessment of the facts.

2.  Data cleansing should be an ongoing process. Organizations often execute time-sensitive, solitary efforts to purify their databases leading to inaccurate information that impacts results.  Make data collection and revision a continuous effort.

3.  Cross-check your data. There are a variety of databases that provide similar information. By combining several of these sources, inconsistencies can be easily identified for a cleaner result.

4.  Make data collection and analysis a C-level focus. All too often, data collection and assessment reside at the lowest levels of an organization. The importance of high-quality data must be communicated by top executives.

5.  Don’t ignore the human factor. By its very nature, consumer data is in a constant state of flux. It’s important to take time to contemplate the information within the context of your business. What makes sense on paper may not make sense in reality.
5 Tips for Effective Use of Consumer Data previously appeared in Consolidated Graphicsemerge® magazine. To view emerge magazine online and to subscribe, click here.


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