Personalized content is a trend that is here to stay. Cookie-cutter emails and ads will not yield the same results as curated, targeted content delivered at the ideal time and place for your recipients. Most companies know that data collection and analysis is elemental. Today, let’s look at the categories of data that can help you organize your efforts.

 Data can be collected both explicitly and implicitly. You can add forms on your website for visitors to fill out or launch surveys to ask for consumers’ interests—but you can also gather data based on behavior. If someone visits a website looking for tennis shoes, that person might also get served ads for an activity-tracking watch. Data today can indicate much more than physical information, but also preferences, interests, and habits.

Learn how to use data to drive personalized content for your customers.

According to Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, there are four total types of data available to companies who want to understand their buyers better: first-party data, social data, search data, and offline data.

  • First-Party Data
    This is data your company collects firsthand—whether it’s through forms, surveys, or even in-person interactions. You can use this data as the foundation of your personalization initiatives because there is no guesswork or intuition involved.
  • Social Data
    This consists of factors that influence your target audience: words they associate with your product or service, how they interact with your industry, and sources they use for information. The way your audience prefers to engage with your product or service will inform how you reach out to them.
  • Search Data
    How does your audience acquire information about your brand? Where do they look, which terms do they use, and which questions do they pose? Learning this helps you identify your target buyers’ needs, goals, and desires—which can guide you in creating a personalized campaign that’s meaningful to them.
  • Offline Data
    What other interactions does your audience have with your product, besides those on the web? This can include in-store visits or in-person events.

As companies take advantage of the ever-present availability of data, they can do more than understand their current audience. They can also start to predict behavior patterns in the future, based on the past information they have gathered. Sixty-seven percent of senior marketing executives say they use behavior-based data to drive their marketing approach. The point of personalization is humanization—you want to present your company as caring about your leads and buyers. If you can identify your customers’ common pain points and desires from their current behavior, you can implement a strategy that will connect with them, solve their problems, and ultimately develop loyal brand supporters. Learn more about the advantages of personalization in our white paper.