Using multiple data sources provides marketers with up-to-the-minute details of customer preferences and behavior. By leveraging these data sources, businesses can firm up customer engagement, fine-tune marketing campaigns, and drive business growth, all at lower costs.
Released in November 2022, the eighth edition of the Salesforce State of Marketing Report includes a fascinating observation. The number of different customer data sources used by companies is projected to top eighteen by year-end 2022, up 80% over the average of ten mentioned in 2021. And for 2023, the sky’s the limit.
Today’s Main Customer Data Sources
Some of the main data sources widely used by marketers today include:
Website analytics data encompasses information on website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. This data can be used to optimize website designs and user experiences;
Advertising data include information on ad impressions, clicks, and conversions. This data can be used to optimize ad campaigns and improve ROI;
Social media platforms provide a wealth of data on customer behavior and preferences, particularly engagement rates, follower demographics, and sentiment analysis;
Marketing automation platforms provide data on customer interactions with marketing content, such as email open rates and click-through rates;
Mobile data sources include data on mobile app usage, location data, and device information, which can be used to fine-tune mobile app designs and target smartphone users with personalized messages;
Customer relationship management (CRM) data is the most common data source among marketers, ranging from contact information to purchase history, and demographic details.
Why Are Multiple Customer Data Sources Important?
For marketers facing the phase-out of third-party cookies, having access to more customer data is a welcome lifeline. More sources can provide businesses with strategic advantages and unique insights. Nevertheless, businesses must balance the benefits of more data sources with rising demands for better customer privacy protection, ensuring compliance with a rising tide of international data privacy regulations.
The upside of accessing more customer data sources covers a broad range of plus factors:
Enhanced personalization: With more customer data sources, businesses can better personalize their marketing and outreach efforts. By understanding customer preferences and behavior, businesses can deliver targeted messages and promotions that are more likely to resonate with their audiences;
Insights into customer needs: By gathering data from multiple sources, businesses can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors. This can help businesses to tailor their products and services to better meet customer demands, boosting customer satisfaction;
Faster decision making: Access to more data sources can provide businesses with a more complete picture of their customers and the market in which they operate. This can help businesses make more informed decisions about product development, marketing strategy, and resource allocation;
Competitive advantages: Businesses effectively leveraging multiple customer data sources can construct competitive advantages over their peers. By using data to drive decision-making and improve customer experience, businesses can drive growth by standing out in crowded markets;
What Are Tomorrow’s Customer Data Sources?
The emergence of new (and sometimes unexpected) data sources opens up opportunities and challenges for businesses. Although providing valuable insights into consumer lifestyles, companies must build trust with buyers by prioritizing data privacy and protecting sensitive information.
A noteworthy trend is the proliferation of the Internet of Things. These IoT devices – particularly smart appliances and wearables – are generating vast amounts of data that offer countless insights into consumer preferences. For example, smart thermostat programs reflect family heating and cooling habits, while wearables channel information on daily activity levels and sleep patterns.
As Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) become more mainstream, they could become good data sources on customer behavior and preferences. For example, they may be used to upgrade product designs and strengthen customer engagement.
With voice assistants and smart speakers becoming more popular, companies can gather data on how customers interact with voice technology. This data could then be used to optimize voice-based customer experiences and develop more effective voice-based marketing strategies.
Biometric data (such as fingerprints and facial recognition) is becoming more commonplace in consumer tech. These personal data can be used to tighten up security and personalize customer experiences.
Overall, having access to more customer data sources can provide businesses with valuable insights and strategic advantages. However, businesses must balance the benefits of more varied data against the need to respect customer privacy and ensure compliance with applicable regulations