What it is:
Data capture is the systemized recording of any information your customers choose to share with you, such as their names, email addresses, and preferences. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including contact forms, surveys, newsletter signups, event registrations, and other web forms.
Why you need it:
The more you know about your customers, the easier it becomes to sell to them. It’s that simple. Data capture is the first and most vital step in developing irresistibly relevant marketing campaigns.
You can design your data capture campaigns to discover the information that’s truly crucial to your sales process, such as a professional title in the B2B world, or marital status, number of children or other demographic data that would drive B2C sales.
It’s important to understand that accumulating the data is only the first step – analysis is required to get the insights needed to better shape your marketing campaigns – but it’s such an important first step. After all, without capturing the data? There’s nothing to analyze.
The bottom line benefit of data capture is it helps you target your marketing campaigns to the types of people who have an expressed interest in your products and services. A toy retailer who’d been very confident that parents of young children were his primary customer was shocked when data capture revealed that an overwhelming majority of his actual buyers were the grandparents. Adjusting his marketing message slightly to focus on grandparents resulted in significantly increased sales.
Data capture is not a one-time deal. Your customers grow and change every day, just like you do. Data capture needs to be an on-going process. This enables you to keep in touch with who your customer base currently is, and how they see themselves. Designing clever campaigns to capture data in ways customers embrace and are happy to participate in can be challenging, but the investment is well worth the reward.