How much detail can you make out in the picture below?

There are a few key features you can make out — sky, land, hot air balloons — but everything looks blocky and out of focus, right?

Now compare it to this version:

Picture credit:

What’s the difference between these two images? Data.

The more data you have, the more complete a picture you get. That’s true in photography and doubly true in marketing.

Too often, marketers are missing crucial detail in their customer data picture. Data-driven marketers with a complete picture of their customers’ behavior can personalize more effectively, deliver messaging with better timing, and ultimately drive more revenue for the business.

Here’s how to upgrade your customer data to high definition.

5 Often-Overlooked Data Sources

Each of these customer data streams will help make your marketing smarter. The first two are absolutely crucial to fill in blurry spots in your customer data picture. The remaining three will help fill in the details to make your marketing even more effective.

1. Sales Department Data
I know, it should go without saying: Sales and marketing should be sharing data. But there are plenty of marketers who are still missing this crucial piece. There are multiple data streams that marketers should be borrowing from the sales department.

First, of course, there’s data on deals closed. Finding out how a prospect goes through their journey with the sales team can inform how you create and deliver content. Second, prospect data can help you refine personas to better personalize your messaging. Finally, data on deals that fell through can help you craft content that can give the sales team a second chance.

2. Customer Service Data
The modern buyer journey doesn’t end with a purchase. Marketers have the opportunity to influence repeat purchases and promote brand advocacy. Customer service data can help you nurture the ongoing relationship with your brand.

Imagine sending nurture emails that included details about the purchaser’s last customer service interaction. This type of data can make your messages more relevant, more personalized, and ultimately more effective.

3. Loyalty Data
Your loyalty-program customers are more likely to be engaged with the brand, to make purchases and to advocate for the brand. Wouldn’t it be great to get more customers like them?
Understanding what motivates these customers can help you entice more folks to join your loyalty program. And, of course, that data can help you provide an even more customized VIP experience to your existing loyal customers.

4. Legacy Data
If your organization predates the Internet, the odds are good that you have data stored offline. There is untapped marketing potential in those old filing cabinets gathering dust in the basement. It’s worth investing in a process to digitize that data and analyze it. The more offline data you have, the more potential there is to mine it for trends and still-relevant insights.

If you’re still storing unconnected data, now is the time to digitize, connect it to your CDP, and put it to work.

5. Wearable and IoT Data
The next frontier in customer data involves a wide array of internet-enabled devices. This category includes watches and fitness trackers, smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo, and smart appliances from blenders to clothes dryers.

This data stream is still in its infancy; it’s unlikely your organization is collecting and processing it yet. But it’s a source that will continue to rise in relevance as these devices get more widely and cheaply available. Marketers who can get an early start collecting and organizing this data will be better equipped for the next evolution of data-driven marketing.

Unite Your Data for More Informed Marketing
What does your customer data picture look like right now? Is it fuzzy, but you can make out a few details if you squint? Or can you zoom in for crystal-clear insight? Having the right data on the right platform makes all the difference.

Learn how data will drive the future of martech in our interactive guide.