Today a marketer has access to literally tens of thousands of metrics through analytics services. It isn’t unusual for an organization or a business to not know where to start in deciding which factors are crucial to their success and which matter less. Today’s companies are using digital analytics tools to monitor and measure the performance of their websites, mobile apps, email marketing campaigns, and other marketing efforts and it takes some careful thought to create a properly functioning analytics program.
What you can discover about your customer’s online behavior is amazing, includes metrics like who downloaded your app and how much time they spent using it, session length, launches, days since last use, and mobile carrier. You might also be interested in how many times they post to Facebook from within your app, showing their satisfaction with what they created. This kind of thinking can lead to solid ideas about the direction you need to go.
For a retail business, you can discover cart size and cart abandonment stats as well as email campaign and social media metrics.
But what more and more businesses are discovering is that this online data alone is actually a very incomplete picture of your customers’ experiences and that sitting on your laptops and servers is likely a goldmine of “offline” data that could give you a broader insight into your customers’ interests and needs – all of which can help enrich their online experiences and develop loyalty to your brand.
Making use of your offline data is sometimes called “data onboarding.”
Most marketers fear that their offline data, which includes data from events and conferences, customer retail transactions in a brick and mortar store, CRM systems, data from loyalty programs, and metrics from call centers are too difficult to integrate and combine with their online analytic data. Many fear it would be too complex a task to use it effectively.
However, most of the time, much of offline data is actually in digital form already and most of it can be integrated into your analytics management systems. In fact, a number of companies have sprung up in the last couple of years to take your offline data and integrate it into the design of online campaigns.
Mine your offline data sources
Here are some offline data sources that, when integrated into your online analytics campaigns, can bring real value.
Event and conference data. Uploading the wealth of offline data from conferences and events is now a standard practice for most B2B companies. Most conference attendees are scanned, swiped, badged, and ID’d in some way for entry into every session, during every exhibit booth interaction, upon entrance into sponsor exhibitions, and to take part in contests. Much of this information sits unused in a database, but it could be leveraged to help you better understand your buyers’ journeys through all channels and in developing insightful attribution models that exploit this wealth of information.
Customer Briefing Center visits. Most B2B companies invest enormous effort to encourage top prospects to visit their regional or HQ customer briefing centers. These visits can be enormously productive, offering the opportunity to showcase emerging products and solutions and engage the prospect or customer in relevant conversations. Most CRM systems now have extensions that allow a company to upload data and information about briefing center visits, yet many B2B companies miss this important opportunity. Make sure you are incorporating this valuable data into your efforts.
Voice and CRM data. The crowning achievement of any data matching effort comes from joining knowledge about your customers’ use of your products obtained from emails and phone calls with your marketing data. CRM databases have often been isolated for a variety of reasons, but new integration tools and better understanding of how to protect truly private data now makes this data accessible, relevant, and worthy of on-boarding in your marketing systems.
Ungated online events. It used to be that activities like webinars, blog posts, videos, surveys, podcasts, eBooks, and other types of presentations that your customer engaged in outside your domain were shrouded in mystery. That’s no longer the case and this “offline” data is readily available. This data helps you better understand your customers’ journeys and gives you insights into the worth of your own content and online experiences.
By integrating data sources that have traditionally been considered out of reach, marketers will be able to quickly target the right people, filter out the wrong ones, expand their scale, and get ahead of the competition.