How Modern Marketers Can Turn Behavioral Data Into Actionable Insight

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November 15, 2022

Customers are interacting with brands more than ever, and they’re doing so across channels that can provide marketers with important customer insights. In a world where customer data has never been more important, marketers must navigate increasing scrutiny over data handling while collecting and processing data about their customers’ behaviors, needs, and preferences.

Approximately two-thirds of customers expect brands to know and understand their needs and expectations. With rising competition and amplified customer voices, businesses must find new and better ways to attract and retain modern customers. 

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Brand website analytics, custom applications, feedback forms, and cookies have empowered businesses to understand how customer interactions affect sales, marketing, and communication efforts. The extent to which businesses can extract actionable insights from behavioral data depends on their understanding of how customer behavior analysis can serve them, however. 

Businesses have also had to evolve to keep up with a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. Third-party cookies are being phased out around the world and businesses are constantly looking for new ways to collect and analyze critical customer data. 

Why businesses struggle to extract insights from customer behavioral data

Customer information is stored across operational silos

While most businesses collect customer information in some form, they struggle to build a coherent and complete image of their customers—especially when departments don’t collaborate and share the data they have. When fragmented data is scattered across departments in the organization, it can’t help businesses understand their customers and make informed choices about how to reach them.

Sales and marketing teams can benefit from knowing a customer’s communication preferences, social media teams can view a customer’s online interaction history, and finance teams can understand a customer’s payment preferences. In general, businesses can use this data to make sure they are making financially responsible decisions. 

Paid marketing campaigns can sometimes go under the radar or be under-analyzed because of this data fragmentation

Businesses fail to establish and integrate effective data processes into existing workflows

Data processes can be cumbersome and tedious for non-technical staff who are unfamiliar with complex data management systems. As a result, mistakes are made and data is not collected effectively and efficiently.

Businesses must find new ways to encourage widespread participation with data processes across the organization. This could include automating repetitive or tedious tasks or improving education on data processes and how they can be conducted without excessive disruption to non-technical staff. This data also needs to be funneled effectively to marketing teams who can then use it to strategize future initiatives and outreach. 

Data processes are not aligned with business objectives

Even though data processes can confer significant benefits to businesses from reduced costs to increased efficiency, these benefits have to be targeted. Business leaders must design and implement processes to align with their data strategy goals. Marketing campaigns can vary wildly in their objectives, from increasing visibility to changing customer perceptions of the brand, to improving conversion rates. The metrics used to analyze customer data change significantly depending on the priorities of the business. 

A haphazardly planned data strategy can lead to significant time and resources being wasted in service of a poorly defined plan. Poor planning during the data process design stage can also increase the likelihood of data errors caused by a lack of understanding of these processes within the organization, inconsistent participation with data practices, and more issues that could be costly and cumbersome to resolve. 

4 tips for transforming your data into truly actionable insights

Evaluate the data that has already been collected

The average person generates 1.7 MB of data per second. Businesses can sometimes collect insightful data without realizing it. Before designing and implementing widespread changes to existing data operations and workloads, business leaders must evaluate the data that has already been collected or is continually being collected unintentionally. 

Businesses that interact with customers on social media often have a base-level understanding of important metrics that the platform’s integrated analytics tool provides. That would be considered data that is already collected or being continually collected. Modern businesses have to go beyond that and analyze attribution data to optimize their presence on each platform.

Morgan Gelot, Director of AdTech Partnerships at Marin Software, revealed how marketers can use attribution data to receive insights that standard social media back-ends fail to provide. 

MarinOne provides marketers with “a collection of insights that are refreshed daily, that looks at things like search queries and performance trends. Advertisers can filter through this information to visualize the importance and the impact of certain sites and prioritize on the most impactful ads or platforms,” he shared. 

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Modernize data collection strategies to receive a holistic view of marketing performance

Insightful data can be collected in a variety of ways. Some businesses set up data pipelines to directly collect data from the customer but most companies supplement that data with information that they receive from social media platforms and different marketing channels. 

In the past, companies could simply use cookies to collect the information they need to meet their business needs. However, platforms have recently “set up their own solutions to mitigate some of the risks that have appeared on the market with cookies being more limited,” Morgan explained. He also shares how MarinOne can combine insights generated from APIs across social media platforms to provide business leaders with a holistic view of marketing performance. 

Close the gaps between information silos and integrate data workflows into regular business processes

It’s not enough for businesses to collect and analyze data effectively to achieve marketing success in highly competitive markets. Marketers must be able to easily access these insights and integrate them into their daily activities. The first step to achieving this is to close the gaps between information silos and make sure information is collected from multiple sources and combined on a single platform. 

This information has to then make its way to crucial operational teams such as customer service. MarinOne empowers marketers by making marketing data easily digestible and providing them with the information they need to optimize interactions with customers across communication channels. 

How MarinOne can help businesses improve digital marketing performance by unifying customer data

Many factors influence a customer’s purchasing decision. Information about these factors exists across communication channels and social media platforms. MarinOne, Marin Software’s flagship product, allows marketers to easily consolidate performance data, customer behavioral data, generated insights, and more from multiple sources, platforms, and campaigns. A native automation engine allows marketers to simplify how they identify opportunities and tie them into existing customer journeys. 

To get started in understanding more deeply how your customers interact with your brand contact one of our MarinOne experts.

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