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5 Types of Consumer Data to Strengthen Marketing Strategies

Unlock the power of first-party data & revolutionize data collection with automation for marketing success.
5 Types

It can be tricky to navigate a constantly evolving marketing landscape. But, as new technologies emerge with claims to help both customers and businesses, marketers must not lose sight of their consumer’s needs, or they risk losing their place among competitors.

Without a clear understanding of your consumers’ needs and interests, marketers send messages (and budgets) into the void.

Before implementing AI—or the next big breakthrough—businesses should remember their greatest strength lies in understanding their customers and building meaningful relationships based on trust, authenticity, and loyalty. This is revealed through consumer data.

What Are the 5 Types of Consumer Data?

Separated into five types, consumer data does exactly what it says: It reveals information about current and future customers. The five types of consumer data include: 

  1. Demographic: Tells you who the customer is. This can include age, gender, geographic location, and income.
  2. Intent: Reveals what customers want. Are they looking for a specific solution or just browsing?
  3. Survey: Shows how customers feel. This feedback is crucial to understanding business performance.
  4. Behavioral: Provides insight into what customers are doing. How do they navigate your site? What are their buying patterns?
  5. Market: Reflects influences on the customer. This includes trends and specific needs.

There are several methods of collecting and sharing this information from first, second, and third parties, and while each method serves its own purpose, first-party data is an organization’s greatest asset. When combined with an understanding of the five types of consumer data, it will help business leaders level up their marketing efforts.

What Is First-party Data and Why Is it Important?

First-party data, or customer data collected directly by a business, like customer feedback, website traffic, social media engagement, etc, is an invaluable tool for marketing growth. This is because it is cheaper and easier to collect, provides a more accurate representation of the customer and their behaviors, is controlled by the brand, and sets the foundation to establish a more personalized customer experience that is compliant with the latest privacy regulations. 

Since it’s collected firsthand, it provides organizations with a snapshot of important information covering each of the five types of consumer data. With first-party data, businesses can see customer demographics, buying patterns, and purchasing history. This information gives organizations a direct line of connection to their audience, clearing the path to build stronger, direct relationships with customers through more purposeful marketing, powerful brand positioning, and streamlined processes. 

While third-party data has traditionally helped build customer profiles by aggregating information from various sources, it is more expensive to source and provides a less accurate, reliable, and relevant snapshot than firsthand data. First-party data is also more customizable, and although it might take time, money, and resources to set up the initial parameters, it will quickly prove its worth once teams familiarize themselves with the tools and learn how to implement them to yield desired results. 

This personalization is also critical to providing an enhanced customer experience. For example, you might see a customer engaging with a targeted social ad that leads them through a journey around your site, reaching blog posts, case studies, and product pages. This will provide insights into what that customer is interested in buying and which resources are most helpful throughout this journey. If the customer leaves the site without making a purchase, marketers can use data collected for retargeting. This allows businesses to share relevant information and connect with the customer through newsletters or additional social media. 

With this data, marketers can optimize owned assets to better serve current and prospective customers. By implementing a data-driven marketing campaign strategy, organizations can leverage consumers’ wants and needs to build content that will better connect with their target audience, building greater trust and brand loyalty in the process.

Salesmark Global

Using Data to Optimize Strategies 

Understanding the critical role first-party data plays in your marketing journey will lead to data optimization. Automation can be a helpful tool for collecting and organizing data to segment customer demographics, reveal their needs, and provide solutions. This insight into consumer behavior will help build campaigns and drive growth.  

When businesses understand consumer needs, they can create more accurate personas and are better prepared to deliver the right information to the right audience at the right time. This improves customer satisfaction and builds brand loyalty while also allowing businesses to connect to an adjacent yet relevant customer base. As a result, businesses can foster more authentic relationships, improve existing offerings, and predict future needs. 

Identifying Customer Needs

With all of its strengths, first-party data is just one piece of the marketing puzzle bridging together the different types of consumer data. Search intent data is another important resource to help brands paint a clearer picture and reveal what customers are searching for in real time. 

Google: An Always on Focus Group

Because of its popularity, Google acts as an always-on focus group that mirrors the actual wants and needs of real people looking for solutions to their problems. And once established, leveraging existing connections with customers to conduct surveys and request feedback provides a greater understanding of your customers. 

The Customer Journey

Comprehension of the customer journey is another essential element to anticipate and provide solutions for customer needs. While no two customers are the same, most of the customer journey is spent in the research stage. This means brands need to learn how to go from awareness and discovery to transaction, which starts by understanding that the customer journey is not linear. Instead, customers spend most of their time talking to peers, conducting research, and speaking to brand salespeople or customer service representatives before deciding.

Building Brand Reputation

To stand out during this lengthy process, businesses can build their brand awareness by consistently sharing their messaging and brand story across a variety of channels. This involves leveraging paid, earned, and owned media. With consumer data in hand, brands are better equipped to anticipate needs and meet consumers at various touch points. 

As businesses learn how to navigate and implement emerging technologies, they must prioritize collecting and analyzing consumer data to strengthen their marketing strategies. By knowing who customers are, what they want, where they shop, how they feel, and what influences their decision making, businesses can show up with a brand narrative that builds and maintains an authentic consumer connection and positive customer experience.

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Jonas Sickler, Digital Marketing Analyst, Terakeet

Jonas Sickler joined Terakeet in 2014, bringing with him decades of experience in digital promotion. As the Digital Marketing Analyst, Jonas dives into research and analysis to understand audiences, unravel user behavior, and uncover efficiency. As a marketing author and thought leader, Jonas unpacks the customer journey to help unify brand and demand and develop richer audience connections.

Jonas is also an accomplished children’s book author who helped launch the bestselling Indestructibles series of baby books, which is an international phenomenon with millions of copies sold worldwide. Follow Jonas Sickler on Twitter, and LinkedIn, Instagram, and everywhere else he lives online.

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