Growing Importance of Behavioral Data in Marketing
Gone are the days when marketers would rely only on declarative data or self-reported data in their campaigns. Declarative is increasingly being replaced by behavioral data.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, data can be labeled by different elements such as its source, the relation between the user and collector – 1st or 3rd party – data attribution, and so on.
But before we go any further, let’s just understand behavioral data. Basically, declarative and behavioral data are two forms of data collection – the former is the process of acquiring information by the participant’s own violation, i.e. self-reporting; while the latter is the tracking of a person’s every act. One (declarative) is voluntary, the other is involuntary, so to say.
Essentially, behavioral data has an advantage over declarative data mostly because people labor to give accurate information, but behavioral data does not lie nor is there any loss because of memory lapses on part of the participant.
We all know that all data is not created equal.
What is Behavioral data?
Behavioral data, also known as transactional data, is based on an action in a moment in time. It provides a very brief snapshot of a lead, a prospect, or a customer’s behavior or action.
On the other hand, declared data gathered directly from consumers themselves, is something like asking them to fill up a post-purchase form.
So why then is behavioral data taking precedence over declared data in marketing campaigns? Actually, here we would like to digress to state that it would help marketing campaigns immensely if behavioral data is looked at in tandem with declarative data. One reason for this is there are occasions when firms do not have access to all or some of the behavioral data, so they need to fall back on declarative data.
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But with the advent of computers, the Internet, digitization, and social media, it’s a fact that the face of the consumer and his reaction time has changed. Online shopping means customers not only shop in brick and mortar retail stores, they now go on the Internet or also to their smartphones, to buy objects of their choice or praise or vent against a particular service or product. All this is like a nugget of gold for a marketer. Behavioral data is all about a customer’s actions so even one set of actions by a segment of customers can speak volumes to the marketing team.
To give an example of the difference between the two forms of data, let’s say an executive from Microtalkk, Plc John D. picks up donuts daily on the way to office. One of them is sugar coated, the second is jelly-filled while the last has sprinkles on it. A coffee company makes him fill out a form based on this daily routine. In that form, John declares he is a daily buyer of 3 donuts before reporting to work. That’s declared data. The coffee company thinks it can now target John as a regular eater of donuts. Wait, but is that so? If the right questions are not asked, it is not clear whether John really eats any of those donuts or buys them only for colleagues? And, if he does eat, which of the 3 is his choice and why? So the coffee company is none the wiser. It’s only when John goes online and either chooses a jelly-filled donut from a donut menu and pays for it with his own credit card, or leaves a comment on social media saying how much he loves this kind of jelly donut that we get to know his choice. That, then, is behavior.
A few of you would have grasped this point by now that behavioral data analytics has got to do mostly with a prospect or a customer. It is marketing’s main weapon in helping the company understand its customers in-depth and help boost its customer engagement rates.
This form of analytics goes beyond traditional analytics, helping marketers to ask virtually any question of their customers, and receive answers in order to take important decisions, almost in real-time. It supplies answers to why and how customers act and react in the manner in which they do. At the end of it all, it allows marketers to make the right offer at the right time to the right customer.
The advantages behavioral data analytics offers – here are a few of them:
- Customized advertising and marketing campaigns
- Heightened customer interaction and subsequent fulfillment
- Better customer relations, and
- Eventually more sales
To sum up, a brand needs to deploy behavioral analytics simply to understand the needs and wants of its target audience. Not knowing it means resorting to a scattershot campaign that simply does not work in today’s environment.
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