Marketing with Dynamics CRM – Why tracking your customers is the key to understanding them and their needs

We are in the age of data and as more of our activities integrate with the digital world, the data that is available to us increases. The more data that we have at our fingertips, the better we can engage with and bring added value to our customers. When we think about marketing, particularly digital marketing, the new trend is around behavioral marketing which is the concept of communicating with the customer based on their behaviors. These behaviors are built either by them directly giving us information such as their contact preferences, or indirectly through their actions and activities.

By tracking consumer data, you are able to build behavior models and profiles. You can then use these models to deliver communication to the right people, the right way, at the right time, about the right topic or product.

Let’s take an example of how tracking your consumer data can help drive your marketing initiatives.

Consumers today are interacting with you in a number of different ways. They are opening and reading emails, browsing your website and talking with or about you on social media. All of these interactions are trackable data that can be used to help build a profile on the individual consumer. Using this data we are able to determine, for example, the time of day they are opening emails. We can then take action by changing when we send out emails to the individual to be the time of day they are more prone to opening.

Building behavioral models and profiles isn’t the only reason why tracking customers is important. Here are a few other examples of how consumer tracking is valuable:

  • Tracking navigation paths on your website can help you learn how the site is used, what pages are set up best to funnel people into the information you want them to see, what pages are not performing as they should and what pages have the biggest visitor drop off
  • Tracking email engagement such are open rates and click throughs can help you learn what types of emails are performing better than others or what type of information or products drive the biggest interaction. Most email marketing tools offer the ability to do A/B testing which track the interactions on two different styles of the same email to determine which one performs best
  • Tracking PDF downloads through the use of a form helps you learn what white papers or publications visitors are the most interested in. Using a form gives you the added benefit of being able to compile information about the visitor, such as their name, email address and company
  • Tracking social activity through a social listening tool helps you learn what the conversation and sentiment is around your company, product or service

By tracking consumer data we learn a lot of who our customers are, their interests, needs and preferences. It allows us as marketers to tailor our communication to an individual or group with like interests and market products and services to the right customers.

BDO Solutions is a national firm with local practices throughout Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Reseller of the Year in Canada for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

By Chuck Harris, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Solutions Consultant with BDO Solutions, Canada

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