5 Effective Client-Data Tactics

Most firms know by now that client data—collecting and applying it—is central to generating revenue. However, the devil is in the details. Having the data isn’t enough. You need to cross-reference it and experiment with it in order to make valid predictions. Consider the following tactics to get more value from the client data you are (or should be) collecting:

1. Reconcile the Data: 
Firms usually have many systems housing data, all with different structures, functions, and owners. At some point, someone created an Excel file (or 20) about clients, dumping in data sets from different systems and while Excel is useful as a Band-Aid for integrating data, it's completely inadequate to support real-time marketing campaigns. Look for a data management platform that allows your firm to merge and collect data while automatically assigning fields and structure. This platform will bring you much closer to one version of the truth.

2. Rethink User Experience:
The phrase "user experience" has long been associated with software design and navigation. However, the notion of user experience is expanding to include a personalized and highly relevant experience on a website or mobile app—or any digital interaction with a company. The more recent client data a firm has, the better user experience it can deliver.

3. Marketing and IT Need to be on the Same Team: 
Marketing tools operating narrowly are considerably less effective than when they are plugged into other systems outside of their purview, such as e-commerce and inventory. IT is the expert at integrating systems and data to minimize data loss and technical issues that break systems or make for insufferable user experiences. Marketers need to cede IT expertise in high-risk areas and be patient when the wheels are not moving as fast as they'd like; conversely, marketers can help IT understand their business goals and why they need certain infrastructure and data access to reach marketing goals.

4. Measure Behavior in Addition to Clicks:
Measure performance by individual user behavior: where a visitor went on the site, how they got there, and what they did while there. Look at the attributes of the people who reach a certain stage of engagement, not just that they hit a milestone. Don't be content with just bounce-rate metrics and instead discover attributes about the visitors who bounced. That extra insight will improve your tactics going forward.

5. Merge Email and Web Marketing:
Don't hit a visitor with a popup asking them to subscribe to your newsletter, particularly when the visit was generated by an email sent by your firm. Based on what the client recently viewed on your website, deliver personalized content through email.

It's important to take baby steps with new visitors. Don't bombard them with continuous requests for information – particularly not on the first visit. Build the relationship and rapport, then start gathering pertinent data to make the communication more relevant.