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Customers satisfied with the products or services a business provides are more likely to continue doing business with that company. The key is to maintain their constant flow to the enterprise. 

Marketers who succeed have the most complete strategies. Count Brian Shiraho among them. A professional copywriter at Upwork and digital marketer, during an Africa Tweet Chat he discussed incorporating customers in digital marketing strategies.

Business owners have to think of their customers first. The consumers are the ones who pay to keep the lights lit. 

“Companies fail because they don’t incorporate the customer when making a product,” Shiraho said. “Customers should be the first thing businesses think of when coming up with an item.”

He recommends involving customers in the production stages:

  • Conduct surveys on what customers think about your product, and improve the product accordingly.
  • Run Twitter polls to ask customers what they like or hate about your product. Then improve on what they dislike.
  • Keep improving the product according to customers’ feedback.

Digital businesses can collect customer data through polls, questionnaires, analytics and most importantly, having conversations with them. Be human first. 

“The best way to collect customer data is by using tools,” Shiraho said. “Google analytics makes it possible for you to track, sort and analyze customer behavior to gain insights about your customers. Analytics works hand in hand with the Google search console.”

He added that Facebook and Twitter also have analytics tools to help digital businesses analyze their audiences.

Pulling in the Data

Digital businesses can collect consumer demographics such as age, income, interests, goals and any specific areas that the company specializes in. 

“Customer data helps you understand how best you can fix their problems,” Shiraho said. His research has uncovered four main types of customer data:

  • Basic Data. This includes simple data such as names, email addresses, job titles, demographics such as gender, age and income, and firmographic data such as annual revenue and industry.
  • Interaction Data. Learn about customers’ interaction with your site. Such data include page views, e-book downloads, social shares, email inquiries and demo requests.
  • Behavioral Data: Pretty much similar to interaction data, this mainly deals with how the customer uses the product. Behavioral data include free trials, sign-ups, user account logins, feature use, deactivation and downgrades.
  • Attitudinal Data: This helps you understand what your customers are thinking. Such data include online reviews, support tickets and satisfaction reviews.

An Insightly article explains these customer data types in more detail. 

Digital businesses can use special software to collect customer data.

Twtpoll lets you get data from customers by running a poll on Twitter or embedding a poll on a blog,” Shiraho said. “Mouseflow captures the flow of the mouse as users interact with your site. It gives you insights into what you’ve implemented well.”

Information to Grow On

Tapping into the different types of customer data can help digital businesses grow.

“Basic data helps form a basis for segmenting—or grouping—customer data,” Shiraho said. “Interaction data is useful for informing the business about the customers’ journey. It might help you understand the challenges they face or what they enjoy the most.

“Behavioral data gives a business insight into why customers are reacting in particular toward a product,” he said. “It also offers the perfect chance to understand customer preferences and identify future trends.”

Perhaps the strongest indicator gets into people’s minds.

“Attitudinal data lets you hear the customers’ own thoughts toward your products and the solutions you offer,” Shiraho said.

Digital businesses need consumer data to detect trends and anticipate their needs. The first one to pivot to the correct solutions wins the race. 

“By analyzing historical patterns in customer data, businesses can come up with informed predictions on sales patterns,” Shiraho said. “Marketers call this type of prediction demand forecasting.

“These forecasts can inform businesses about warehousing needs so they’ll know what are the best seasons to stock their warehouses or when they can make flash sales,” he said. “Besides knowing how to meet customer expectations, demand forecasting can also help businesses estimate their future revenues.”

A ShipBob article goes more in depth about the importance and benefits of demand forecasting.

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Jim Katzaman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services. A writer by trade, he graduated from Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He enlisted in the Air Force and served for 25 years in public affairs – better known in the civilian world as public relations. He also earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Public Affairs. Since retiring, he has been a consultant and in the federal General Service as a public affairs specialist. He also acquired life and health insurance licenses, which resulted in his present affiliation with Largo Financial Services. In addition to expertise in financial affairs, he gathers the majority of his story content from Twitter chats. This has led him to publish about a wide range of topics such as social media, marketing, sexual harassment, workplace trends, productivity and financial management. Medium has named him a top writer in social media.

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