Targeting can only happen if you have collected and correctly recorded/processed data. How and what to capture is a debate beyond the scope of this book and this very topic will have Customer Relationship Managers fighting to the death with Usability Managers. On one hand you want to capture as much as possible to accurately segment the database to improve targeting. On the flip side, if you ask too many questions, or you ask questions before you’ve built up trust and a relationship with a customer, they’re not going to answer completely or accurately, which devalues the process and the data…
What’s a girl to do? Well, at all times it’s essential that you put yourself in the shoes of the customer and make decisions based on the customer journey through your site. When you’re selling products online you want to make the process as straightforward as possible, and that means asking the minimum number of questions to allow quick progress through the order pipeline.
Effective data capture and targeting:
· On a customer’s first visit or purchase ask as few questions as possible – you need to build trust first and show you can deliver on your core product or service
· After a customer’s first purchase or after you have provided a service, follow up with a questionnaire asking the customer to rate aspects of the service. On this questionnaire you can add additional (optional) targeting questions – such as gender, age range, purchasing interests etc
· People change email addresses – your database is full of defunct email addresses and continuing to send mails to these addresses is a waste of time and money. It will also negatively affect your statistics when you measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Cleanse your database of hard-bounces (email addresses that never arrived at the recipients inbox)
· In the ‘My Account’ section on your website, empower users to alter their preferences and interest. By asking the customers which products or categories they are interested in, you will have the most accurate information available.