Offering a personalized customer experience in the retail and eCommerce sectors relies on using data strategically to understand and respond to your customers’ needs, preferences, and expectations.
It’s also key to understand your customers from a value perspective—the right data can show you which of your customers are loyal to your brand and will bring in the most revenue over time as a result. But what kinds of data are the most useful for crafting a customer journey that will attract, engage, and retain your most valuable customers?
Let’s explore the kinds of data—and the best ways to organize this information—that are truly making a difference in how marketers today design and implement customer-centric campaigns optimized to attract their best customers while using budgets effectively.
Understanding first party data
The difference between first party and third party data lies in its source.
First party data refers to information that you and your organization collect about your customers throughout their engagements with your brand. It includes transactional data about the purchases each customer has made, whether they’ve subscribed to your newsletter or not, and user-inputted personal information, like their name, email address, and birthday.
Savvy marketers traditionally have used first party transactional data to enroll existing customers in retargeting campaigns, offering discount codes to reward loyal customers for making repeat purchases, for example. Or, marketers may enroll customers who haven’t made a purchase in a long time in a nurture campaign to attempt to win them back. Another popular use for first party data in marketing is birthday campaigns, which have the benefit of incentivizing customers to share first party data with your organization in the first place.
Exploring third party data
On the other hand, third party data comes from a source outside of the relationship between your organization and your customers. It might come from externally operated focus groups or surveys, census data, or even data purchased from other companies. Using third party data can be attractive because it’s often easier to procure larger volumes of third party data in a shorter time than first party data.
It can be tempting to try to use third party data as a baseline for buyer personas that generalize demographic trends and apply them to an expected customer journey for your brand. However, because it’s less specifically related to your business and your individual customers than first party data, using third party data on its own to try to learn about your customers can’t get you very far.
Combining first and third party data into your ideal buyer personas
Using third party data to add color and context to the patterns you can observe in your first party data can make for incredibly powerful buyer persona profiles. These personas offer you and your fellow marketers a comprehensive look at the purchasing behavior, spending power, interests, and demographic information about various segments of your customer base.
Ultimately, every marketer knows that what customers want most is a product and experience designed just for them. Creating such personalized customer journeys can be rewarding, both financially and creatively, but only if you’re dedicating this effort to the right audiences.
That’s the basis for Retina Personas— our team puts customer lifetime value at the forefront, setting you up for success in attracting more loyal customers on one hand while avoiding “one and done” shoppers on the other. Understanding the interests of your highest value customers means you can easily limit ad waste and allocate your budgets strategically.
Check out our latest report to learn more about Retina Personas and discover how this resource can support you and your team’s marketing efforts.