Data-on-Boarding: Incorporating Offline Data in the Online World to Provide a Holistic View of your Customer.
By Laura Patterson is president and co-founder of VisionEdge Marketing, Inc.
Thursday, 11th June 2015

We live in a digital world: Marketers everywhere are adapting and developing new strategies and business models to take advantage of the new advancements in technology; 

However, marketers must not forget about collecting data from offline channels, which still provide the deepest data. Instead of relying only on online channels, take advantage of both worlds.

Customers are multidimensional, they use a variety of channels to learn about and interact with your product/service. They don’t consciously think about their online versus their offline life.

Therefore, if you only analyze the way they behave in one world, you will not have a holistic view of your customer. In this blog post, you will learn why and how to incorporate offline data into the online world.

Online channels do not paint the whole picture. Bob Intarakumhang, senior manager for digital analytics at Allstate said, “Relying purely on an online signal to inform how your marketing efforts are driving business for you is a very incomplete picture.” The key to a successful, integrated marketing strategy lies within the use of all channels.

How can marketers get a complete and descriptive picture that allows them to measure the success of their marketing efforts? The answer is data on-boarding, the ability to bring offline data into the online world. With data on-boarding you can apply knowledge gained from offline data for online marketing ultimately enabling you to improve the customer experience and enhance customer relationships to acquire and retain more customers.

The goal of data on-boarding is to match offline data and online user profiles. So, lets start with where to acquire offline data:

Event Transactions. Many businesses use online channels to create marketing strategies, but struggle to determine the ROI because the transactions are made offline. Measure and upload the number of transactions and the associated revenue to your CRM platform and you will have a better idea of what your ROI looks like.

Conversations. The goal of your social media efforts or advertisement campaigns is not to measure the number of likes, tweets or shares. What matters is if you were able to secure your customers’ attention. Did you deliver delight? Did you start a discussion? Did your customer take an action or initiative? Understanding this can drastically change your perception of the success of failure of your marketing initiatives.

In person demos. Interested prospects are willing to take the time to listen and evaluate your product/service. The goal of your demo should be to transform as many prospects as possible into customers, so the associated metric is conversion rate.

Presentations. Whether it is in a conference or a classroom, if you are giving a presentation your goal should be to create leads. How many audience members reached out with an interest in your product/service? Did you secure meetings or phone calls with these people? Are your presentations creating leads and are they converting to real paying customers? These are questions you need to be answering to determine the effectiveness of your presentations.

Call Centers. A call center can be an expensive, yet essential tool to ensure customer satisfaction. Measure the number of prospect calls to learn more about your offering. Are they interested in your product/service? Are you able to engage them in conversation that leads to a sale? If so, what is your conversion rate?

Technical help calls. Is your product/service robust? Do your customers have difficulty or find it challenging to use your product or service? How many times is the same customer calling for help? These are great ways to measure the quality of your product/service and to discover what your customers want in your product/service.

As it is gathered, offline data should be uploaded to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This will provide a holistic view of both your customers and the success of your integrated marketing initiatives, and the ability through the development of profiles and personas to consistently improve the value of your marketing.

To start creating personas for your organization, purchase our 54-page workbook “Using the Customer Buying Process to Align Sales and Marketing & Create 3 Key Enablement Tools.

Laura Patterson is president and co-founder of VisionEdge Marketing, Inc., a recognized leader in enabling organizations to leverage data and analytics to facilitate marketing accountability. Laura’s newest book, Marketing Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization (Racom: www.racombooks.com ), is a useful primer for improving marketing measurement and performance. Visit: www.visionedgemarketing.com      

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