Considering it’s St.Paddy’s (NOT Patty’s, see infographic below) day tomorrow, we figured it was just about the perfect time to share some golden advice about user profile data—before your inner Irish-self makes a break for the nearest watering hole!
User profile data is gold for marketers, not unlike the elusive pot at the end of the rainbow—but that’s just the problem. It can feel impossible to get your hands on it, and just has to be so colorfully majestic!
By the way, the only thing we can promise about this article besides the fact that you’ll get schooled on user profile data, is that it will be littered with greenish, leprechauny, pot o’ gold, end of the rainbow-type puns.
And we aren’t even sorry.
Do You Have the Luck of the Irish on Your Side?
Actually, 39% of marketers say that their data is collected “too infrequently or not real-time enough,” making it difficult to deconstruct and use. The study also found that 29% say that their marketing departments have “too little or no customer/consumer data.” When data is collected by marketers, it is often not proportionate to real-time decision making, thereby making it a bit useless.
It seems like marketers are always chasing the proverbial end of the rainbow in hopes of finding the user data pot of gold they need to fuel their marketing campaigns and understand their targeted customers on a deeper level.
Aye, marketers, do not fear! That golden nugget of information that will help you better understand your users’ needs, improve your marketing direction, and give you that deeper understanding of marketing strategies, does exist.
The information is readily available via social data, and the way you get that is through the social media accounts of your users.
As outlined in Using User Profile & Social Data to Drive Deeper Digital Interactions, “User profile and social data helps to optimize a marketing campaign by supplying critical consumer information. This data is pulled from a user’s social profile and can be used to personalize efforts to ensure that brands are able to communicate with their users at a personal level.”
How to Collect Customer Data
Your approach to collecting customer data is not something you can overlook. If your data collection practices are a bit mischievous and you are acting more like a leprechaun than a responsible marketer, you risk losing the trust of your users and hurting your brand’s reputation.
“Not following best practices for data collection can have serious consequences. Small businesses should focus on data collection as much, if not more, than bigger businesses. A big business might be okay with losing a few invoices a month and can get by losing $10,000 in potential revenue. But can you afford to do this?” says Jason Peck on gocanvas.com.
So, where does one look for user profile data?
They say that the odds of finding a four leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000. The good news is that the odds of finding quality and insightful user data are much higher. You just need to know where to look.
“You will be surprised to find that the data you are looking for is available right within the social media ecosystem where your target audience is interacting with friends, followers, and brands; users are building an online brand for themselves and by enhancing social you are able to get insight on that brand.”(The Social Media Hat)
You can utilize a number of marketing tools to collect customer data, like:
- User registration
- Market research
- Transaction history
- Social media contests
- Google Analytics
- Online surveys and polls
- Customer feedback
- Social analytics
- Website analytics
- Social login
How a Leprechaun Would Use Profile Data
Don’t be fooled by his charming smile and welcoming spirit! Leprechaun’s are crafty and always scheming, which is what you don’t want to be.
Collecting user profile data is only half of the equation. You can collect all the data in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it effectively and according to the data use laws and regulations in your area, you could be wasting your time.
The last thing you want to do is alienate your users and lose their trust. Being the mischievous creatures that they are, leprechauns may not be as concerned about trust and doing things by the book. They’re more concerned about collecting as much data as possible and using it any way they can to fill up their pot of gold.
Customer data collection practices you should avoid:
- Not asking for permission: Transparency is very important. Always be clear about the information you are asking for and ensure you have explicit permission before you collect customer data.
- Being greedy and asking for as much information as humanly possible: While it would be great if you could get all the information you need from your customers at once, you need to make sure you don’t ask for too many data points. It’s also important to stay on point and not ask for irrelevant or controversial information.
- Being intrusive and asking for personal information too soon: In order to gain detailed personal information from your users, it’s important to gauge your relationship with them first. Don’t be pushy and ask personal questions too quickly, marketers need to asses their relationship with users before asking for data to maintain a trusted foundation.
- Sharing and selling user data: One thing a jerky leprechaun would definitely do is sell profile data for gold. However, this is a risky strategy that will likely backfire, and you could alienate your customers. Once you do this, you will have a tough time getting them back.
The takeaway here is that if all you care about is eyeing the gold at the end of the rainbow, you risk eroding your relationship with your users. Selfish and shady data collection practices that do not take users’ rights and privacy into consideration will eventually catch up to you in the form of a bad reputation and even the possibility of legal issues. This will hurt your marketing efforts, and ultimately, how much you have in your pot of gold.
Don’t be a jerky leprechaun!
Gold at the End of the Rainbow – The Value of User Profile Data
User Profile Data is one of the best sources of information marketers can collect about their customers. Through marketing tools such as social analytics and social login, you have the ability to gain access to more detailed, accurate, and insightful data that you can apply to all of your marketing efforts.
Social profile data is so valuable because:
- It’s first party data: There is nothing more desirable than collecting user data directly from the source. While other collection methods such as user registration forms and polls are popular, the validity and accuracy of the information can be called into question. User profile data is a more trusted source of information.
- It provides valuable insights: User data offers more than just basic demographic information such as a user’s name and email address. It also provides more detailed and valuable information about a user’s interests, likes, and content they engage with—which can be used to create more targeted and effective marketing strategies.
How to Use Your New Found Marketing Gold
The benefits of having customer profile data to consult when formulating your marketing strategy is beneficial in 4 key ways:
- Gain a deeper understanding of your users: Because of the nature of social user data, it allows you gain a deeper understanding of users’ interests and what they want from your company—helping you to create more targeted and engaging content, messaging, and communications.
- More personalized user experience: Your users want personalized experiences. User profile data helps you improve their experience, eliminate irrelevant messages to users, and give them more of what they want.
- Make better marketing strategy decisions: The more you know about your users, the more relevant and targeted you can make your marketing strategies. The more information you have about your users, like their personal preferences, and likes and dislikes, helps you make better decisions about how to engage them.
- A strong relationship with your users: Social data gives you the information you need to build a stronger relationship with your users, building trust and create more meaningful interactions.
If you want to make your competitors green with envy and jealous about your relationship with your customers, user profile data is one of the most effective marketing tools you can use. But remember—avoid the temptation to be greedy and act like a leprechaun when collecting user data. Do things the right way, and you will have no problem finding the gold at the end of the rainbow.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day! Even if you are only Irish one day of the year!