All data is not created equal. You may have lots of data on your customers, but do you really have the right data? With so many discussions about big data, surely every marketer has more than their fair share. However, in a recent report by InfoGroup, 53% of marketers stated that they want more customer data.

Marketers were polled at the 2014 DMA annual conference on the topics of data-driven marketing. 62% of respondents have started to invest in more marketing data solutions. 47% of companies are already seeing a positive ROI, with an additional 15% expecting to see a pay-off this year.

However, while marketers see the benefits and are making more investments, only 21% are confident in the accuracy and completeness of their customer data. The biggest challenges reported were difficulty integrating across channels (40%), lack of quality customer data for segmentation (35%), and fragmented systems (32%).

customer profile

What customer data should you collect?

1. Demographics: factual characteristics, such as age, gender, occupation, and income. For example, are the majority of your customers female or male? Where do they live? Are they single or married?

2. Psychographics: values, attitudes, lifestyles. Psychographic information answers questions such as what motivates your customers to buy your products and services? What are their key values? What are their hobbies and habits?

3. Digital Behavior: any type of on-line behavior that can be tracked. These include email opens, when emails were opened, links clicked, cart abandonment, and social behaviors.

4. Transaction History: indicates user preferences – which products they’re most inclined to buy, when and how often. Also reveals how valuable a customer is: how much they spend and how often.

5. Customer Communications: from you to customers and any response they make. Monitor how effective different types of communication are and which the customer best responds to.

6. Third Party Consumer and Business Data: Adding additional demographic and firmographic data establishes a more comprehensive customer and prospect profile. This includes demographic data, such as age, health interests, marital status, net worth, occupation, religious affiliation, and more. Demographic data may include annual revenue, D&B credit rating, legal code, number of employees, primary business address, SIC, and years in business.

customer data

Source: Alteryx

Add Big Data sources through Data-as-a-Service (DaaS)


A powerful advantage of DaaS is the ability to add unique and hard-to-find data that has been aggregated from hundreds of Big Data sources. These data sets are highly targeted and go well beyond third party lists. Data sources include web mining, search information, social media, crowd sourcing, transactional, and mobile data.

Fast Data

Fast Data is the continual processing of Big Data in real time to generate insights for immediate action. Big Data is created almost instantaneously at thousands of times per second, such as click-stream data, social media posts, purchase transactions, mobile GPS signals, and or sensor data.

Fast Data aggregates event and behavioral-driven data to determine purchase intent as it occurs. These moment-to-moment insights play an important role in targeting in-market customers and prospects with the right offers and messages.

Examples of Fast Data include:

  • Aggregated “intent data” from over 160 million unique users on e-commerce, online travel agency and auto comparison sites.
  • Transactional data such as purchases, requests, insurance claims, deposits, withdrawals, flight reservations, credit card purchases, and more.
  • Search data on any term, such as “Home Renovation”, “Excited about the Move”, or competitors names and products.
  • Social media activity such as tweets that mention certain hashtags or keywords, such as, “Looking for home furniture for my new crib! Excited to go shopping. #FamilyLife.”

When deciding what types of data you should be collecting, it’s important to be selective in what should be integrated into your CRM or marketing database. Businesses are stockpiling more data than ever before.  For many companies, this data is often siloed or is in a format that can’t be used – making strategic decision-making from so much data is almost impossible. Marketers are still left wanting more data – or at least more of the right data. It is important to collect and focus on the data that are important to your business goals – whether that is generating more leads or increasing e-mail click through rates.

Download our free solutions guide to learn how you can start acquiring more customer data to generate high quality leads.