The importance of data – capture data and segment your lists

Data has always been important for marketing campaigns, teams and departments. Without data we cannot analyse our targets for appropriate content and messaging, we cannot track the success of our campaigns, and we cannot assign an accurate ROI against our marketing effort.

These statements don’t tell us anything new. What the statements do tell us is how important it is to ensure our data is accurate and up to date.

But how do we get there? How can we capture data that is relevant to our market and engages with campaigns? How can we encourage our data to go on and buy our product? It’s not easy, but we want to explain how by changing how you group your data will help you achieve your marketing goals.

As we talked about previously in this article, Why inbound is the future of sales, we know customers have more control than ever. They are informed, they have researched you and your product before they buy from you, and they aren’t afraid to share their opinions. Gone are the days of targeting a group of people and hoping someone buys.

As marketers we now need to position our businesses in front of the customer, before they have a need, so that when they do it’s us they think about and return to. In order to provide a solution that is based on their needs we need to ensure our marketing is targeted as per their needs. You might have heard that ancient phrase ‘The money is in the list’, which relates back to the importance of a good quality data list. The money is definitely there – but it’s how you target your contacts that allows you to see a positive return.

Create segments of data

This will involve some initial planning: learn about your personas, your customer types, what exactly it is that turns them on to buy, who is your typical customer, what is the typical customer journey. Following this your focus should turn to segmenting your groups and targeting these people as though they are individuals. We have all been on the receiving end of an irrelevant, impersonal campaign, and they don’t do anything in terms of making us want to buy.

Instead if we can group our contacts based on the following, we should see an increase in engagement with our campaigns, and we can push these contacts towards a sale through relevant campaigns:

Stage 1. Behaviour – how did they react to your previous campaign?

This is a basic way of understanding how your contacts are behaving when they see your campaign. If you haven’t yet, try splitting your contacts based on open or non-open to see how your engagement rates change as per the group. Use behavioural information to push contacts towards different actions or campaigns within your automation programs or send these groups different messages to encourage them to take action.

Stage 2. Engagement – if they opened your campaign did they click? Or simply just read your content?

Take your segmentation up a notch by grouping your contacts based on what they do with your campaign next. Use automation programs to send event triggered emails such as if a contact clicks on your campaign, or if they don’t click after 3 days.

Stage 3. Demographic behaviour

This can be tricky to capture but when you have it, it is so valuable to your business and your marketing campaigns. Data based on activity such as campaign engagement or behaviour is usually provided with the platform but demographic data that relates to the individual such as their position, location or gender should be used if relevant to your sale.

Put data capture procedures in place to encourage contacts to submit this information. Why not try adding forms to your PPC pages, white papers or downloads?

Stage 4. Further data profiling – data such as previous purchases, preferred products, related products or product recommendations will only help to increase your campaign engagement and ROI.

Upload this data into your ESP or use an API to transfer data. Capture and assign this data back to your contacts wherever you can for example through website popups or through your CRM platform and use their preferences, hobbies and even background to send highly targeted campaigns.

It does take time and effort to build and collate this quality of data, but the results and feedback for your business are enormous. Increased engagement, ROI, increase in website traffic and even new subscribers are all benefits generated from capturing data and targeting it effectively.

Over on the site we have a huge amount of recourse all focused on how data profiling can help your business. It really is worth the time to build this database of solid contacts and effective campaigns. Here are some other resources on the same subject that can help in your journey to collating worthwhile data:


  1. Treat your customers and prospects as individuals not contacts
  2. Using segmentation to increase customer loyalty
  3. How Customer Insight can Improve Customer Relationships

Case study:

See how our Data Profiling tool helped NBF capture more relevant data for use within their email campaigns.

How Pinterest went the extra mile for Father’s Day
Top 10 Retail Digital Marketing Trends in 2015 – and beyond!
Can your email signature really support your marketing strategy?
There are currently no comments.