With the implementation of Big Data, the potential to create effective campaigns and strategy is at marketers' fingertips. However, the volume of data can overwhelm marketers.

"What data is important? And what can I do with it?"

Cut Through the Noise

Before diving into a pool of information, make sure you're finding the data you need to help accomplish your goals.

The following three focus areas can drastically improve your marketing efforts and allow you to connect with the leads that can turn into loyal customers.

  1. Behavioral data 
  2. External triggers
  3. Sales data

What Does This Data Mean?

Those three types of data will identify how customers are interacting with your business, what is motivating and encouraging them, and how current customers are using your service.

Behavioral data

This type of lead data is very basic, but it can provide you with deep insights into how potential customers are interacting with your resources.

Behavioral data enables you to measure how active your prospects are with your brand. 

Typical types of behaviors you likely have access to are website activity, event activity, and email activity. However, you can add in more data sources, such as product data and social engagement, to give you a complete view of where your prospects engage with you the most.

After this information is obtained, you can use it to create material that caters to the needs and wants of your target audience. Once a potential target revisits the resource, he or she will have a more tailored, enjoyable experience.

External triggers

External triggers allow marketers to understand the motivation behind user behavior.

Behaviors stem from:

  • Motives—Why is the user interacting with your brand at all?
  • Incentives—What is the user gaining? 

Motives and incentives contribute to the overall action, which attributes to behavior.

External triggers identify the paths users traveled to get to your business's resources and provide insight into why they're considering your business in the first place.

That information allows you to hone in on the appropriate approach to your target audience. After your pinpoint the time and method, you are better able to secure users' business. 

Moreover, savvy marketers use this information to inform a basic lead score to help their sales team prioritize their leads. This type of information helps uncover where that prospect is at in his or her buying cycle.

Sales data

Understanding who is buying and using your services seems obvious, but doing so can often be overlooked in the marketing world.

Marketers are not going to be able to identify potential customers without understanding their current base.

Sales data provides insights on who your target audience is and how customers found and used your product to meet their needs. Marketers must understand the likely buyers, who needs to get involved, what are the objections faced by your sales team, and—ultimately—how your marketing message resonates with customers.

How to Obtain the Data

Now that you've identified the information needed to market effectively, how do you obtain it?

Here are the best ways to gather lead data:

Analytics and automation

Analytics and automation are excellent options to gain insights on behavior. Those two tools allow you to score and take action on the data you receive.

Marketo is a great resource that tunes into your website and downloads. The website and download information is then placed into your CRM system.

Those insights and the availability of information in your CRM allow marketers and sales professionals to align their strategy. Knowing what collateral and topics prospects have shown interest in is immensely helpful to your salespeople.

Social media

Social media allows you to understand the sentiments regarding your industry and business. However, the social world is massive. Finding ways to fine-tune and identify the right audience is daunting.

Some effective tools that will help you keep on top of social are Hootsuite and Sprout Social. Those solutions will help you follow targets, do topic research, and help you understand what's going in your prospects' world.

Customer feedback

Asking your customers how they feel about your business is the base for success. Customers are able to provide insights on how your resource is benefiting them and what it's lacking. Having an understanding of your users will provide you with a better understanding on your current strategy.

There are many methods to obtain this data—from email and pop-up surveys to a simple call to the appropriate customers. Tools that can make a big difference are Gainsight and Evergage that help with overall analysis of product usage.

* * *

Marketers have fully evolved into revenue-focused and data-driven professionals. To achieve success, marketers need to understand and analyze what affects potential customers.

By identifying the right data, marketers can cater their strategies and align their sales and marketing processes with the buyer's journey.

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Three Types of Data That Can Help You Connect With Leads

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image of Joe Lucas

Joe Lucas is the director of demand gen and marketing operations at InsideView, a provider of software solutions for the sales and marketing industry.

LinkedIn: Joe Lucas

Twitter: @joelucas