Managing Customer Information in Marketing

Internet marketing is more than just advertising your product and getting people to visit your web site, read your content, and buy products.  It’s about getting repeat business as well as finding new customers.  This means collecting some information in order to know your target market.  For example, if you were buying a gift for someone, the first question you would want answered is what that person would like to receive.  That way, you can rest assured that they will be satisfied with the gift you give them.

Your customers are no different.  You should know what they want so that you can provide it.  The only way you can learn what they want is to gather some necessary information.  The demographic information of your current clients can tell you a lot about them as well as point in the right direction in finding new customers.  However, managing all of that information can be a daunting task.  In addition to be able to use the information effectively, you have to be sure that you are not breaking the FCC laws regarding customer information and identity.

The problem in collecting customer data is not always in what you collect, but how you collect it.  Of course, your customer names and other personal information should always be kept confidential.  But you can gather some very useful data, if you gather it the right way.  For example, if you want to learn the average age of your customer base, you might ask for a birth year.  When you program the entry field, you should make sure that it gets the proper format, like YYYY.  If you are gathering a complete birth date, make sure your customers know the format for input, such as MM/DD/YYYY.  That way, when you do data queries in order to study the resulting information, you have a more accurate picture of your demographics without using personally identifiable information.

Let us know how you gather and use your customer data, and tips on how to stay within privacy laws and requests.