7 critical data sources

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A rapidly growing data multiverse of consumer data both complicates and eases a marketer's task. Knowing how these data universes are connected and what exists in each will ensure a cohesive marketing strategy. Of course, there are other data sources on consumers, but these seven data universes are essential to marketers. 


  • Transactional data: Specifics on transactions to the level you can and wish to collect.

  • Customer attitudinal research: Specific responses from individual customers that you collect.

  • Traditional demographics: Age, gender, income and scores of others.

  • Credit and financial data, both actual and modeled: A host of credit and financial data points along with hundreds of modeled variables summarized at the Zip +4 level.
  • Psychographics: Generally, the classification of consumers into like-groups through custom modeling or commercially available models.

  • Consumer behavior in businesses related to your activity: Specialty lists collected from consumer behavior like online surveys, registrations and purchases.

  • Digital/social footprint: The information that individuals post in public areas of social media sites.


In order to capitalize on this data for a successful 360-degree marketing plan, companies must be aggressive about collecting information on customers.


There is no outside resource that will replace what an organization can know, on an aggregate level, about what its customers actually do on a transaction level. 


Successful marketers will collect firsthand opinions from their customers to supplement existing data. Ask them what they think about their experience, their satisfaction and their perception of your brand. Use the tools available today to enhance, profile, segment and understand your customers further.


The customer data lurking in social media can have a positive impact on your business. Quite simply, the world of social media is evolving astonishingly quickly, and it's better to get involved in the conversation now. 


Lastly, use the data for actionable insight and then act.

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