The latent power of leveraging data is still a widely missed concept in business and even more so in the marketing department. However, the mandate to leverage data is no longer an option, it is a must-do, and the powerful insights that data enables will reap rewards for marketers who choose to embrace it in the years ahead.
There are several sources of data and several ways to gather and leverage it and this blog post will help. If analytics is the engine under the hood, then data is the fuel. Whether you are looking for a way to level the playing field with a larger competitor or looking for ways to stay ahead of your smaller and more nimble rivals, data will be critical. In fact, your data will prove to be your most powerful weapon in this hyper-competitive era, particularly if you can apply rigor and discipline to translating that data into actionable insights. Savvy marketers look for data wherever they can find it. Often, other companies have useful data that they are willing to share or sell. There are multiple ways to Gather Data. Here are some ideas.
- Demographic data
- Census data
- Purchased or Third Party Data (See case study below)
- Campaign History
- Survey and Poll Data
- Contact History
- GPS Data
- Social Media
Data is fundamentally important. Why? Because data drives insight, insight drives relevance, and relevance drives customer loyalty.
Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) Buys the Data It Needs
One company looking for more insight into its customers is Leading Hotels of the World (LHW). LHW is a small, exclusive organization representing some 500 independent luxury hotels, resorts, and spas.
To expand its knowledge of existing and prospective customers, LHW went to American Express. “The key here is the breadth and depth of the data available to us,” said David Bonalle, VP at American Express Business Insights. American Express has demographic, purchase, and financial data on 54 million card holders.
“Partnering with American Express can give us additional insights into customers we would normally know very little about,” said Claudia Kozma Kaplan, SVP of marketing and communications at Leading Hotels of the World. The result, said Kaplan, is that “we can be much more intelligent about where we spend our resources with targeted, tactical offers, and we know for sure that we are advertising to a group of people that definitely are our clients.”
LHW has set the objective to acquire new customers, but realized the need to find new customers and in their case, opted to seek the assistance from American Express to provide additional insights before deploying their campaigns.
Tip: Send in your list to a demographic provider such as Experian, Axiom, or us, and request a match rate. This will tell you how many of your customers match customers in their database! This is usually free.