3 Ways to Use Data for Improved Customer Engagement

Data-Driven Marketing

Developing and nurturing strong relationships with your customers is an essential part of business. However, it can be difficult to achieve the type of customer engagement that turns into lasting relationships, especially when you have a multitude of customers that you don’t know personally.

Thankfully, when you use data collection and analysis techniques, it’s possible to aggregate data and extract intelligence from it in order to get to know what your customers like, what they respond to and, ultimately, how you can foster a happy, long-term relationship with them – even if there are thousands of them.

Here are a few ways you can use data to connect and nurture your customers, and leave them wanting more.

Customer Engagement Tip #1: Track Every Onsite Action

Before you can start using data to increase customer engagement, you need to start collecting the data! While leading eCommerce companies, like Amazon.com, were early adopters of what we now call big data techniques, you don’t have to be a large online website or the size of Amazon to start collecting data. Free tools, like Google Analytics, are a great place to start. You do need to implement it correctly on your website, but it can tell you everything from how long users are on your site to what pages they are landing on or leaving from, to their overall behavior on the site, and much more.

If you have the technical team or budgetary flexibility, then go the next level. Find the right tools and processes to track users and gather the data that is meaningful to YOU in order to learn more about what resonates and engages your customers.  In doing so, you will want to try some A/B testing to play with different wording, offers, pricing, etc.

Regardless of the tools you use or data you collect, make sure you start by identifying the questions you want answered. One of the biggest mistakes many marketers make in data analysis is not starting with the end business goal in mind.

Customer Engagement Tip #2: Personalize the Experience

There’s a reason Amazon.com has become the world’s leading e-tailer, serving 137 million customers a day, with web sales five times that of Wal-Mart, Target and Buy.com’s web sales combined (MichaelHyatt.com).

Amazon.com Customer EngagementThis was not luck. Early on, Amazon.com mastered the science of not only tracking every customer’s onsite actions but using that data to personalize all of their experiences individually.

Let’s test it right now.

When you are on the Amazon.com site, you’ll notice your home page is completely personalized based on your pervious onsite actions. These may include:

My profile for today, posted below, shows that I typically search for toys for my daughter, I often read business and marketing books, and I am looking to buy some high quality markers for an art project.

Amazon.com customer engagement

This personalization makes future purchasing easier for me, and it makes advertising easier for Amazon. Win-win.

If we learn anything from Amazon, it should be that when you both track consumer data and personalize the user experience based on their browsing data, site actions and search terms, your customers will be happy, and your sales will increase.

Customer Engagement Tip #3: Make Advertising More Personal

Whether we want to admit it or not, the main reasons for gathering consumer data is to advertise more effectively, and to use your advertising budget more wisely.

One way to do leverage data for more effective advertising is to group your website visitors into different segments, and then serve up targeted ads based on which segment each user fits. This simple funneling process goes a long way in serving up the right ads to your visitors.

Additionally, it’s important to note that customers will often read several pages of website content before making a purchase. This means that not only can you use data to target your ads, but also you can use the same data to write compelling content.

targeted advertising for customer engagement


Thankfully, this process is circular. As you post relevant content, you can also personalize the ads that appear on your blog. According to AdAge.com, when electronics marketer Lenovo tried this approach, their click-through rates increased by 30%, and resulted in greater conversions and sales, which indicates this approach resonated well with consumers.

Jump On the Data Train Today!

While these are just some of the most popular ways to use data to lure in customers, the most important thing to note is that big data truly is the key to understanding your customers, increasing customer engagement, and building a lasting relationship with them. If you haven’t invested in any tools or data software to help you, now is the time. You’ll be surprised how much a difference it makes in your marketing strategy . . .and results!

Ashley Cummings

Ashley R. Cummings is the owner of Searchlight Content and a professional freelance writer. Connect with her on Facebook or on Google+, and learn more about her on LinkedIn.

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